Thursday, April 3, 2008

Duck and Cover

Okay so I've experienced a "Lock Down" drill at one of my schools. It was just a drill and was good practice for when... I mean if... a gunman should come visit our school and try to take some of us out.

This past Tuesday we had another 'drill.' The weather was a bit curious outside, threatening rain, but nothing that would cause me to write home.

Suddenly the principal's voice boomed over the loud speaker: "This is a drill. You are requested to duck and cover until the drill is over. Stay down until the 'all clear' announcement is made." And so, my two co-workers and I moved ourselves into another office. Not to take cover... but to hide from anyone wanting to check and see if we were following the rules. We're not too good at rule-following and we didn't want someone walking by and scolding us.

When the 'all clear' never came, we got a bit tired and all went back to our desks to resume working. We worked until the school bell was about to ring. And just before it did... the principal came back on the loud speaker announcing: "You are going to hear the 'end of school' bell ring shortly and we ask that you ignore it and remain in the duck and cover position."

Huh? This wasn't a drill? Doesn't drill mean practice? Is there something we should know?

About that time, Rick called and I could hear loud sirens going off in the background of his phone call. He was at Elizabeth's school waiting to pick her up but tornado sirens had started going off. He then yelled that he was being urged to leave his car and to take shelter inside her school.

And then the reception of his phone cut out.

I was stunned.

I had thought it was all just a drill. A simple little drill. A little tornado drill... just in case.

About that time, Elizabeth texted me: "Can't leave. We are doing tornado procedure." Followed by: "A tornado has been seen in west Frisco."

Well, how about that?

And finally, the all clear came at my school and I learned that Rick was safe, holed up in Elizabeth's school with about a dozen other parents.

Thirty minutes later... The sun was shining. The weather was warm. It looked like a day that I'd go to the beach... if only I were in California.

Rick and Liz made it home safe. I made it home safe. And life went on as normal... as though nothing had ever happened.

Today - Thursday - it's been a gorgeous, gorgeous 81 degrees. Life would be absolutely perfect if the TV hadn't just announced "Tornado Watch" on the top of the screen.

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