A solid drop of rain thumped the windshield. One.
I had my feet planted on the truck dashboard, drawing on a cigarette, settling into the long haul back with Tom Smith to Indiana in a 5th wheel, hauling a 40 foot stock trailer with a junior bull camel in the back we picked up in Austin at a car lot that had camels as their mascots. (And yes, I got a hat.)
The weather was humid, Texas style swelter, sticky and sunny with fluffy clouds. We had the radio tuned to old school country, windows down, my hair being tossed around like a car wash wraparound.
I never thought it was a day or a place I could’ve died, but I guess that’s what it's all about. Never really knowing is the big surprise.
The music was interrupted by an Emergency Alert System, the usual piercing long beep to get your attention, saying this is not a test. I fiddled with the channel and said, WOW, I’ve never actually heard one of these for real. I small talked to Tom.
“THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HAS ISSUED A TORNADO WARNING. THIS IS NOT A TEST. MOVING SOUTH BY SOUTHEAST ON I-35 AT 18 MPH. THIS STORM HAS HAD A HISTORY OF PRODUCING TORNADOS AND LARGE HAIL. THE CITY OF JARRELL IS IN THE THE PATH OF THIS STORM. IF YOU ARE CAUGHT OUTSIDE…SEEK SHELTER IN A NEARBY DITCH OR LOW SPOT AND COVER YOUR HEAD. PEOPLE IN OR NEAR THE PATH OF THIS STORM, SHOULD TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION TO PROTECT THEIR LIVES. GO TO THE CENTER OF THE LOWEST FLOOR OF YOUR BUILDING. COVER YOUR HEAD. STAY AWAY FROM DOORS AND WINDOWS.” (actual transcript)
I was the navigator, so I spread the map out on my legs and listened to the report and looked for mile markers and interstate signs just for fun, we were on I-35.
I ran my fingers over the towns being listed off to get a reference and realized the enormity of being in a slow moving tin coke can, about to cross paths with an F5 tornado...
That’s all for today! Find out if I died in the 'nado or not next Thursday. Have an awesome rest of the week/weekend.
Too much reading...
How about dessert?