Tag Archives: tornado

A Crossroads: Praying for OKC on a Night of Celebration

For the second time this year I was faced with a media teacher crossroads. It’s yearbook night for seniors. Our senior class puts on an ice cream social and all seniors who pre-ordered can get their books the day before they go to the rest of the school. This senior night was almost in doubt when a major severe storm hit just before show time.

But as often happens in Wichita Falls, the weather moved on and other than a some hail damage we were no worse for the wear, so we decided to go forward with senior night using the staff that were there. 

That’s when the AP wire alert sounded on my phone. When I saw a massive tornado hit the OKC metro area, we turned on CNN. We kept it on for a few minutes and I made the call to turn the TVs off.

It’s senior ice cream social and yearbook night. Most students are either related to or know someone in the OKC area.

We could watch the news or we could celebrate. We couldn’t do both. 

So we turned the TV off and we passed out he books and the seniors who made in after the storm had a great time.

On the way home I listened to the news and cried.

It’s interesting because the yearbook theme this year is Hero. Yearbook editor Emma White’s done an amazing job writing theme copy. Her closing copy fits today perfectly:


“The Oath: Sometime life throws you in the dumpster. Sometimes we don’t even know we’re there until a hero comes along, grabs our reaching hands, and pulls us out. The people free, walking around, have to be heroes because they are the only ones who can see the cages. We have a duty to help one another, to reach out even if we can’t help. A superhero never saved the day by himself. Even prominently solo-working heroes like Superman and Batman have their counterparts. The world would be in shambles if Superman and Batman didn’t have Lois Lane, Robin, and Officer Gordon. Spider-Man is just a creepy mutant kid without Uncle Ben and Aunt May, As Rider Raiders, we have to stand up when we get pushed down. When we’re told we’re not as good as everyone thinks we are by our toughest critics, we will be the ones to stand back up and prove them wrong the next time around. We can’t do it. We can’t face the world, not by ourselves. It is not humanly possible to enter the world alone and come out alive. The obstacles on the quest of our lives, finding our identities, learning who we are, cannot simply be overcome by one person. We are finding the differences in the world between the good, the bad, and the ugly, and realizing that they often all three come together. We are finding the hardships of life can only be overcome when we are there for one another. Our oath in leaving high school, in leaving this year, is to always look forward, but to never forget who we were, and that we will be heroes for as long as we can deliver a roundhouse kick to the face of our fears.”

Praying for people in OKC, for those babies who’ve lost their lives and their families who have a world of heartbreak ahead. 


**Photo by Hope Alvarez, copy by Emma White. 



My next villain is going to be a weatherman. I swear!
Day before they were all freakin’ out. Keep your eyes to the sky. Don’t go anywhere without your weather radios on. Major tornado outbreak expected.
Now I’ve grown up around this stuff and I’ve never heard them act like this except ONE time, and that time a tornado ten miles wide nearly wiped out the south side of our town. They still use footage of it to compare to the massive Moore, OK tornado from a few years ago.
Anyway, so we kept the TV on the WeatherChannel. No biggee. DH watches the WeatherChannel like I watch Desperate Housewives. He even has his favorite weathercasters. Right now he likes Jennifer Lopez. I’m not sure if it’s because of her name or the fact that she just might be the only woman on the Weather Channel NOT pregnant. (I don’t know what they put in their water. And yes, I know, Mom, the water doesn’t do it! Hel-lo I’m a romance writer for Pete’s sake.)
So we keep the Weather Channel on and NOTHING happens except it gets hotter than heck out side. Heat Index hit 110. Not fun.
So then yesterday hits and all the weathermen are breathing a huge sigh of relief, no chance for rain. Clear skies, hot temperatures. We dodged the big bullet.
Will someone please explain to me WHY I ended up driving through huge hail, massive winds, horrible rain, and a wall cloud with cloud to ground lightning to get supper to my parents house 15 minutes away? When I left the house there was nothing out there and no one expected anything either.

Rockin’ and Rollin’

Wichita Falls is best known for the massive tornado we had in 1979. Every spring since I’ve been here, severe storms have been a part of my April and May. It didn’t even thunder this year until a couple weeks ago. We had hail, baseball sized hail, with no thunderstorm.
That changed today.
Today, when we got ready for church, we got to watch massive amazing storms build. By the time church was out the tornadoes were going strong. The TV weatherpeople were going crazy. They love these days. They live for these moments.
The sirens were sounding about two miles from my house and dh decides we need to go home. We were at my MIL’s. Her house is nice and safe and across town from the sirens.
I told him forget it.
Then the rain stopped.
And there on the radar we saw a teensy speck of clear weather.
I agreed to get in the car and make the short trip home,
We made it, but that was CRAZY.
It’s nasty weather outside. Power sparks flying off electric lines, funnels hanging all over the place, wind blowing hard enough to bend huge trees to the ground.
And I was in the car because it wasn’t raining! UGH!
Saving the new shoes (I bought awesome shoes today) wasn’t worth it.
I don’t know why I relented.
This man, the man I love with all my heart, hears sirens and if it’s not raining goes to the corner with all the other guys in the neighborhood and watches guessing on when the storm might get here. I go to the closet with a flashlight, a bottle of water and a good book. If it’s late, I take my pillow.
I don’t understand him. UGH.

Tonight’s service was about respecting our bodies and the calories in our favorite fast foods. A large cherry limeaid has almost 500 calories. 500. UGH! An awesome blossom has over 2000 calories. WHAT? Needless to say when church was over we were ravenous, so we went out to El Chico’s. The preacher didn’t say anything about Mexican food. To top it off we had dessert. In honor of the message we had apple skillet.
Apple crisp carmalized with cinnamon icecream on top. It was wonderful. I think there might have been three slices of apple in it.
Needless to say I have no idea how many Points I ate tonight. I’m sure it’s not pretty.
But it’s not as ugly as it would have been if we’d have been caught out in a tornado. UGH!