Daily Life


I’m not good at paying attention to the weather, usually relying on my mom and grandparents. But several occurrences have helped to motivate me to be more aware, ranging from inconvenient (England level of rain last spring) to terrifying (snowy/icy commutes from the city) to sobering (the devastating Mayfield tornado a couple hours southwest and sleeping through the sirens)

I’m used to tornado sirens and heading to the basement, all my life every once in a while we would have to, but nothing ever happened beyond maybe losing electricity. There was a bad tornado in the 70’s but even though occasionally they’d be sighted, we’d never get one on the higher end of the scale until last year. We aren’t technically in tornado alley, just near it. A bit of a boy who cried wolf situation.

However, like I said, the Mayfield situation gave me pause (especially since I’m on the 2nd floor of an apartment), so when a coworker kept mentioning the storm, I checked the weather (tornado watch) and looked up (again) the difference between watch and warning, rather lackadaisically.

Later I heard sirens. Hmm, check my phone. Warning. Oh, and a tornado sighted where some of my family lives in the city. And then the warning is literally for all the counties my family spread out in. So Bjorn and I adjoin to the bathroom, and I try to figure out where all the family is. Most of us don’t have basements. And then another tornado (or the same one moving) is sighted where a sister lives (moving my way). About 30″ the warning is past for where I am.

I couldn’t hear any crazy weather. And this morning I did hear of some barns being smashed and electricity poles, but nothing crazy, and when I was following the news and looking up tornados, I don’t think any of them were more than category 1. However, good practice for me to pay attention. Also a reminder that I value a basement whenever I get my own home.

Oh, and when I typed in “tornado” to search watch and warning, the first autofill option was “tornado alley moving east.” Awesome.


  • Elizabeth

    That sounds terrifying. Glad you guys are okay. I’m not in any tornado areas so that’s not something I have to worry about but I can’t imagine what that would be for you guys if it was a bad tornado. Basements are a wonderful thing.

    • Rachel Olivia

      Yeah, I think it wouldn’t have hardly phased me had not the Mayfield tornado happened. Yes, basements (walk out anyway) can be wonderful (if they aren’t creepy).

      • Elizabeth

        No kidding. Speaking of creepy basements, when I was little I lived in a townhouse and it had this crawl space that had this one light-bulb that lit up half the crawlspace and the other half was really dark. There was this garbage bag deep in the corner that me as a morbid child was 100% that was a body. It was such a cold crawl space and it had these sheets of plastic as the floor with sand that felt like cat litter shoveled over it and I was always like ‘If I ever die, somehow this is where my body would end up’

        • Rachel Olivia

          Oooooh, I HATED the crawl spaces we had!!!! I would totally have thought the same thing about that bag, my imagination was only vivid for scary stuff. I was afraid of fans in the bathroom and I thought the dust that got stuck in them made them look like possum eyes.

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