When I was about 9 years old, we were living in Kansas on a little farm. We had some livestock and corn farm that we used to produce enough to support our family.
That Autumn, Dad was having a feeling of success from producing his largest crop of corn yet and was looking to celebrate. He invited many of his closest friends and family members over for a barbecue on a Friday night. Some of the family members cautioned him that there was a tornado likely to be coming through the area that day and perhaps he should reschedule just in case. Well, my Dad being kind of a knucklehead said that was “hogwash,” and to come by anyway. Now, Dad had only been living in Kansas for 3 years, so he wasn’t quite used to having to worry about a tornado really wrecking a weekend because it was something he was not familiar with. Oh, if he only knew.
Dad had the whole property set up for everyone to enjoy the day. Murmurs were among the group of people there that there was a likelihood of the tornado coming about today. The hot and cool wind are looking to collide near the city we lived in, and many were saying they were prepared to leave at a moments notice. Now, I don’t really remember the situation at all, other than the terror of it.
In the middle of the party, it was the first time my Dad and I have ever heard the sound of the tornado warning siren going off. Everyone immediately stopped what they were doing and scurried to their car to get out of the area. My Dad, being the skeptic he is said it should be no big deal and told me to hang tight with him until we decide what to do.
About an hour passed, and nobody was at the party any longer, they’ve all began to drive far away from where the tornado would be taking its path. It was at this point that I started to ask my Dad if we could leave, just in case. If he knew I was scared, he would protect me, so, he said for me to grab my coat and hop in the truck. About 3 minutes later, we were in the truck headed away when I see my dad looking in the rear view mirror as he was beginning to drive down our driveway to the streets.
I asked, “Dad, you okay?”
“I’m glad you asked me to leave, look behind us.”
I turned around, and I see this roaring behemoth of a tornado headed straight for our property! I’ve never seen so much of a monster in my life since!
Dad and I ended up a few cities over just in case for the night until we returned the following day to see the damages caused. The tornado had ripped up the fencing on our property and tore my room from the house. There was debris everywhere on the property, but there was relief from us both knowing we had made the right decision leaving. Luckily, my dad had already purchased tornado insurance a year prior and we were covered for more than we even thought worth.
From that day on, Dad and I moved out of the heart of tornado alley knowing the danger that was present. But, tornado watching became a hobby, and that’s what this blog will be about on future posts.