Monday, March 7, 2011

Once upon a thunderstorm

Whenever people find out that we are not from the US, one of the first questions is;

“How’s the weather over in the Netherlands” or “what is the difference between the weather here in Indiana and the weather in Holland?”

My answer is pretty much always the same. “It is a bit warmer in the winter and a bit cooler in the summer”, “ours (as in ours, the Dutch weather) is a bit more the same all year round, we don’t have the high’s and we don’t have the lows.

With that said, Oh my gosh, if it rains in Indiana, it RAINS. If it is warm, it is WARM (with 85% humidity) and if it is cold, it is COLD (as in my little nose hairs will freeze against the inside of my nose cold).

And thunderstorms, Yes, you kinda know what is coming;
The thunderstorms are mind blowing even without the occasional twister…


















It was 2008 and I was in full chemo mode.
To cheer me up and comfort me, my little sister came from the Netherlands and helped my hubby, mom & dad and brother driving me back and forth to the hospital and assisting me from my bed to our living room. Every Sunday I would almost feel like a human being again and this particular Sunday, because my sister was here, my mom suggested to go out to dinner. She wanted something fancy but all I cared for was a Big Mac.

I really didn’t feel like going at all, but to please my mom and because my little sister was here I agreed to go to Mc Donalds… Best thing ever, Mc Donalds, even if you do nasty chemo…

The funny thing here in the US is that if there is a thunderstorm, or big rain or anything like that coming, they usually do a really good job in letting you know. But us stubborn foreigners and not to familiar with the news broadcasting saw the news (and the HUGE storm coming our way) and decided to ignore it…

My sister even asked us if we could go, with the thunderstorm coming our way and all. But i was like, “Yeah, sure!”  I had after all set my mind on a Big Mac! Nothing could stop me fromg getting to dinner now!

We went to Mickey D’s and got myself a nice Big Mac and watched TV (because there are TV’s EVERYWHERE here) on which they kept announcing bad weather. My little sister (and yes she is 30 now, and not so little anymore, but she is my little sister) got a tiny bit more worried. She asked pretty much everybody every five seconds if it was safe to drive home and what that (meaning the tornado alarm) was on TV….? “Nothing to worry about” I told her. “American’s like to over react…”











After 5 minutes, it really doesn’t take long to eat a Big Mac, the sky turned into a real ugly green…

By that time the news lady sounded a bit panicky too…

It started lightning, and the sky turned into an even uglier green and reddish color…

The Amish buggies were flashing by Mc Donalds, probably trying to get home in time, and I felt a bit sick. Not because I eat too much (or because my stomach had shrunk to the size of a peanut during chemo, and I couldn’t possibly eat a whole Big Mac), no… I did NOT like the way the sky looked and I wanted to go HOME!

But of course I couldn’t let my sister feel whatever it was that I was feeling, I after all told her not to worry and that those crazy Americans exaggerate immensely, all the time… storms included…

My sister didn’t want to leave! By that time she was so scared she decided to stay put.

So we pretty much PUSHED her in the car, telling her we had to go home, to the farm to be exact, we had over 2000 cows we needed to look at, not to mention 7 employees, that probably were as scared as we were, trying to keep the farm running (power outage, looked more and more an issue at hand).

When we got to the first intersection I looked right, and I shouldn’t have done that …


















I saw sparks coming off of electric posts breaking and crashing to the ground. Tree tops flying by and police cars and firefighter trucks speeding to the far end of town (All the Amish buggies had disappeared by that time). This was the direction we needed to go, but my dad wisely (after seeing the look on my face) decided to drive straight South.

Limbs (no not branches, LIMBS) were flying by, leaves everywhere, hail the size of golf balls, and RAIN, so much RAIN…. We couldn’t drive fast, but my dad drove as fast as he dared to go. My little sister was ducked down in the back of the car cursing at us and screaming “that we should have listened to those weather reporters!”

I agreed…

We turned on the road leading to our dairy and the wind suddenly disappeared. We pulled into our drive and the sun was shining. No storm, or there was a storm just seconds ago, scene anywhere!
The power didn’t even blink!

The next day we found out there was indeed a tornado, touched down, merely half a mile from our Mc Donalds at pretty much the same time we left the building and it ripped up trees, posts and houses. Luckily nobody was hurt (al the SMART Americans listened to the TV or radio and went to the basement).











My little sister and I drove up to the hospital the next day, watching all the rubbish and trees and phone poles lying around and she told me, if she ever was to come back to the US and if they ever were to announce a storm, she was staying home! In the basement!

And I agreed...


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24 comments:

Furry Bottoms said...

I love that all you wanted was a Big Mac when you were in full Chemo mode. There's nothing like McD's as comfort food! :) Whenever I've got a stomach ache... one of three things might help it. 1... soda. 2... chocolate chip cookies. 3... McD french fries!

Dawn said...

Love the Once Upon a time stories...especially this one. Funny how a storm can come i an instant, and then disappear again.
I'd be in the basement too...with a Big Mac:)

Lana said...

There's nothing like a tornado to make an impression! I have been around a few, and it really does up your blood pressure. I go into total STORM mode when the warnings come on. The two worst parts/conditions for me are the cracks of thunder ( I am SO anti-loud noises) and the storms coming at night when I cannot ready the sky. That last one can keep me up all night, even though we have NOOA in our house, and it would probably wake the dead if it went off in the middle of the night.

Hang in there with this spring. There is a rumor it might be a stormy one! Sigh.......

texwisgirl said...

Oh my! Welcome to Midwest weather, dear little sis! :) Next time, hit the drive-thru and head right back home!

Those photos are gorgeous. Did you take them?

Maggie said...

I remember when that happened. Hearing your brother tell the story is even funnier.

Sharon said...

We have become somewhat complacent about the weather warnings. We have a weatherman that acts like a kid in a candy store, when we get bad weather. He gets SO excited, not panicked, but a whoopie kind of excited - it's really hard to take him to heart.

We had an F4-5 go right behind our house, golly, must be 11 years ago or more, really scared the bejeebers out of us! That was just too close, we hunkered down in an interior bathroom - man, I wished we had a basement! It's unreal the damage they can do!

Louise said...

For really violent thunderstorms, the mid-West takes the cake. I think that I would have been scared stiff. See, that's why I don't think our Winters are all that bad, compared to what people in other parts of the country get.

Leah @ Beyer Beware said...

Those Indiana storms can be just down right scary. Been there, done that. Not ever going to live without a basement.

Trisha said...

WOW! The things we do for Mcdonalds :) I agree though..the news does track storms here like crazy. And most of the time they make a big deal and nothing happends. But sometimes(like yours) they're right!! Glad you made it home ok!!

sophie...^5 said...

No tornadoes in Nova Scotia Canada...knock on wood...but we have hurricanes that decide to descend upon us and wash us clean. The worst I remember was 2003 Juan and 5 months later we had a snow storm that we dubbed White Juan because of its intensity. I am really nervous about Mother Nature after Juan and always heed the forecasters. If they are wrong that's just fine...no losing trees, window and the like. This Sophie's dad Ron...PS tks for visiting my blog recently!

Canyon Girl said...

Of all the weather, I think tornadoes would scare me the most. I would have been in total agreement with your sister. But what an adventure and how well you described it here.--Inger

Chai Chai said...

Thunder storms are OK but tornadoes are the ones that put a real scare into me.

I would love to read the story about the mouse hunt in granny pants - where is it?

Leontien said...

Hi Chai Chai I loved your cat pics! And the story about our mouse you can find:

http://fourleafcloverdairy.blogspot.com/2010/10/mouse-hunt-in-granny-pants.html

Thanks for coming over!

Ohiofarmgirl said...

hi! I came over from Chai Chai's and I'm looking for the granny pants story too.. clicking on the link.. now..

Farm Girl said...

That happened to me when my parents moved back to Oklahoma, in California we hardly have weather at all. But back there it is a different story. I hate it when the sky goes green.
I love your story about your Dairy and your family and thank you so much for sharing. Also thank you so much for visiting and leaving such nice comments.

Sandra said...

I loved your story, so did my husband. you have the honor of being the only blog i read to him. we both love a good story and you can really make us SEE what you are telling. so glad you got home safely to the farm and glad you now know to head for the basement

PippaD said...

What a great story and the images were so beautiful a nice juxtaposition.

Kaye said...

Fantastic pics! Such fleeting moments captured perfectly.

Out on the prairie said...

Storms can cause a lot of damage,I take them in stride.My dad used to make us hit the basement whenever a warning came up, he had grown up in an area called tornado alley and knew the destruction. I have stayed in some big ones while out in the field. Do you sit in the car or try to hold the tent down on the ground? I had two tents destroyed one summer.Where it is really flat in NE you can watch the storms come at you and sometimes miss completely.When I see hail I know this isn't good.

Lori Skoog said...

All of your photos are gorgeous! Great story. I had a horse (one of the owners was from the Netherlands)and they named her Marieke. Is that common over there? Her brothers name was Hollander. Our daughter had to go through chemo. Some of the food she craved after treatments, she could not stand when she was finished. Now, she avoids red meat and eats everything organic.

Marvin said...

A scary story -- and a funny one too since the event is long over and no one was injured.

tracy said...

gorgeous photos. so vibrant!

i am from michigan but i livbe in thailand. i get the same questions about weather... from both my friends back in the US and my Thai friends here (about the US).

when it comes to Thai weather, we really just have 3 seasons:
hot and dry
hotter
hot and rainy

but my Thai friends are so amazed that I lived in a place (michigan) for 30 years were it snowed potentially 5-6 months a year. and actually...after living here in Thailand for 3 years now... it kind of amazes me too ;)

bon bon said...

wow, just read the three post currently showing on your blog and received quite an introduction!

you are indeed a survivor! :oD

Terri said...

Those Indiana storms can be just down right scary. Been there, done that. Not ever going to live without a basement.