Sunday, June 8, 2008

Twist and Shout at the Ballfield

Well this weekend has been interesting....

Hollywood had a softball tournament in a town about an hour and a half's drive away. The kidlets and I went up Saturday morning and stayed the night there.

During the first couple of games, the weather was incredibly hot and steamy, and the premium shady spots were pounced upon like the cheesy potato casserole at a potluck. The girls weren't winning their games, but they were having a nice time nonetheless. The last game of the night was at 6 p.m. The weather was being really creepy. For those of you who don't live in states prone to tornadoes, you might not understand how weather can turn 'creepy', but those of you who live in Iowa or any of the plains states get me... The sky was turning an odd shade of green, the sky was forming a distinct wall cloud, and everything was slowly swirling in a clockwise motion. Far off to the west there was lightning and distant thunder.

I was nervous as hell. And I'm usually one of those psychos who sits on my patio watching a storm come in. But a few weeks ago, an entire town in Iowa was demolished due to a tornado, so I've been a bit skittish since then. Plus... we were in a ball field that was out in the middle of nowhere. Talk about sitting ducks.

The girls were about halfway into the game - and Hollywood was just about to go up to bat - when the sirens started going off. The officials told us to go to the restrooms. So we all piled into the restrooms. They told us to sit on the floors and hunch together. Ew, ew, and more ew. Ballfield bathroom floors? And we had the luxury of being closest to the boys bathroom. After about 10 minutes, they told us the tornado was 20 minutes away and to go to our cars and leave NOW. I took a picture of Hollywood next to the urinal:

She rolled her eyes and said to me, "Mom! People's lives are in danger and you're taking a picture for your blog???" Really. I don't see the problem with that. Do you?

So, after we left the bathrooms, this was the scene (check out those clouds!!!):

Mass exodus of the ball field. It was crazy - and kind of comical. People were running everywhere. Number 26 in the picture above got trampled by an over zealous softball mom. Or not... But really, we all ran to our cars and left the parking lot through the single exit. The scene looked choreographed... people were letting other cars in front of them, and the parking lot was emptied in about 5 minutes. I swear if it'd been a concert we were leaving, it would have taken half an hour to get out of there.

Back at the hotel, wave two of the storm hit and we were herded to a room and sat along a brick wall. If you can imagine the noise level of several softball teams worth of teenage girls and their families all packed into a giant room in a hotel. For an hour.

Bumblebee was scared to death and cried for about two solid hours. The girls were all trying to console her, she was being passed from girl to girl. She didn't calm down until we were allowed to leave the room and I told her she could put on her bathing suit to go swimming.

And then the fun started. The parents were fried. The kids were completely wired. So we drank and they swam.

And overnight, that town got 6 inches of rain and today's games were canceled. So we drove home (and had to take an alternate route because the highway out of town was closed due to flooding) and I didn't get us lost. Which is pretty amazing, since I was born without the part of your brain that teaches you direction sense.

Fun times in Iowa.


Travis Erwin said...

I've done the old duck and run for cover many times so i could really relate to this post. it suck even more when you are in the middle fo the lake one a storm rolls in.

WebGal said...

Sounds like some great weather! ;)

Awesome picture of the urinal.

Jenster said...

First of all, I love the cheesy potato casserole and it's always the first thing I pile on.

Second of all, I know of the creepy weather you speak. We had plenty of it in Arkansas. I'm not fond of green skies.

Barbara Martin said...

We get tornadoes too. They roll down off the prairies to Winnipeg, skip over the Great Lakes and whirl across southwestern Ontario. For a time I lived up in Barrie, north of Toronto, and saw some smaller ones touch down in fields.

Tell your daughter I appreciated her posing at the urinal. It's just the thing my mother would have done to me. I recall saying too many times, "MOTHER! How could you?!"

MrsTSalazar said...

Wow!! Too freakin' amazing!! That picture is something.

Glad you all are ok!


Steph said...

Wow. Glad you're all safe.

Debbielou said...

Blimey ! That must have been really scary - but I laughed my head off at the picture of the urinal! Glad that you are all ok x

Suzanne said...

Oh my goodness. This sounds like the story of my life about 10 years ago. Our oldest daughter played softball and we practically lived at the ball fields. We're in Dallas, so we had times like that pretty frequently. Nowadays we have lightning detectors and better storm detection (sirens and such), but back then there could be lightning all around and the girls would still be out there playing (used to totally fry my nerves). Also, one time when my younger daughter was about 4 and playing t-ball one of the bigger girls on her team had to hold her so she wouldn't fly away (she was so tiny!). LOL, it's funny NOW, but not so much fun then!