The Pits: The tornado sirens started as soon as the kids came down for breakfast. My phone started blowing up with tornado warning alerts. The thing was, it didn’t look bad outside, but I knew that could change quickly. I moved the boys’ breakfast into the living room away from the windows in the kitchen, just to be safe.
I turned on the news on the TV and the map of Nashville was covered in red flashing graphics. There was a highlighted circle around the Brentwood area and Weston pointed at it and asked what it was. I told him that was a potential tornado in our area. The wind started to pick up, then it started raining hard.
Trek was acting a bit skittish so I put him in his crate by the front door. After everything, my family wasn’t happy with my decision to leave Trek in his crate by the front door. In my defense, I felt it’d be safer for him inside his crate than running loose in the house, and the front door is on the opposite side of the house from the direction where the wind was blowing from. Also, out of the other living beings in the house at the time, he ranked lowest in priority, so I offer no apologies for my decision.
I learned that Weston likes to ask questions in stressful situations. “Could a real tornado come to our house?” I don’t think I responded to any of his questions. I was too busy gazing outside, looking in the direction of our neighbor’s house where the wind was coming from. It soon got to the point where I could no longer see my neighbor’s house.
The lights flickered and went out. We heard hail hitting the house. I pulled the boys into the narrow walkway under our steps and got to the floor. Weston continued asking questions that were never answered. Outside was a grey wash.
As quickly as it had arrived, it passed. We could breathe easy again. The boys were distracted, and I had to keep reminding them to finish up their breakfast and get ready for school. I stepped out front and saw that our basketball goal had been knocked over onto my car. It was a tight fit, but it could’ve been worse. This was the worst damage we had, aside from a few roof shingles.
I pulled off the fallen goal and headed to school. Trees were down everywhere; there was a large one down to the right of our exit. I pulled out on Waller Rd and saw a crew already at work to clear a fallen tree in the direction we needed to go, so I turned around to head the other direction on Waller and quickly found that way was blocked too. We were quickly getting blocked in.
I drove back to the fallen tree near our exit that I’d seen early. I noticed a few tire tracks through the ditch around to the right. I didn’t consider the consequences nearly long enough and kept steady pressure on the gas as we made our way through the muddy ditch. I breathed easy as we pulled back onto the road, only to find another tree in the road coming from the opposite side. I kept my momentum going and rolled through the ditch on the left side of the road. Later, Turner said he could tell by the look on my face that I was going to drive through the ditch. Now I’m really curious what my face looked like during that moment.
We drove through the Brookfield subdivision and finally made it to school. As I parked in the car line, I realized I was still shaking. I mentioned this to the boys and Turner said his heart was still shaking.
The Peaks: I was very thankful we were all safe. I ended up leaving work early to make it to Turner’s first flag football practice. For whatever reason, I have felt compelled to contact the coach to ask if he’d be cool with me being assistant coach. He agreed and has been very generous with information on how he likes to coach his team. At the end of the first practice, he mentioned to me that he felt Turner was probably the best quarterback on the team, which is the position Turner has been most interested in, so we’ll see how that pans out going forward.