Follow me if you want to survive!

Crying in the basement bathroom while huddling up with my equally frightened dog and pillows, a blanket and a little mint green colored weather radio has been a frequent habit of mine during the severe weather season. Wondering why neither of my parents want to be safe from the imminent threat of a tornado has frequently been on my mind when the threat level is increased to tornado watch. No matter how much I love thunderstorms, there is something about that blinking red Hennepin county on the television that makes me want to duck for cover, holding all my meager worldly possessions.

I have always loved spring because that means the flowers are blooming and the grass is greener. It also means that it is severe weather season. I love thunderstorms, but sometimes the weather gets too intense for me, and I end up huddled in the basements with my dog watching KARE 11. Try to remember the severe weather season last spring. When I think back, I remember one particular storm that left my knees knocking in fear.

It started out as one of those perfect blue sky days, with big puffy cotton candy clouds in the sky, and I went outside to mow the lawn happily –– I still get paid ten dollars every time I mow the lawn. The front lawn went all right –– even though I looked like a total dork with the neon blue industrial ear protection my dad makes me wear –– and I took a short break to get a drink of water. It was so sticky outside, and the humidity was choking.

When I began to mow the back lawn, the sky became considerably darker, and I knew it was going to rain. I tried to finish the lawn because I knew I could do it super fast if I power walked –– I had once clocked a 15 minute lawn mow. But to no avail, as soon as I had reached the halfway mark, I felt big hot angry drops of rain on my back. Next thing I knew a big bolt of lightning flashed across the sky.

I looked up for the first time at the sky and realized the sky had gone from gray to black –– and not just any black, but the depths of the bowels of Hell black. I bolted inside our house, tossing my protective ear-wear on the couch on our porch; my heart was pounding, and I could feel the rush of my blood in my ears. After explaining to my father that I was going downstairs and would finish later (if there was anything left of our lawn), my dad replied that he would just finish it.

In the middle of an intense lightning storm, my dad was going to mow the lawn. I, on the other hand, was in my basement, holding my dog, wrapped up in a blanket, clutching a flashlight and a weather radio. When the tornado sirens started going off, I went to check on my dad who was still pushing the mower around the backyard. I demanded that he come inside.

Replying that he was almost done and was still going to finish it, I went back downstairs, and heard my dad come inside after a few minutes, the sirens still blaring. Instead of running downstairs to our storm shelter –– a concrete enforced storage room –– my dad shouted down the stairs, “Anna, I’m going to put in a pizza. Want any?”

Anna Wyatt, staff writer