This may be a serious entry, but please laugh when you can.  It makes it bearable.

Last night we got hit…again. 

I grew up in Knoxville.  Now, that means that we had a basement.  Just about everyone did I suppose.  So when it got bad, we just went downstairs.  And it never got bad.  I never took tornadoes seriously, for whatever reason, until I moved here.  When we first moved here, we had no idea what we were doing.  We didn’t realize that moving west, actually meant moving 1/2 mile up in elevation, and therefore meant real winters and real storms.  The first thing I wanted was a root cellar.  This could also be used as a storm refuge.  Nope.  Bedrock is two feet below the surface.  No one has basements here.

So…we make do with other root cellar options and try to find places to hide when storms are coming.  But after a while, I’ve had enough.

Yesterday morning we were given a tornado watch that would end at noon.  I have yet to figure that one out.  Then they extend it to 2pm, then 4, them 8, then 2:15AM.  It’s really ridiculous to where you don’t take them seriously anymore.  But yesterday’s storm became a problem.  It changed as time went on.  A twister landed south of Cookeville.  (Now-go mapquest this to truly understand) and north of Sparta where I believed it killed at least one.  It stayed on the ground through Monterrey.  Monterrey is the town we drive through in order to get to Cookeville.  It was like it was making a straight line for us.

We had already been in the bathroom earlier from a storm that hit just a few miles north of us.  We were fine, but we did hear a loud noise that we never figured out what was.  So, with Kindle in hand, we go in the bathroom under a foam mattress and watch the radar.  I had already been messaging others to get the scoop and let people know what we did.  Just as it got near, the power went out, and our kindle was useless.  We crawled in the tub where prayers and tears flowed freely.  It never came.  We waited, and waited.  Finally, I tried calling to ask where the storm was on radar. 

I had to put the phone on speakerphone and raise it up from under the mattress and call about 10 times to get through.  The lines were jammed, or we lost a tower.  Not a good sign.  I finally get through to my aunt and father where I spend 15 minutes trying to get 2 seniors to figure out a radar so I know whether it’s safe to come out and get blood in my legs again.  Not to mention that three people and a dog cramped in a tub is not a pleasant smelling experience either…especially when the dog starts to pant….

We get an all clear and call people we know to live where it hit.  When we felt safe, we started lighting candles and got a tractor battery from the shed.  Arlis hooked up a converter and we had emergency lighting if necessary.  (If I’m not mistaken, my dad taught him this trick-so kudos to him!)  We tried using an old oil lamp.  My dad kept telling me how dangerous they were, and since everything was always dangerous, I didn’t worry too much about it.  I should have.  As much as I romanticize about the past, the lamp is going away.  Turn the wick up to where you can see it, and it sputters, flames large, and smokes strongly.  Turn it down to a safe flame level, and the sparks fall into the oil.  We blew it out, there was a spark in the oil.  We put it on the soaking wet front porch a while.  Another experiment that almost went terribly, terribly, wrong.

We got out in the truck and went for a drive.  Everyone was without power, no damage that we could tell.  So, we went to bed before 8PM.  Around 10 or 11, a friend calls to tell us another is coming.  I can’t express the pleasure I felt.  We still have no power, so I can’t look at the radar.  We listen to the radio and it turned out to be nothing.  By now, we had already learned of deaths VERY close by, and felt the impact of it.  Another prayer was said.  We always pray His will to be done, that if it’s time it’s time.  But we do pray for it to be swift.  No lingering deaths please, by all means.  About to go back to sleep, Arlis jumps out to answer the phone close to midnight “The national weather service has issued a tornado warning for your area…”  Completely useless…again.

This morning, we do our usual checking to see if any of our bulbous cows have exploded with a calf yet…nope

 Somehow the greenhouse made it in one piece and lots of lettuce has arrived!

 My fig tree is very happy with over a foot of growth so far this year!

 One pea pops up

 And the beets have become a little more daring.

 My flower garden is unappreciated at the moment.

 And the ones earlier mutilated by chickens (it’s chicken run season already) has grown healthily.

Another wave to hit tomorrow.  We have tentative plans to be in the Walmart at Crossville, or to have my family with me at the Playhouse since it’s in the ground somewhat.  We are also currently making plans to place a shelter in the ground.  This will be costly and difficult, but I’ll post shelter updates when the time comes.

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