That Tornado’s Gonna Miss Us, Or…Maybe Not

cordell tornado

Tornado that wiped out the eastern third of a small town near us in 2001

Why would anyone live in Southwestern Oklahoma?

Considering the monster F5 tornado that roared through Moore, Oklahoma, last week, some of y’all are probably scratching your heads and wondering, What is wrong with those crazy people? Why do they live where there’s a “God Have Mercy” season in a place called tornado alley?

As I write this, the wind is gusting to 37 mph, the air is hot and muggy, and a squall line has formed in the Texas panhandle, headed this way. We’ll be under a tornado watch until late tonight. I’ll start watching the sky and pacing here in a little bit then I’ll try to contact all the family to make sure they have a place to shelter in case things get ugly. I’ll probably call Gramps and command him to come home at some point. He tends to stay out way too long for my comfort. Then we’ll just say our prayers and see what happens. Hopefully, we’ll merely get some rain…and not 80 mph straight winds, large hail (ping pong ball size to softball size,) lightning strikes, or tornados.

The picture below is what we actually got later this day:


Slowly rotating clouds over the home place and a tornado warning: Take cover. Now.

The severe weather stayed west of us this time and I am thankful–although I always feel bad for the people who didn’t get off so lightly.

The Benefits of Living in Southwestern Oklahoma Far Outweigh the Drawbacks


The benefits to living in rural Southwest Oklahoma during the “God Have Mercy” season often outweigh the drawbacks. For instance, at least once a year major panic attacks unclog our arteries. The blood pulses powerfully through our blood vessels like a type of roto-rooter while we stand on the porch praying for that ugly bugger to miss us, or we race through the hail trying to get underground somewhere. (Our cellar collapsed years ago. Replacing it is just one of those things we need to get done…next year.)

Strong relationships

We enjoy close relationships with our insurance agents as they help us replace our hail pocked roofs, our busted windshields, our metal barns, and the revenue from our wheat crops and even dead livestock sometimes.


Just because we live in a very rural county doesn’t mean we lack entertainment. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, two of my sons have been firemen and storm spotters since they turned eighteen. They and other dummies storm spotters go out in bad weather, driving around looking for danger in hopes of saving lives and strengthening their heart muscles with pure adrenalin shooting through their veins. Afterward, they go out scouting the storm damage. Once, Gramps and the boys found a Cessna airplane beat up by hail and landed on a muddy road in the middle of miles of wheat fields. They helped the pilot and his passenger push the little plane until it–like the phoenix…or, at least a turkey buzzard–rose again.

(Hey.That’s better by far than getting dragged off to the opera, or some other boring high-browed event.)

And finally, Oklahoma breeds just plain ol’, hard-down optimism

The young man in the following video of the Moore tornado reminds me of my boys. If it wasn’t for Okie guys (and a few girls) like them–standing on the rooftops and hills, chasing those rotating clouds through golf-ball-sized hail, driving into the twisty winds with their smart (?) phones set to video–the rest of the world would hardly know the happy optimism that keeps Okies living in Oklahoma.

God bless all y’all and enjoy Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver doin’ Hiding From the Storm Outside.

*These artists don’t necessarily endorse my blog, I just like ’em.

Related Post: Stunned In Oklahoma
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3 thoughts on “That Tornado’s Gonna Miss Us, Or…Maybe Not

  1. Pingback: Southwest Oklahoma Ain’t Lake Wobegon | From the Ranch Pen–A Danni McGriffith Blog

  2. Well, these are the exact questions that have been rolling around my head–why live in place where yearly you are in fear of your life, your family’s lives, the destruction of your property, the loss of your sanity? So thank you for clearing up the mystery….somewhat. And I’m a little bit horrified watching that video that the guy kept standing outside with that thing headed right for him. Gah! (Though I had to smile when he shouted, “I gotta save my truck!” I think Jonathan might shout the same thing.)

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