Spring has Sprung – Down on the (Sub)Urban Farm

I was honestly planning that the next ‘down on the farm’ post was going to be a virtual tour of the new chicken coop. But I haven’t even taken those pictures yet.

Instead, it’s going to be about Oklahoma weather. Oklahoma SPRING weather, to be exact.

If you know anything about Oklahoma, you know that springtime is pretty much synonymous with tornadoes. That might even be the only thing you know about Oklahoma.

I’ve lived in Oklahoma for nearly 29 years. I know about tornadoes. We’ve had many close calls with tornadoes – and I’ve even raced tornado weather home from out-of-town trips, the only time my mother did not complain when I admitted that I was going AT LEAST twenty miles over the posted speed limit, if not more, just trying to get ahead of the storm system.

Last night was the first time where I honestly felt like we might get hit. We lost tv signal (good ol’ rabbit ears…) about half an hour before the worst of the storm even got to us, and the power flickered on and off at least four times. We watched the crazy ominous clouds roll in, and kept an eye on the internet for the weather.

But when we started hearing whistling wind and train-like sounds, taking cover was top priority. Although, honestly, the point of the hall-barricade when Winnie decided it was Bear’s fault we were all locked in and nearly started a turf war over 30 sq ft of space was probably just as terrifying as the weather.

We came out essentially unscathed – especially compared to a lot of people in the area – but it’s a terrifying and humbling moment when all that stands between you and the funnel cloud rotating above your house (which was a very surreal moment looking out the window) is LITERALLY God’s protection.

And I’m so, so thankful for that protection.

So, here’s pictures. But not good ones of the actual storm action. Because I was barricaded with hubby, sister, and animals in the hallway at that point. Except the chickens. They never went in their coop, and I wasn’t about to go out there and them up. Chickens are replaceable. I am not.


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Tornadoes did touch down in Sand Springs (there has only been one reported loss of life so far), and in far eastern Broken Arrow, near Catoosa. I believe there were some more tornadoes near the Oklahoma/Arkansas border, as well.

The first spring storm decided to go all-out, evidently.

If you want to see a crazy photo, though, here’s the Sand Springs tornado. The funnel is just to the left of the billboard.

Recent Comments

  • helenrj
    March 27, 2015 - 5:31 am · Reply

    I grew up in Ok. I remember pretending to be Dorothy every time we had to go into the cellar which had a wooden door just like in the movie. I love storms, but a funnel cloud above ground with its tail trailing in the sky…scary!

    • Rebekah Loper
      March 27, 2015 - 11:04 am · Reply

      Evidently I had a phase as a small child (I was probably four? I think my mom was pregnant with my brother at the time) – I was *always* Dorothy. I don’t remember what my Toto stand-in was, though, because we didn’t get a dog for a few more years. I probably forced the cat to be Toto, lol.

  • Laura Weymouth
    March 27, 2015 - 5:32 am · Reply

    Woooow my goodness I would have wet myself lol. I always tell Tyler I’m so glad we live in a “sweet spot” where there are no tornadoes/earthquakes/tsunamis/volcanoes/forest fires/deadly ice storms. I will take the boatload of snow every winter ANY time in exchange for pretty much a .00001% chance of experiencing actually severe weather! And we’re far enough north that there are no poisonous critters or alligators but far enough south that there are no large predators like grizzlies or wolves or sasquatches. Oh, Western New York. How I love you.

    I love your comment about the pine tree laughing in the storm–we have a ton of *enormous* pines around our house and they certainly didn’t get that big by being wimpy. The things are practically indestructible.

    • Rebekah Loper
      March 27, 2015 - 11:12 am · Reply

      Our pine tree has to be at least 50 years old – it’s probably 2 1/2 ft across from side to side, and at least 60-75 ft tall. It looks a little sad, though. It has lost a few limbs over time, and most of them were all from one side, so it’s lop-sided, lol. But yeah, this time it only lost the one tiny branch. It was amusing.

      Honestly, Oklahoma just about has it all. We don’t have forest fires (just grass fires, because there’s not a whole lot of forest around here), tsunamis, or volcanoes, but we’ve had blizzards, ice storms (one right after the other, even), earthquakes, tornadoes, and floods. We’ve also been dubbed the ‘home of the quakenado’, because we’ve had earthquakes AND tornadoes in the SAME DAY.

      And we’ve definitely got large predators (though ‘officials’ deny that we have mountain lions around here, as if wildlife respects state lines, right?), but fortunately not grizzlies. Black bears have been seen in the area. I won’t go into the poisonous critters. I don’t want to give you nightmares.

  • Maria Zannini
    March 27, 2015 - 6:35 am · Reply

    Tornadoes are scary–especially now since most of our house is floor to ceiling windows. And we have no siren warning near us.

    Glad you came through it all right. That was scary.

    PS Love your chicken coop! So cute!!

    • Rebekah Loper
      March 27, 2015 - 11:14 am · Reply

      Sirens are kind of overrated. Ours were going off long before the storm system got near us, and we could barely even hear them anyway with the winds. Radar is our friend.

      Thanks! I really can’t wait to get the virtual coop tour up! 😀

  • Patricia Lynne (@plynne_writes)
    March 27, 2015 - 10:26 am · Reply

    Glad you are okay! This past Christmas, hubby and I were in Mississippi visiting his parents and I got to sit through my first tornado warning. No tornado (one did touch down very close to them after we left.) It was scary mostly because his parents live in a double wide (tornado food, ya know) and I was thinking “WHY DON’T YOU HAVE A BASEMENT?”

    • Rebekah Loper
      March 27, 2015 - 11:17 am · Reply

      Basements are tricky – we don’t have one either, mainly because we’re in a flood zone. Taking shelter in a basement is no good if you drown once you’re there. We also have tricky bedrock levels – it’s patchy, and you can dig one spot in your yard and not hit anything for several feet, and then dig another spot hit bedrock six inches down. It’s so bizarre.

      So, I don’t know what Mississippi’s like for flooding or bedrock, but those are definitely some factors as to why they may not have a basement.

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About Rebekah

Rebekah Loper writes character-driven epic fantasy featuring resilient women in trying and impossible circumstances who just want to save themselves but usually end up saving the world, often while falling in love.
She lives in Tulsa, OK with her husband, dog, two formerly feral cats, a small flock of feathered dragons (...chickens. They're chickens), and an extensive tea collection. When she's not writing, she battles the Oklahoma elements in an effort to create a productive, permaculture urban homestead.