We should’ve arrived around 9:30…it was closer to 11 p.m. when we stretched out of the Hyundai to dry pavement. The last few hours of our drive to Indy had been stormy, treacherous and tornado-filled.
I’ve never had to literally ride out a tornado warning that was upgraded to the weather-news acronym du jour: a PDS, Potentially Dangerous Situation. Funnel cloud sightings were reported all around us, tornado warnings surrounding Indianapolis until 2 a.m., with one touch down already impacting an area south of Bloomington in Bedford. We stopped once, just outside of Dayton, Ohio, and took shelter under a gas station awning. I was shaking, the black sky we were driving into on I-70 redolent of the storm-laden nightmares, real and imagined, of my childhood.
This video is after we made a break for it after our second hunkering-down during the worst of the storm, this time at a Shell station with Dave, the nicest gas station clerk ever — fav quote when I asked him if anyone would be calling him to let him know if we should take shelter in the bathrooms: “Well, if it’s our time to go, what can ya do? Just make peace with it.”
Nickel-size hail dropped twice during that stop, but not the tennis ball size that fell elsewhere. P was more concerned with the hail damaging the car than our own physical well-being. He is, after all, from the Pacific Northwest, not the tornadic tummy of the Midwest. I think he gets it now.
Holy moly. And, so, this morning, I’m luxuriating with having coffee in my jammies, bagels with tofu and lox spread and even though the skies are dark and damp looking, the maintenance guys already are at work in my uncle’s backyard, weed whacking and gettin’ ready to mow.
What a difference a day makes. I can’t stop thinking about the devastation in Joplin, MO and my heart goes out to all of those impacted there by those deadly storms. But I’m glad we don’t have to live by this code in NYC and happy that Indy is all safe + sound…for now.