However, shortly after turning onto the highway, the skies began to battle between them. The dark clouds were racing to overtake the light. The line between the combatants was just above our heads. The beautiful white cloud “waterfall” of before turned into a clawing hand, grasping at the light as if to destroy it. The white fingers were grasping all around just over our heads. The battle zone became an odd shade of green. It was an eerie, surreal sensation. We drove faster, now realizing the danger that surrounded us.
Out the car window, we watched the clash. Rain so hard we had to slow to a crawl when we really wanted to fly, enveloped us. We had front row sets to witness the fury of the storm. The white fingers came together in a fist, and then began to rotate slowly in a circular motion. The trees on a nearby hill were sideways within the force of the wind. Frantically trying to confirm what we were witnessing, we dialed our cell phones. Family members in front of computer screens at home did not see anything but strong thunderstorm warnings, no tornado watches, or warnings. Yet in front of our eyes and over our heads we were watching the white on black swirling fight. A few moments later, as we were crossing Kingston Rd., a text confirmed radar had picked up a tornado just south of Rome Ga heading toward Kingston. At home, still on the phone, family members said, a warning just came across the screen for Rome. The danger we knew was enveloping us was confirmed.
We watched as the storm continued to move rapidly to our right. Driving to seek cover, the rain was tumultuous which prevented us from gaining any speed. Soon we were out of the worst of it, but did not know if more was following. Nervous laughter cut the tension in the car as we talked of our adventure. In the distance, we saw the school, whose rock buildings stood as an island of safety each time the sky flashed. Once we arrived, we found hundreds of students crouched in the hallway on the lowest floor. Curious looks found us as we burst through the door. Before we could share our tale, or sit to duck and cover we had to find the bathroom…so we wouldn’t wet our pants. This three-generation adventure will live on in our family history…the tornado-dodging women and the night they witnessed the battle of dark and light.