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Mamma Bear, Her Cubs, a Storm and an Unsuspecting Clueless Guy

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Chasing Babies... Growing in Grace: Mamma Bear, Her Cubs, a Storm and an Unsuspecting Clueless Guy

Monday, May 30, 2011

Mamma Bear, Her Cubs, a Storm and an Unsuspecting Clueless Guy

Thursday night we actually had a little tornado of our own here in Central PA. We don't get those. Ever.

Ok, so I haven't lived here long enough to say ever. But in the 6 1/2 years I've lived here, I don't think I even remember a "watch", let alone a "warning".

For those of you, like me, who are clueless to the whole "watch" and "warning" terminology... let me see if I can get it right. A "watch" is when conditions point to the possibility of, say, a tornado, happening. A "warning" means they have actually spotted one somewhere.

We were out at our favorite little Mexican place for dinner Thursday night and the news and radio broadcasting were talking all about this crazy storm that was coming. We watched on the TV they had there and it was crazy. There was even pink on the satellite pictures they showed. My Beloved informed me that means "tornado". I had no idea! (I am, after all, just a California girl who now calls PA home. He is, after all, just a boy who grew up at the top of Tornado Alley. I listen to him about all this stuff!)

Our area, however, was completely clean. Lots of crazy clouds that looked "tornado like" (according to My Beloved) in the sky, but the Doppler says we're safe.

So after dinner we go across the way to the mall and head in to JC Penny for some shorts for My Beloved and a couple new fans for the house. No biggy... the storm's gonna hit north of us.


Unbeknown to us, this was not the case. Evidentally (as we found out later) the clouds were so thick and tall and crazy over our area, that when the radar signal got sent out, it never bounced back... implying that we were clear. When after all... we had it really bad. Nice, huh?

So once we got to Sears (the whole way down the mall from our car), we heard some commotion and learned that the wind and rain had begun and was crazy! Um... crazy! But whatever. No worries. We made our purchase and decided to head quickly back the length of the mall to our car so we could get home quick.

Once back in the mall, however, we learned that security was stationed around exits and weren't letting people out. A Tornado "warning" had been issued and people were being encouraged to take cover, get low, etc. And here we are... at the mall.

How much glass do you have in your malls? Skylights? Yes. Glass window displays? Yes. Us too. Crazy. People were obviously worried. We weren't really... just taking precautions. But of course my little Tornado himself (4 and a half now) is a worrier, and is now old enough to catch the gist of conversations. And I could tell that other people being rattled was making him rattled too. Poor kid.

We talked a lot with them about just staying out from under the skylights. We watched the lightning through them (because they were everywhere), listened to the rain. Then the hail started. All I kept thinking was about the softball sized hail I've heard of. Then I would tell my kids that it's nothing to worry about. Then we found some little frogs to look at in the Hallmark store.

After a bit we made our way the rest of the way to JC Penny's where we would eventually exit. Near the doors we learned that they had indeed locked all the doors (for the wind mostly) and were encouraging people to stay. A few associates were standing around. An older gentleman said that he'd let us out if we really needed to go. My Beloved simply said bedtime is all we need to do.

Then... and here is where I became Mamma Bear and almost devoured some mid-twenties or so employee... said employee looked down at my children and said, "Oh, you don't want to go out there. You'd just get sucked right up." Making motions with his hand.

Can you believe he said that?

Strangely, I felt very in control of myself as I looked at him... deadpan... and said, (maybe in a not very nice voice), "That was an inappropriate thing to say to children."

Even now I cringe a little bit. But I didn't take it back. I didn't ever apologize, though I instantly felt a little bad. I decided he needed to know and, apparently... I was going to be the one to tell him.

The storm ended not long after... we headed home and all is well!

So tell me... have you ever turned into Mamma Bear on some poor unsuspecting, and maybe a little bit clueless, someone? Please share... I need some camaraderie here!

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