I had to move.
There was no doubt about it. Living in Memphis had it's ups and downs, but when it came to the weather, I had to move. It just wasn't the cold, or the damp, or the humid sticky summers that got to me........
It was the Spring, and the tornadoes that came with it.
Yeah, Memphis isn't really up there on the list of places that get hit often by cyclones. The most recent hit was back around April 25th this year. But where as we in Florida have hurricane classes, and safety booklets, up there there were tornado drills, pamphlets handed out in class, and charts that you could block out your house on and mark the places that were most structurally sound to take cover in. The kids even had a homework assignment where they had to write down the family "tornado" plan. It was a part of life, one I was just not comfortable with. I was a Florida girl. Memphis was as far North as I had ever lived! I was used to hurricane supplies, not tornado supplies, (although they looked similar, just more first aid supplies.). You can run from a hurricane. You can escape from a hurricane. Tornadoes just sweep you up and it's "put your head between your legs and kiss your ass good-bye".
We were always pro-active in the planning department when it came to tornadoes. When you have kids, especially ones with a chronic disease, it just comes as second nature. Lucky for us, HHH was always the maintenance man where we were living, so he had keys to pool houses and pump houses that were ALWAYS built better than the apartments we were living in. Pipes that went way underground and were very sturdy. Our plan was to run down there and hang on. If a tornado came in the night, we had plans to meet up at a designated point. It was all mapped out. I watched the weather with a passion. If there was a watch or warning, I kept up with it.
I couldn't take it anymore. One evening, a huge storm was bearing down on us. The warnings were imminent. "Take cover!", all the TV weathermen said. I had all the kids and HHH in the bedroom watching the TV and waiting for the inevitable when we would run for cover. It skipped us that night, but hit a suburb not too far from our house. The neighborhood was in shambles. There were apartments built in the same fashion as the ones we lived in that were just destroyed. I had a strange satisfaction in the back of my mind, a small voice that said, "Well, it was a good choice to have the family shelter in the pool house, we'd have gotten blown away if we'd stayed in the apartment.". Then, I started crying. HHH didn't understand why I was crying, I tried to explain, I wasn't crying because I was upset, I was crying because I was relieved. It wasn't us. Not this time.
My decision was made. We moved that next spring. Before the storms came.
Now a blogger friend is having to go and help pick up the pieces of her family's home and town. Miss Britt's ( http://miss-britt.com/ ) home town was wiped off the map in one of the tornadoes that have struck the mid west. Parkersburg, Iowa. They showed it on GMA this morning. I weep for her. I want to help. I am unbelievably poor right now. I CAN do one thing right now, though.... I can get the word out. I may only get a piddly 80 to 100 hits a day, but if those 80 to 100 people tell at least 20 other people, and so on and so forth....well you get the picture. so here we go people.
Please, if you can, go and make a donation.
We can come together as one big blogger nation and fix this. Make it better.
UPDATE: Here is a story from our local news down here with updated info on Iowa and the tornadoes in Parkersburg.