purty small as far as airports go…

We were lucky enough to get a flight out of Grand Island when we went to Vegas, making our drive only an hour and a half each way. That is soooo the worst part about flying anywhere I think. The drive to the airport….if it is a long one anyways. Neither of us has flown out of Grand Island before but we knew it is a small airport with only a couple of flights per day. We were excited to find that they paved the parking lot when we got there!

Check out what we saw when we pulled up. This is serious stuff, people. My palms started sweating. I was picturing ourselves helping the pilot spin the propellers to start the plane when I saw this…

…and, here is the tower (not very tall):

But this….this by far takes the cake. Wins the grand prize of all dinky dink airports. How to tell if your carry-on is too big:

It was surprisingly a jet and obviously we arrived both there and back safe and sound but we both will swear that the landing on the way back was by far the hardest landing yet. Maybe it was the pilot’s first flight? Adam let out an audible grunt when we hit ground along with a bunch of other men too. Rather than saying the usual welcome to Grand Island yada yada thing, the stewardess simply said, “ladies and gentleman…..we are on the ground”.

No duh.

Show me your funnel!

My brother and I yelled that….”show me your funnel”. After what happened in Joplin recently it isn’t nearly as funny sounding now. Two years ago Adam, Jesse and I went storm chasing and periodically Jesse would stick his head out of our suv and scream “show me your funnel!” to the wall clouds as we were driving through the tornado warnings. We were crazy stupid, yeah.

Where we live has a high water level so not many homes have basements and the ones that do tend to pay for it….big-time when it rains with a flooded basement. This was one requirement when we were shopping for a home. No basement. Being in tornado alley however we wanted a nice crawl space. We just didn’t want to use it twice in two days in what I am told is an unusual stormy season for Cozad. This past bad storm the sirens hadn’t gone off yet but our weather radio had. It said our county was in a tornado warning but I don’t think our city sirens go off until there is a sighting. Adam and I were upstairs in his office looking out the windows. The rain was sideways, hail too. All of a sudden the main set of windows in his office started making a sucking noise and literally was sucking in and out a little. These are good windows, folks. Promise ya-the real deal and all~Pella. He went over and leaned on the windows and re-locked them even tighter and said he thought even though they hadn’t sounded the sirens we should go to the crawl space on our own.

Right then, the sirens went off.

Everything is fine. No damage just everything is filthy dirty with a fine layer of dirt but check these pictures out! I had heard that afternoon that there were a bunch of “storm chasers” heading to Cozad and hanging out all over I-80 but check out this picture! This is on a friends’s property.

I casually mentioned this to Adam last night about how this TIV car thing with some guy named Sean was at her house and he got all worked up and said “NO WAY! STOP TEASING ME!” Apparently this guy is big time. His is the funky looking grey car on the end and has red bars on each side of the car that anchor the car down so that he can stay in the middle of a tornado and capture film. He has just recently released an IMAX film from this I guess and he is the one on Storm Chasers on the Discovery Channel and Adam saw the IMAX film while he was in Pittsburgh on business and and and….just kidding. I’m just sooooo out of the loop. Obviously.

These next pictures are cool, too. They were taken from our neighborhood. If we had to guess they were taken before the sirens sounded probably right when we felt that suction-like feeling upstairs as that is when the rotation was starting.

Apparently this is the start of a rotation....

The main house you see there is our neighbors house (we are to the left of them). Immediately to the left of their garage you can see the rotation coming down.

There are too many trees in the way to really get a good view of our house but you CAN see our roof so this is to just put things into perspective. Adam took this picture yesterday evening when it was nice out of course!

And, this is down the road further where it continued to develop and strengthen....not sure that it ever completely touched down! A very good thing!!

Oh, and for the record…our crawl space isn’t scary. I told my sister we’d been there twice this week and I think she had envisioned something scary. There is a built-in metal ladder, cement floor and brick walls. I can stand up pretty much-Adam has to duck. There is electricity of course and lighting, outlets, etc. Our water softener and heater are down there and we have  other things stored down there (like our emergency kit). The biggest pain is getting the animals down there-the dogs especially. Adam is working on making a ramp that they can just go up and down and we can just store the wood in the garage because that is where we access the crawl space by the way, in the garage. We’ll need the ramp thingy if we get hit and it happens to land on a Thursday or Friday when Adam is always in Lincoln for work because I cannot handle the dogs myself. All in all, good practice runs. AND, glad we have our own weather radio.