Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Longest Day EVER

Unless you are living under a rock, you know that there has been a terrible tragedy in Joplin, MO with a massive, horrible tornado.

I live in the same vicinity, but far enough away. Not far enough away though to be out of the same danger zone.

I am sitting here after Ibuprofen and two much needed alcoholic beverages.

Why, you might ask?

If you didn't know, I work with children. LOTS of children at one time. Today we celebrated the first day off of school with a fun field trip.

Mother Nature decided today was no day for a celebration. We had tornadoes. Tornadoes anytime are no bueno, but tornadoes after the Joplin devastation are even worse.

Tornado sirens are the worst sound ever. They totally sound like those alien ships in War of the Worlds and give me the creeps. I am not native to the Midwest and they creep me out everytime. But when you are caring for scared children, you never let on that you are creeped out to the max. Unfortunately, I have a few young employees who were as equally scared as the children.

I blew my whistle and herded children to the back. When the sirens kept going we then herded them all into the bathrooms. They did not all fit into one bathroom so we were in two bathrooms and a storage area in the back of the place. I went to the front of the place to see what the beep was going on. Once it was confirmed that Mother Nature was being a huge bitch I tried to call my mom because even though I was caring for other children I didn't forget my own. Phone calls to all people, my mom, my boss, my other family were not going through due to the weather and high volume of calls being made. I was panicked but decided to check on the kids in the restrooms.

I walked in and saw bunches of big eyes staring at me.

"Hi friends," I say.

"Are we going to die today Miss Ashley?"

"No," I tell them, "no one is going to die today. We are all safe."

"Is my mom safe?"

"Yes, your mom is safe. Everyone is safe." I don't really know if that's true but I figure since it is probably true it would be the best idea to go ahead and say it. There are a few tears and more stares.

"Okay. What time are we having lunch?" Yes, once the children knew they weren't going to die, the next order of business was food. Sheesh!

I heard from my mom finally and the babies were sound asleep. They had been hiding out in the bathroom. Relief! There was a lot of confusion about when to leave, but I made the executive decision to get on the bus and get back to school. Halfway there dark skies and rain pelting the bus. The little eyes grew bigger again.

"It's just rain friends! Almost lunch time!" Holy hell, is this over yet?

We got back and I emailed parents to let them know we were all safe and everyone was happily eating lunch. My staff was tired and headed home. I stayed with anothe staff and the kids decided to celebrate the fact that we made it safely back by acting like INSANE HEATHENS!!!! It was horrible. I just wanted to run for the hills.

I got home, played with babies, ate dinner, watched a hilarious episode of Cougar Town and drank two drinks. I am now taking a shower and going to bed and waking up to an uneventful sunny day. Do you hear that Mother Nature? AN UNEVENTFUL SUNNY DAY!

Forecast: sun, no tornado, and a chance of very well behaved children. Cross your fingers! My sanity and liver need a break!




  1. That is my least favorite thing about living in the Midwest. While I have been around for plenty of tornadoes, you never really get used to it. It's got to be better than earthquakes though right? At least we get SOME warning? I just keep telling myself that. I can't imagine the kiddos asking you if they were going to die! OMG! Geez, glad you are all okay and tomorrow will be a lovely uneventful sunny day!

  2. Oh my - how scary!!! Glad to hear that everyone is ok and I'll keep my fingers crossed for lots MORE sunshine for ya'll!!!

  3. This post cracked me up even thought it was about something so serious. I have been thinking about the people in Joplin. I am from St. Louis so even though we are safe it "hit a little close to home". Such horrible devastation.

  4. I'm so glad you're alright. How scary! Yes, let's hope tomorrow is beautiful and uneventful for you guys.

  5. Whoa - pretty scary!!!! I hate living in the hurricane south, but I try to use Megan's theory - we get a good deal of notice before one.

  6. Hope you get your day of sun with well behaved children!! What a scary, exhausting day.

    Oh, and look at O&E standing up playing like BIG kids!

  7. I didn't realize you lived in the Midwest...we're in Wichita so also not too far from Joplin! Glad that today was better and hoping so much we don't have to deal with any more scares for a while!

  8. You handled it perfectly, Ashley. How scary! I'm glad everything was okay.

    The little peanuts are soooooo cute! They are getting so big!

  9. Cruel weather we're all having everywhere. We've been having them too but like you at a safe distance away from the paths. Glad you're safe. Wishing you best of luck too! =)

  10. I'm so glad you all are safe and sound!
    I LOVE Cougar Town! It totally cracks me up! :)


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