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Tornado Warning on Idol Night
Tuesday, May. 25, 2004, 10:07 p.m.

QUESTION: Can't a mother ever get a few moments of peace and quiet?

WHAT I LEARNED: Mother Nature does what she wants, when she wants.

Mother Nature has a sense of humor. That, or she is not an America Idol fan. We are really hooked on the show in this house and we were looking forward to the big showdown tonight between the two final singers.

When the phone rang 15 minutes into the show, I was annoyed. What's wrong with these telephonic sales folks? What friend of mine would dare breach the American Idol hour? Evidently neither deserved my Idol ire. And who was it then? It was my brother giving me notice that there was a news report of a tornado touching down in our area. Maybe that's why the sky looked rather green tonight. Scary, and worse, it was cutting into our Idol time.

Tornado Warning Sky by Suburban Island's youngest kid

I contacted my daughter at a friendís house several times, causing her to insist that I not call her again until after the storm. I checked in with a friend whose bad day tempted him to embrace the idea of his house being blown away with a certain soaring gusto. I watched the Doppler radar images that interrupted our 1-hour of fun with the patience that comes with a real concern for not getting sucked into a freak tornado. I can see the headlines now - woman watching Idol gets sucked out of chair before casting vote. That wasn't going to happen to me.

Finally, the news cut back to the programming. Singers sang. Audiences clapped. Family members were shushed. The tornado warning and bad storm system passed by. The TV was shut off. Dialing began. We had made it through the storm and the show and were still here to tell the tale.

And the good news is, I can call my teenage daughter again, my house is still sitting on its foundation, and my friendís house didnít fly away even though for a moment of two they kind of wanted it to. Additionally, thanks to Mother Nature, American Idol, was a little more exciting than the showís producers could ever have imagined.

Thanks, Mom!

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