…And Other Tornado Related Happenings

February 7, 2008 at 10:55 pm 3 comments

Oh, the black dark of night.  No night lights.  No hall lights.  No outside lights, no moon light.  Nothing.  I mean DARK, black, inky night.  Ya’ll.  I’m not going to lie to you:  it was dark.

That is, after the sirens died down. 

The sirens were very bright, and very loud and there were a great many of them.  Especially with no other traffic or lights whatsoever.  Freakily loud.   

The light of a flashlight.  Oh!  Turn it off!  What is it with people who have those who want to point at things, like my face, as they talk?   Why do you keep shining that in my eyes to talk to me.  Put.  It.  Down!  Off with the light!

No light from the little light on the ice maker.  No light under the counter.  How does a woman COOK like that?  NO light. I was cooking by 3PM to have enough daylight to not burn things ’cause by 4, it’s getting dark.  Crazy.  Adjusting my day like that.  Very weird.

I was trying to get myself ready for bed Tuesday night, still listening to the NOA radio going off every 5 minutes for the next storm to see if we’d blow away or not.  My eyes were killing me.  Take out my contacts?  Put them in?  Take them out?  Leave them in?  I was worried out of my head and not going to sleep, there’s this whole internal debate:  if I take out my contacts, I can’t see ANYTHING…not even the inky black of blackness.  If I leave them in, my eyes are KILLING me.  If I take them out, I might rest.  If I leave them in, I might live.  If I take them out, I might die.  My eyes hurt too much too sleep.  I’m going to either feel like death, or die.  

Then, there is the eye glass debate:  what if there is another tornado, I can’t find my glasses, I’m struggling to either see where I’m going, or go run madly to my children whom I love?  What do I do?  Glasses.  Kids.  Glasses.  Kids.  I’m exhausted.  I’m falling asleep from the agony of it all, and then, the NOA radio goes off again…and I can’t find my glasses for the life of me D-A-R-K. 

In that moment, I decided to have eye surgery.   You know, in between life threatening storms.  Cause there is no better place than to decide on surgery to your eyeballs than in the middle of life threatening storms.  I should probably do my taxes and work on my will, too, but I can only multitask so much in the dark–give a half blind girl some credit.

The Hubs has been mulling it with me and he’s pressing the issue.   I think I’m ready.  I was going to pull him along with me, but after his eye exam yesterday, it seems he has some other surgical eye needs that are not conducive to a two for one speical.  I was sort of hoping we’d endure it together.  But, Jenny D. was telling me her eye story Superbowl night, and I’m getting excited about the idea of someone surgically tearing apart my eyeball.  It’s starting to sound better than being half blind.  I’m like -6.5 in each eye or something.  That has corrected at times down to -5.5, but not I’m getting astigmatism as well and it’s all getting complicated. 

noa-radio.jpgAfter I got the eye surgery settled, I was clearly too tired to stay awake. 

The next time NOA alarm went off, I just hit it back and went back to sleep.  No worries.  I’m going to be able to see.  I think it was just a thunderstorm warning by that point.  

If you don’t have a NOA radio, get one.  Battery back-up.   I forgot to put that on my other list.  That is a MUST.  That saved lives.  Mine is a Midland brand.   I had no alert besides that thing and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Next time, I’ll unplug that baby and take it to the basement with me!  It will alarm if a new warning is issued.  (Go Mom:   Mom got all of us one for Christmas last year).

The other thing I forgot to put on my “no power” list is, well, more of a luxury item.  But, I’d say it totally made our day Wednesday.  I was sitting there on the couch with my Mom, and we were all in our jammies.  I’d had to wash my hair, which left it with no “tools” for styling.  I was bummed about this idea very much.  Being stuck at home with no heat and no refrigerator is one thing.  But, my friends, bad hair is quite another. 

I was sitting there, and a smile came to my face.  I said, “Mom!  You are never going to guess what I found day before yesterday cleaning out the linen closet!”  She smiled back and said, “Well, what is it then?”  I said, “Just wait.”

I went to the closet, and there it was:  

butane-curling-iron.jpgA butane powered curling iron from my GA camp days WITH a spare butane cartridge, ready to curl my locks!  I pulled that baby out and said, “You know what this is?  (You really couldn’t tell with the end on it.)

“She said, “What is THAT?”  I fired that baby up and she said, “Well!  Oh my!  You are kidding!”


We started giggling like two school girls.  She said, “My goodness, I can’t believe you still have that thing!  That’s like a collector’s item!  You need to put that on your blog!  Can you still get cartridges?” 

“I don’t know, but I have one for today!”  

Now…this one shown is a cool pink.  Mine, unfortunately is not.  It is a stale-ivory.  But, oh, my!  Did it work?!  Yes, it did!

My daughter said, “Does it curl?”

But, then I got done and she said, “Um, mom.  You look like Betty Boop!” 

I guess it curled.

I thought I’d better go to the bathroom and open some curtains.  She was right.

It took a little relaxing of the curls and some hairspray.  But, we went from limp to prepared for whatever the day might bring in five minutes.  I called The Mom back and she started beautifying herself, too!  

My Aunt and Uncle from Wyoming had slipped in the back door.  “You all alright in here?” 

–“Oh yeah!  Come on back!  We’re just curling our hair!” 

There was my uncle, jaw dropped, and my aunt, gasping in wonder and awe at us girls in the bathroom. 

My aunt…she was totally amazed and couldn’t believe it.  A butane curling iron!!!

So, yeah, we’d been geting a zillion calls from family all morning about generators, and those thoughts were much appreciated.  But I’ll tell you, that day, it was one butane curling iron that made all the difference.  My mom thought I was excessive when I asked for that thing 20 years ago.  But, today, she was totally in awe of my resourcefulness.  That’s just how it works, peoples.

Thank ya Lord for leading me to clean out that linen closet Monday!  I’ll say it again, sometimes, it’s the little things that matter most in a moment of crisis!

Entry filed under: Everyday. Tags: .

Damage from the tornado…(photos) Tornados, Kid’s Reactions, Local Stories

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. mea  |  February 7, 2008 at 11:23 pm

    I still have one of those curling irons in a vanity drawer at my mom’s house. I hadn’t thought about it in years. It used to be the only way to get an instantly hot curling iron. Glad you had one to save your day!

  • 2. Dori  |  February 8, 2008 at 6:41 am


    You are a woman after my own heart!!

    But I never had the privilege of owning one. Oh, I wanted one bad…..BAD, I tell you! I remember thinking, “On those mornings when I am running late for 1st period (high school), I can curl my hair on the way to school…..huh?!? Like I would dare sit on the back seat of the Bus #354 and curl my hair…all the while Charlie and Scott would be watching….

    But we girls had dreams….

    Ah yes, the butane curling iron!!!

    Thanks for the memory!!!


  • 3. Misty  |  February 8, 2008 at 9:43 am

    I didn’t even know those things existed, but how cool is that! I’m glad you didn’t have to live with nappy hair. I have had nappy hair for 2 days, but the power’s on now, hubby will be home tonight, and the kids are away–I’m going to fix myself up nice and go out with him on a real date 🙂 If he gets back at a good hour, that is…

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