Work That Wit!

Work that wit!
Turning ordinary experiences into an entertaining read.

      Oklahoma should come with a warning label, Wind, Earthquakes, Tornados!  Though it sounds like hell (or at least the plagues of Moses) I did enjoy living there.
Now, when I say Tornados,  I’m talking about looking straight down the barrel of Tornado alley. There’s a Tornado season, in fact, Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter and Tornado.
One particular  stormy night, watching the storm trackers racing all over the Oklahoma city area (including down my block) as tornados touched down in every direction.
Local Facebook friends including Vicki, kept calling for updates from friends to make sure we were all still ok and urging us into cellars.

Our son, Jimmy,  was on his way  from Texas with his wife and the baby but thankfully had been delayed. We were riveted, not only for our own safety but also for our son Cody, in Kansas. The line of storms hitting us stretched all the way to him.
We’d  stalled the horses and  prayed, charged the phones, set out candles and waited. Then, the sirens went off as one touched down within a couple miles and was heading straight for us. My husband yelled for me to get to the shelter. I didn’t want to go! Our mini schnauzer would be fine in my arms but I feared we’d never get our great dane, Gus, down into the shelter and I couldn’t bare to leave him behind!

My Husband leashed him and lead the way. Throwing open the door. We were aghast! Our  yard between the house and shelter had become a running stream so deep you couldn’t  see the brick path! Hail beat down in a pour and there I was in my pj’s and slippers.  We ran for it!  Reaching the shelter, my husband struggled to open the door, held fast by wind and water. Prying it free, he leapt inside, landing in standing water. He pulled Gus’s leash as I, with little Bella in my arms, thrust my shoulder into his rear and shoved! At last we got him down the steps and I followed.

We stood there, shivering in the darkness and deep water as an unholy din raged outside. The moments seemed like hours but finally the sirens faded and we emerged into the storm again, wading to the house. My husband rushed to call our sons as I checked the news. Residents of our small town were being instructed to stay inside. The Tiger Safari, a couple miles away had taken a direct hit and the animals were loose and frightened.
The experience, while harrowing, with a little hindsight and wit…transforms into fanciful fun.

It was a crazy night in OZ! The sky dark and menacing…full of light and thunder like a pounding fist, opened and drove it’s swirling fingers, slamming into the ground! 

The Tiger Safari took a direct hit sending LIONS, Tigars and BEARS ( Oh My!) Running in a panic, when suddenly Vicki came FLYING by on her treadmill, yelling ” Get in the shelter, Laura, AND YOUR LITTLE DOG TOO!” Cackling with laughter as she flew away.

“Let’s go!” Clay yelled from the doorway as we ran for it through the pour of hail. Clay whipped open the door, leaping into the flooded pit when Gus threw on the brakes, legs stiff as a TIN MAN! Clay tugged and I, with my little SCARED CROW, Bella in arm, pushed from behind.

Once inside, standing in  deep water and wishing I hadn’t worn my SLIPPERS, stood silently, listening to such riotous calamity you’d have thought we were surrounded by FLYING MONKEYS! I thought to myself how glad I was that our son Jimmy hadn’t made it to town with the MUNCHKINS, Lisa and Phi Phi.

Once the tornado had passed, we threw open the door and dashed through a running stream where the BRICK ROAD once was that led to the dark house and I shouted through the din “Honey, call Cody and make sure he’s ok in KANSAS!”

©Laura M. Bailey, All the shoes I wear & writing down the Bones, 1990–Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Laura M. Bailey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


    • That one is an easier one to write. The same year our area made the cover of Time. I was with Clay at the hospital. He’d just gotten out of back surgery. Our youngest son and his best friend were caring for the ranch when that one hit. I couldn’t get the boys on the phone and I was frantic, praying they’d gone into the shelter. My Hubs was a federal officer and his team had to go to Moore to pull the bodies of the children from the elementary school it’s hit. Our boys and ranch were fine though incredibly it touched down less than a mile and tore a diagonal path threw Newcastle into Moore. It went directly through the huge horse barn of a ranch I drove past everyday. Moore Oklahoma looked like a bomb had been dropped in the middle of it. A friend, days later discovered her brothers body in the shattered ruins of her mother’s home. Bob Moore ( yes the car dealer) also had huge horse operation, was crying on TV . The vision of 150 dead horses on the ground, in the mud….It was a horror. A lady not far from my house, retreated to her shelter built into the garage but the intense flooding covered the shelter door where she couldn’t get it open as it began filling with water and drowned there.
      This one a much more difficult story to tell.


      • Thank God your family survived! It would have been terrible to have that happen while you were apart from your kids

        There’s no humour to be found in that tragedy but maybe reasons to be thankful.

        Apparently here in my home state we have more tornados than Oklahoma!… but ours are all small and rarely do more than rip off a tin roof or blow a trampoline down a suburban street! Bushfires and floods however we more than hold our own. 😦

        My state is twice the size of Texas. My little piece of Paradise is in a very very safe part though as far as natural and man-made disasters are concerned.

        I’m a lucky man. 🙂 Wit less, but lucky!! 🙂


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