Tuesday, May 31, 2011

"An F5? What would that be like?" "The finger of God."

The tornadoes here in the middle have been really bad in the past week or two.

Last week, Heather was supposed to fly in on Wednesday to stay with me. But her flights were all canceled due to the weather. I had some things to do in the morning and so I made my last stop Wal-Mart. (It is becoming very clear to me from these blog posts that I spend way too much time at Wal-Mart).

I was there for 15-20 minutes and had gotten everything that I need, so I was headed up to the register to check out. Then an announcement came over the PA. It was completely garbled, but then I heard, "We need everyone to move to the back of the store immediately. There is a tornado warning."

I looked around for a minute. Everyone was moving pretty quickly to the back, so I figured I better join them.

I walked to the back of the store and stood there near the wall for a minute. Then a manager walked down through the crowd and said, "We need everyone to take the safety position. Please move all the carts, everyone needs to be against the back wall and in a crouch. THIS is NOT a DRILL!"

The woman next to me immediately started sobbing.

Not just quiet, worried tears. Full out sobbing.

Everyone else was commenting, "Why did I come to Wal-Mart today?" "Wal-Mart is the worst place to be." "All those people in Joplin who were at the Wal-Mart died."

Then one lady got her husband on the phone and he turned on the news and gave her a play-by-play of exactly what the news was saying, which she then relayed to us.

After about 10 minutes of that, I couldn't take it anymore. So I pulled my kindle out of my purse and opened my book.

Everyone around me thought I was connecting to the internet, so they asked me what was going on. I just said, "Nope, it's a book."

And then I became the crazy person. One lady asked, "Oh, what are you reading?"

I was reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. But instead of just saying that, and saying, yeah, it's good. I went on and on about what it was about and the amazingness of the story.

After an hour, someone came by and said there was a super dark cloud right over the parking lot, and we had to wait for that to clear.

Then after an hour and fifteen minutes, they gave us the all clear and said we were free to go. Everyone rushed for their carts and the register. I didn't know where the dark cloud had "cleared" to, so I rushed straight out the door to my car and headed straight home. The dark cloud was on my right the entire way, but my area didn't have any damage.

The whole situation was kind of freaky, and I never ever want to get stuck in a Wal-Mart ever again. But I do have to say that the Wal-Mart employees were very kind. They brought us cookies and chocolates and bottles of water. They were as hospitable as possible.

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