After my last two posts I want to post a funny blog. A blog that is filled with humorous memories of one day…March 1,1997.
My youngest son turned four on March 1, 1997 and my oldest son was eight at the time. Their dad was away on a trip and I wanted to do something special for the birthday celebration. I decided a trip into a neighboring town an hour away would be perfect. They had a Krystal’s there that had a huge play area for the two boys and a few of those burgers which we loving call “gut-grenades” would not cost me too much. The only problem that laid between us and Krystal’s was a huge predicted storm. I watched the weather, looked at radar all day and took phone calls from my weather crazy family members who were all saying, “Stay in tonight. There is suppose to be a huge storm coming through Kentucky.” After looking at all of this I decided that the storm would just miss us and that my family did not need to know we were out on the road headed into the storm.
We loaded up the van, drove for an hour, found Krystals, ate our gut-grenades, and began to play in the play area……then IT hit. Rain, wind, thunder and hail occured all at once! My kids were in the plastic tunnels having a big time when the lights went out. The Krystal sign ripped off the building. Teenage employees started getting phone calls from home. Then, in the distance you could
hear “WHRRRRRWHLLLRRRRRRRRRRRRR..WHRRRLLLWHRRRRRRRR” – tornado sirens. (I have no idea how to spell what they sound like.) Everybody- four kids, two employees, two women and one man – decided to crowd into the women’s bathroom as the safest place.
Finally, the storm’s wind subsided and we emerged from the bathroom. It was still raining, but it was not a normal rain. Each rain drop held a gallon of water. That is when I decided it was time to leave. Because of the rain, I told my eight year old to stand with his brother by the door and wait for me to pull the van up to the door. I ran through knee deep water to get to the vehicle that was on higher ground. I was backing up when a huge piece of lightening lighted up the area behind me…just in time to see my two sons run-swimming across the parking lot. I was able to brake just in time with my heart racing. Of course they piled in giggling about their unplanned swim. So, off we go…except which way is the interstate that leads us home? I have no idea so I decided to head out into the darkness and ‘find” my way. At some point we found the river…oops, wrong way. Then, we found another vehicle that I could follow even though I did not know where it was going. I just knew that the truck was pushing the water away enough for my van to travel by its tires and not by oars. When he turned off, I was on my own again except for an occasional fire truck or ambulance. Up ahead on the medium of the road I saw a statue. Maybe I would recognize this statue or read something on it that would help me know where we were. I pulled up to it so my van lights could hit it…it was a mother holding two children..it said (and I do not lie) “Dedicated to the Flood Victims of 1937.” Ouch. It was time to ask for help. I called a friend.
After a long conversation and waiting for her to stop laughing, we found our way to the local hospital where her father-in-law was visiting a patient. We could follow him home. We got to the hospital just in time to see them wheeling patients out of the basement where they were taking shelter from the storm. Thankfully we found the father-in-law in the waiting room. As I was talking to him I heard a lady shout,”Oh NO little boy!!!” I turned just in time to see my birthday boy pull the fire alarm. People came running and a security guard swept my child up into his arms…he said, “Son, if you ever do that again, I will feed you to the alligators.” My son laughed. I decided we would wait in the car.
We walked out to the parking garage just in time to see the big fire truck with its sirens sounding pulling up to the door. Firemen swarmed out. A woman beside me calmly said, “They say alittle boy pulled the alarm.” I replied, “Oh my. Where was his mother?”
We made it back. I was a nervous wreck. The boys were thrilled..hamburgers, crawling through dark tunnels, hiding in a room with strangers, swimming and seeing a big firetruck up close was a wonderful evening. Happy Birthday, son.
Today my sons and I are leaving for a trip to T-Town. Guess what? Severe storms tomorrow. I’ve decided they willl miss us……….