It’s been a long few days. My state has been hit with a terrible string of severe weather and tornadoes.
That is normal here. What happened today – Monday, May 20 – in Moore, OK and south Oklahoma City is not normal.
Today was my day off. I was no where near Moore. Our city is vast and wide and cattle graze in parts of it, far from the skyscrapers. Over 600 square miles. I was not on the south side, not even close.
We are all OK.
My nanny Lo came over today to help with the kids so I could catch up from the severe weather weekend.
I got to Target and back. Of course I went to Target! I couldn’t help but buy a little darling I met after a different tornado on Sunday a few things. Every girl needs to know she’s a princess. Even if she lives in a mobile home park and no longer has a home, just a bull dog named Chubs, a mama, a dolly and the clothes on her back. She needed some sparkle to match her smile.
I got back from Target with a few things for the darlin and some groceries. Me, Laila, buddy and the nanny ended up taking cover together for the better part of the day. The sirens kept going off. I put my daughter in helmet and buddy in a car seat. We all got in a closet at the lowest point of our home and in the middle of our home. I Tweeted the disaster from our bunker.
I was glad Lo was here. First of all, she grew up here. She understands the weather and can handle it calmly. During our drills, one of us needed to closely follow the weather and one of us needed to entertain buddy and make Laila think this was all a fun game. Mark was at school.
He kept calling and calling. Lo had to spring to action to calm him down.
He was panicked.
A tornado was on the ground in Moore and he had just learned it destroyed a school with children inside.
The people in Moore did just as they were supposed to do but the tornado killed many of them.
This is what is going to occupy my week at work. I am dreading it at the same time some I know may vouch that I have an extremely difficult time staying away from work when disaster strikes.
The news is upsetting, though. The thought of dead children makes me sick.
One of the first interviews I did here in Oklahoma City was with Buddy Shadid, father of Anthony Shadid, a storied NYT correspondent who died in Syria. He told me of his son’s writing philosophy: “It’s not about the bombs, it’s about the people the bombs fall on.”
I’ll keep that in mind.
Also, I need to keep my family in mind.
This is alarming. They need me too.
And we need help. Lo is our nanny and she is putting in extra hours to get us through this. I have to work more and we have no family here. This means we need her help now more than ever. We could not do this without her.
The tornado hit us Monday.
The night before, Sunday night, a separate twister struck Shawnee, about 30 miles away. Hours after eating ice cream with my family I was sitting on top of an Oklahoma County disaster control tour bus that shone a spotlight over a mobile home community that had vastly been erased by mother nature. Two people died in the Shawnee area, including an elderly man in the mobile home community I toured with the sheriff.
I try to keep these people – the dead – in mind while I report. I am working on a grave site. You don’t run and skip and joke and laugh at a grave site. The dead deserve some sanctity.
Poor Laila is all discombobulated from all the jumping in and out of closets and mommy and daddy acting crazy.
Mark and I need to work on our disaster communication plan.
These twisters have our nerves on edge. We couldn’t help but notice we’re not very nice to each other when we’re as edgy as these twisters have made us. However, we agreed to work on that.
Please think of and pray for the people of Shawnee and Moore and Oklahoma.