where wildly different is perfectly normal
In a tight little circle
In a tight little circle

In a tight little circle

When Tom was 12 his house was destroyed by a tornado. He, his younger siblings, and his mom were in the basement at the time. He’s not a fan of bad storms. Neither am I. My first year teaching I lived in Iowa and taught in Illinois. Several times I had to cross the Mississippi River in the afternoon, trying to beat the green clouds home.

When we moved here to Colorado, we were grateful to learn that tornadoes were rare on the Front Range and were weak at that. Strong straight line winds were common, but as long as they weren’t in a tight little circle…

You will be hearing this afternoon and this evening that several towns north of Denver were hit by tornadoes this afternoon. They were. And some of the damage is pretty bad. Windsor was hit hard. We’re still under a tornado watch until 8:00 tonight, and a tornado warning for us right here where I’m sitting expired 15 minutes ago.

There was another storm cell over Boulder county that moved over us…and as I dashed outside to move my van into the garage in the hailstorm, there was apparently a small tornado jumping over us.

Now I’m hearing reports of 6 confirmed tornadoes. The big one that hit Windsor was 3/4-1 mile wide. This doesn’t happen here. Not tornadoes this big!

After the storm finished with us here, it moved up to the town where A goes to school. He doesn’t do well with storms; he’s heard Tom’s stories too many times. I can’t believe the school hasn’t called. I figured he’d be freaking out by now.

The big one that hit Windsor…you’ll see the pictures on the news tonight. It was a large, powerful, fast-moving storm. I have a friend whose family lives up there; she can’t reach them. The cell towers have blown down and she can’t reach her family.

Some of the damage is astonishing.

Let’s hope this is the end of it for today.


  1. Poetikat

    Just read about this on my online e-mail – everything okay? Are your kids safe – your husband? Your family?

    Tornadoes scare the crap out of me!

    Let me know how you’re doing.


  2. My dad grew up in western Illinois and my grandmother lived there until she died. Every spring storms would blow down trees and power lines and gutters. Awful.

    I remember visiting her once where we had to bring the shortwave radio and flashlights into the basement to weather out a passing tornado. Scared me to death.

    She had a tornado mantra that as a kid felt comforting but as an adult totally baffles me: “Where was Moses when the lights went out? Down in the basement eating sauerkraut.” Hmm…

  3. My phone has been ringing off the hook with family members freaked out. We had some wild hail, that’s about it. About 20 years ago a tornado ripped the roof off of a school I formerly taught at in Denver. Sign number 1 I should have passed on that job.

  4. I was finally able to get in touch with all of my family members and no one was hurt. My mom was sitting in her car when one of the windows blew out. Scary! Aunt, uncle and dad all work at Kodak, which is near the heaviest damage – dad is still out there clearing our drainage ditches to avoid more damage. It’s just shocking to see everything on the tv. More info will go up on my blog shortly, so visit me there!

  5. Ummm, yeah, I live in Illinois in what used to be a corn field turned suburbia Central Illinois. I know the green/yellow clouds. I dread that siren.

    I also used to live in Denver and remember the tornados JUST EAST of the city. You could almost see them, it seemed. You could SEE the storms strengthening as they BLEW SO HARD RIGHT OVER THE TOP OF THE CITY. It was an amazing sight. I am sorry to hear Windsor was hit.


  6. Beatasum

    Hey Jen! I hope your son was okay at the school. Did everything calm down? Did you all sleep okay last night? I’m sure I would have been awake, pacing the floor.

    We get Tornadoes more and more here, in S. Ontario. In recent years some of the farming communities just north of here have been hit pretty hard. The times they are a-changin.

    Stay safe!


  7. I’m glad to hear that you & your family are well.

    Being a MN girl my whole life I have lived through more than one massive storm cell; in doing so my skin is mighty thick. I am known to stand outside for far too long watching the clouds and storms move in, retreating to safety only when I can’t stand the wind & water any longer. Mr. M. is far worse and will stay until I beg him to come in, clutching my heart with tears in my eyes and invoking the fear of the children.
    We are setting a fantastic example for the children don’t you think 🙂

  8. Wow! Glad you are safe………prayers for those who were hit by the storm. As a kid, in IL, we had a few scary storms…….and now in MN, we have them more often with each passing year. 🙁 WHat’s going on in our world?

  9. I hate tornados. I live in Kansas. It’s May. The photo albums, home movies, and random other things that I cannot replace are packed away safely in the basement – only to come out again in the fall. Stay safe!

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