Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Report from Southeast Memphis

Yesterday I got a call (on Kristy's cell phone!) during lunch informing me I had until 1:30 to pick up my kids, because schools were closing due to the chance of some bad weather. A quick look at the radar showed storms that hadn't even reached Little Rock yet, so like a good Memphian I shook my head in amazement and went to collect my kids. We had a lovely afternoon off- I voted while the kids visited with Grammy, Connor and I played basketball while Chloe played in a puddle of water, we made Valentine's cards for the grandparents, and we danced along to Lazytown.

Sadly, things took a turn when the tornado sirens started going off and I was forced to turn the TV away from Diego and over to Dave Brown. Fortunately my insistence that we sit in the closet distracted them from their anger over missing the end of their show. Chip came home not long after, and we sat in the middle of the house, away from outside walls, and listened to the weather reports. Tornadoes, hail, and damaging winds were all around us- Southaven, the Hickory Ridge Mall area, Nonconnah at Winchester- but our neighborhood managed to make it through unscathed.

We were able to have a normal dinner and bedtime with the kids before turning our attention to the mall. The Hickory Ridge Sears was missing a wall! We weren't going to let that opportunity pass us by. Once sure the kids were asleep, we got in the car and headed over for some looting and shooting. Chip kept the car running while I dodged bullets and grabbed a new dishwasher and a nice pair of slacks. We got back home before the kids even knew we were gone.

Another line of storms came through around 10:00, so we held our breath for another half hour until we were sure it had passed and we felt comfortable drifting off. Connor woke us up later in the night, needing help recovering from the nightmares I knew he'd end up having after an afternoon spent listening to sirens from inside a closet. Hopefully he wasn't too traumatized, because living in Memphis means that every spring we have to deal with the threat of tornadoes. But he'll probably end up like me, just as scared of them at age 34 as I was at age four.


Unknown said...

Always showing off the parenting skills with the kids sitting safely in the middle of the house. The Quartet spent the evening with their faces pressed against the windows, watching our front yard flood.

Too bad about Dora, but I suppose it's always better to err on the side of caution.

Stacey Greenberg said...

lol you are first i was thinking chip wanted to take pictures, but yes, it makes much more sense to steal appliances!

Phillip said...

When I was a kid, every time the wind picked up and the clouds turned gray I was CONVINCED that we were all about to meet our maker at the hands of the fiercest tornado this side of the rainbow.

One evening I was in full freak-out mode. My dad, in a move that I can only assume was passed down to him like his fathers before him, brought me outside, sat me in my swingset, and told me to sit there. Through the whole storm.

I sat there, petrified, glaring at the clouds, just waiting to see a funnel cloud. It rained. A lot. I was soaked. But no tornado.

When it was over, dad came outside and got me, helped me change clothes, and let me watch the weatherman on tv a little. He never really said anything else about it.

And here's the part where you'd expect me to say I was never afraid of a tornado again. But sorry, tornadoes still scare the bejesus out of me. I was still scared; I just made damn sure never to voice my concerns to dad anymore.

I tell that story now mostly because I figure the statute of limitations has passed for whatever child abuse laws dad violated in TN (though he's still on the hook for all that crystal meth and gun-running). That and because you all will understand more when I let him rot in whatever old folks home he inevitably ends up in.

Your time will come old man; oh yes, your time will come.

Anonymous said...


Phillip said...

Well I thought it was funny...

"How do I tell them that due to the unfreezing process..."