Small town girl. Joins Navy. Sees the world. Flies in planes. Hunts submarines. Gets out of military and has 3 kids. Rejoins Air National Guard as an "old lady" of 38.

A humorous compilation of stories and lessons learned. Usually the hard way.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Natural Disasters and Cheerleaders.

So there I was.

What do you suppose is the worst place to be during a natural disaster?

Using the toilet?


Using the toilet at Wal-Mart?

No. I will tell you because I know now.  Out on a field with 70-some cheerleaders ranging in ages from 4-12.

So there we were. Gathering. About to start practice- when all of a sudden the announcement was made.

“Everyone! Can I have your attention!"  It was more of a demand.  "A tornado has been spotted and just touched down at the Park.” [The Park was about 5 minutes away as the crow flies. Or Cardinal. Whichever you prefer.]  “Everyone get in your cars and wait for about half an hour.”

I nearly choked. In our cars!?? Said the Midwestern voice inside me.
That girl be crazy! Said the street-talker in me.

It was true. She was in fact crazy. Or perhaps just unaware of proper tornado protocol.

Suddenly my phone rings. Who would be calling at a time like this? I soon discovered it was DH on the other side of the field with our son.

“Why are they getting into their cars? The school is open!” He yelled through the phone. A Solid. Brick. School.

“Good idea! I’ll find you!”

I hung up the phone and yelled, “The gym is open- go to the gym!”

In that moment, most of the 70-some cheerleaders and their families flocked together like seagulls flying over a tuna cannery and scurried to the gym.

Just then, the Navy in me kicked in. Disaster readiness training. I told my girls to follow the other coach and I would be in right behind them.

Right now, as a sailor, I could not leave a man behind. Okay maybe that’s the Army. But sailors say full speed ahead, so I’ll go with the Army in this circumstance.

I began knocking on everyone’s car window like a bum trying to make a buck at an intersection.

The people would roll down their window with skeptical eyes. “I’m not here to sell you anything,” I had to tell them. The gym is open and the tornado is on its way. Go to the gym now!”

And they did.

When all the cars were empty I ran to the gym. Of course it was under construction and full of all kinds of metal pointy things for the kids to play with. I heard a dad yell to his daughter, “Get near the door! That’s what you’re supposed to do in a tornado!” I mentally noted to later hand out emergency procedures to my girls and their families.

So we waited and we waited. Not calmly though as you’d expect tucked nicely into the corners sitting cross-legged. No, the little cheerleaders and little football players found the kick balls and lacrosse sticks. Oh yes. We waited in chaos.

And the tornado never came. It ended up dissipating with no damage erupting anywhere.

So perhaps this time I looked like the crazy Mid-westerner. But I just couldn’t help it. I’d probably do the same thing all over again.

Because I take wind very seriously and I think everyone else should too.

1 comment:

  1. Get in your cars? Wow. Why not stand outside with a kite while they're at it? Why are people here such morons when it comes to weather?