Weather Warnings and Winnings

Tornado sirens screeched warnings at 5:15 this morning, waking me up after a fitful night of thunderstorms.  Lightening flashed through pale colored window sheers while crashes of thunder clapped loud enough to raise a roof.  Yes, spring is here in St. Louis.

The blaring sounds of sirens are nothing I take for granted.  Grabbing the dog from under my bed, I sprinted down beige carpeted stairs to a basement of safety.  There, I watched our local weather channel to see the pattern of storms while listening to a reporter tell me what was coming next.

On New Year’s Eve in 2010, my son was working at a tuxedo shop where he measured professional baseball players and other important men in colors of black, white and navy.  It was a temporary job that he took between graduation and starting his career with the national weather service.  He worked alone that day, except for his trusty service dog named, Nimbus.   No customers were in the shop that afternoon.  A storm was on its way.

Suddenly, God turned out the lights while sheets of rain began to fall, pouring buckets of water down a single spout.  Winds whipped through trees like cans of aerosol cream, freshly pressed.  Thunder played a new set of drums while electric lightning flashed zig-zag patterns against an inkwell sky.

Suddenly sirens screeched warning signs of a tornado.  “Get to the basement,” they said. Flying down to our lower level, my husband and I watched in ‘real time’ the pattern of the storm.  Our son had taught us enough to know what a tornado “cell” looked like.  There, we followed its path as it meandered closer and closer towards a little tuxedo shop on the other side of town.

With a breathy voice my husband used his cell phone to call our son.  “Jay, the tornado is coming right for you.  Get your food, your diabetes supplies and Nimbus.  Get under the desk, NOW.  Do not wait.”  Our son did not ask questions.  He saw the blackened sky.  He trusted us.

Within minutes a historic, EF4 tornado with winds of over 166 miles per hour hit several different locations in St. Louis, including the area surrounding my son’s place of employment.  Afterwards, total devastation was left all around him.  Climbing through the rubble, he called, telling me it was over.  “It looks like a war zone, Mom.  I can’t even drive my car.”  His voice cracked with emotion.  While speaking, he looked directly across the street.  The violence of the tornado had flattened everything within its path.  With a roll of the dice, God had spared my son by placing him on the opposite side of the street that day.                                                                                                  




18 thoughts on “Weather Warnings and Winnings

  1. Oh, wow! That’s scary! Look at the devastation! God really did watch over your son and praise Him for that. At least he is safe. I never experienced tornado and I’m not looking forward to experience it personally. It’s frightening. I’m just glad that you are all okay. 🙂


    • Fact of life here in Missouri. So ironic, because he soon went to work for the National Weather Service. Scary at the time, though. Thanks for reading, Anna.


      • Yes, Anna. We’ve been in the basement with sirens going off all night. I may move to the desert!! Wishing you a good weekend. I may be sleeping tomorrow, ha, ha!


      • Wow! Good for you, Kim. We all need a good night sleep from time to time, especially when you were up all night last night. What a night!
        Well, I believe it doesn’t matter where we are. We always have to deal with something scary. But we can rest knowing that God will always protect us wherever we are. And He did it to your son. Praise Him. Be blessed, Kim. 🙂


  2. I really enjoyed this. I felt I was there with you. You have quite a gift. Hope all is well with you now. The weather is very strange at the moment. On the east coast of England where I live – which is known for its clear skies and clean air – we are enveloped in a pollution haze – smog you would call it. It’s a mixture of Saharan sand and continental pollution. It’s been here for three days and it’s beginning to make us feel ill: sore throats, runny eyes and noses, and a general feeling of malaise. I don’t like it one bit. It’s slightly scary… 😦


    • Thank you very much for your compliment in reading my words, Rachael. The highest gift one could recieve! Very much appreciated. My daughter-in-law is almost finished with her PhD in Climatology. Together with my son, both are true believers in Global Warming. They have seen the science behind it. I can’t argue with what has been going on in our weather world of late. Your last few words are yet another example of such. Sirens were going off here again several times due to tornadoes. Too early to see where they hit or what the damage is. Very scary for everyone, everywhere. Thank you again, Rachel, for being here.


  3. I am so thankful for you and your family that your son was not harmed. My sister just moved to “tornado alley” and experienced her first storm in the first week she was there! She said it was frightening even without a tornado! Many blessings to you and your family….Blessitude


  4. I grew up in rural Illinois, in a farming community that averaged about 40 tornado alerts each year. Living there, one learned gratitude, and to take care when storms threatened. One also learned to depend on neighbors, friends, and family when violent storms came. It was a good learning.


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