Saturday, March 07, 2009

Tornadoes in Kansas

It's early March and already we had our first tornadoes here in Kansas. On the TV they say the latest one spotted is an "elephant trunk" tornado. It's not where I live, so I am not too concerned.

I have never seen a tornado. My mother lived in Kansas almost her entire life and only saw one when she was in her 60's.

However, last year one of my cousins was picked up by a tornado when driving a car in Western Kansas. He was very lucky, with fairly minor injuries.

Anyway, although my mother never saw a tornado, apparently one went over our house before I was born. My mother was at home alone with my 2 oldest brothers, my dad was at work. I heard the story over the years, but only recently asked her "what made you think there was a tornado?". She replied "when I saw the curtains standing straight out from the wall, but the windows were closed, I thought it was probably a tornado". They didn't have a basement, so she took a mattress and covered her and the children while laying on the floor.

When my dad got home from work he couldn't get in the front door. Apparently the tornado had moved the house off the foundation a few inches, and the door was stuck.

My parents built a new house when I was in high school. It had a "tornado shelter" in the basement - solid concrete. They never used it for that, and somehow it became something like a "root cellar", used to store canned vegetables.

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