I dropped the boys off at church for their youth group meeting and then went home. I had hoped to mow the lawn along the road, as it is our yard that all the neighbors behind us have to drive past, and I try to keep it looking nice for them, and I haven't mowed it yet this year! But storm clouds were around and it was starting to sprinkle, so I grabbed the weed-eater and trimmed the grass around the house instead, since I haven't done that this year even though I (oldest son would say "we") have mowed the yard around the house a couple times. I got it all done right when the rain really let loose.
I stood in the garage with the garage door open watching the clouds. It was starting to get dark, but there were multiple levels of clouds, heading every which direction. The sky was a dark green tint. By this point, I was looking up at the sky so I didn't get surprised. If anything was coming, I wanted to see it before it found me.
It was time to pick up the boys and bring them home. I went inside and grabbed a Sprecher's Root Beer from the fridge and headed out into the garage. This is incredible root beer that my parents bring down from Wisconsin when they visit. It is made with honey as a sweetener and has a really unique taste. I figured I should grab my rain jacket since it was raining so hard, so I went back in to get it, then came out and got in the truck. I started to back up and realized I had left my Sprecher's Root Beer on the seat of the mower in the garage. I pulled back in, opened the garage, jumped out and got the root beer, then hopped back into the truck. Probably took me about an additional minute. Then I started to drive towards the church.
I got about a quarter mile from the house and saw it.
A white tornado crossing in front of me. I stopped on the road, put on my hazard lights, and grabbed my iPhone to get a video. Unfortunately, it was getting pretty dark, so it isn't the best video.
As I was watching the tornado go across in front of me, I looked to my right and saw this tiny house and through the screen door two elderly people sitting in the living room watching tv. I pulled into their driveway and ran up to the house to tell them there was a tornado going by. I thought that if the tornado changed direction, I could at least give them a warning. After telling me that they knew (apparently they were warning about it on the tv) and telling me to be safe, I ran back to the truck. Once there, I realized I had left the video running. I edited this portion out of the above video because it is a lot of noise and video of my hand holding my iPhone as I ran to their door and back. And I sounded a bit frantic as I was yelling through their screen door that a tornado was going by. I'm guessing they thought I was crazy and just wanted me to leave.
I continued to record the tornado until it dissipated into the sky. At that point I went on to pick up the boys. They were safe and unaware of the tornado. I drove through where the tornado went, and there were trees down, but not that much damage. I don't know if going back to get my Sprecher's Root Beer kept me from the path of the tornado or not, and I don't care to dwell too much on that. But the thought has crossed my mind.
We told them before moving to Virginia that they didn't have tornados in Virginia. We really didn't know, and figured that hurricanes would be more of an issue. This spring has been a crazy spring full of tornados across the country, with our fair share here in the commonwealth.
I mentioned to the CEO of the company I work for that we told the boys before we moved here that there weren't tornados in Virginia. He said we should probably admit that there are tornados here at this point. The tornado drills the boys have been doing at school haven't helped. He did mention though that there aren't any volcanos in Virginia, so we would be safe to make that guarantee!