As some of you may have already seen on Erin and Tara's blogs (go check out their stories of this episode if you haven't yet), we had a very scary experience in our little corner of our bay last night. That scary experience came in the form of a funnel cloud.
It all started around 10:00pm. The sky was really dark and there was quite the lightning show, accompanied by some thunder for good measure. I was a bit nervous by how the sky looked; but that's nothing new...I am not a fan of storms. I enjoy light rain and some distant rolling thunder, but that's about it. So it's not uncommon for me to be paranoid by how the sky looks and to be nervous about a lot of lightning and thunder. But something about the sky just seemed different.
Shortly before 10:30pm we realized what was so different about the sky. It had been quite windy (which isn't really anything new since we have no trees or shelter of any kind in our development), and then suddenly everything went quiet. The calm before the storm. Then all of a sudden we heard this very weird noise; Les explains it as the sound of a freight train. And that translates into a tornado (or a form of one anyway). We were still watching TV in the living room, but after hearing that sound, we both jumped off the couch and were wondering what the heck was going on. The wind was so strong, the house was shaking. Les ran to the back of the house to look out the window. And just like that, it was over.
Les ran outside to the garage (a bit too soon, in my terrified opinion!) and said afterwards that there was the weirdest pressure in there. Plus, he could also feel the wind blowing from inside the garage. Which pretty much means that it was still swirling around a bit, and was blowing into the garage and then swirling back out again. He went out to nail some of his metal trim back on and pretty soon all the neighbors were out and about. Chris & Tara's trampoline had blown away and hit the garage two doors down from them; our neighbors on the other side of us also had their trampoline blown away, but in the other direction (which shows just how many different directions were swirling around out there). Also, one of their trampoline legs went through their neighbor's basement window. And Joelle's playhouse flew halfway down the street. And it was on our driveway in between ours and Erin's vehicles and the garages. So the only way it got onto the street was that it was picked up and flown right over our vehicles, since it hadn't touched our cars. How weird to see a kid's playhouse flying through the air. We didn't see it, but some neighbors down the street brought it back to us (who had been sitting on their deck, noticing that the wind kept changing directions...).
Les helped gather up Chris & Tara's trampoline top (I think they're still missing some of the legs) while I went back inside. As soon as I got back inside I called my parents to let them know what was happening and to ask them, through my tears, if they could pray for us. I had no idea if the worst was done, or if there was more to come. But I was a bit of a wreck when I got back inside.
We did end up bringing the girls to the basement for awhile, and Joelle even ended up falling asleep down there. But once things had blown over we decided everybody would sleep better in their own beds. So we disturbed them once again to re-tuck them in. Thankfully they had no idea what was going on (although once we woke Joelle up, she was quite concerned about the lightning), but I still had to sing songs and rub Joelle's head until she fell asleep.
Once they were settled for the final time for the night, Les and I needed our own time to unwind and relax before heading to bed after midnight. The thought that kept running through my head was: "I didn't even have time to go and get my kids." My poor innocent girls sleeping on the top floor of our two-storey house who had no idea of what had transpired. I just couldn't get over the fact that if it had been any closer...(I shudder at the thought)...the result could've been so much different (apparantly it did touch down farther away from our place and ripped out one tree by its roots and did damage to other trees, and who knows what else). There was just no warning; no time to prepare. Since it was over so fast, there was just no way I could've ran all the way upstairs and then back down two flights of stairs to get to the basement. I didn't have time to protect my girls...I didn't have time to protect my girls.
But at least I knew Someone was watching out for us...God, our protector!