As the prediction of the horrific storms that blew through Kansas on Saturday became national news, many people prepared themselves to live through the event and give their recollection afterwards about being hunkered down in their shelter, with their prepared water bottles and granola bars. Even the most courageous storm warriors all over the state found themselves with sweat on their brow, worried about what Saturday evening had in store.
I was one of the many fans who purchased tickets moments after being on the market for the country music headliner show coming to town the same Saturday the bad weather was. For weeks, I had been looking forward to the Miranda Lambert in Wichita.
I was excited for many reasons, but when the warnings of tornadoes scampering through the Wheat State became more and more of a real threat, I reconsidered traveling to the city and taking myself out of my comfort zone, for fear I would experience the storm where I was, or worse, have it hit Peabody.
My mother begged me stay home. Telling me that if I was still living at home, under her supervision, that there was no way she would allow me to go because of the weather. But I just had this feeling that if I didn’t go, I would regret it.
My friends and I made it to the stadium fine. Other than gusty wind and the intimidating sky, if it weren’t for the radar on my phone, I would have dismissed the butterflies in my stomach for excitement, rather than fear. The warm-up acts performed like any other on tour. Other than the noticeable amount of vacant seats in the stadium, the crowd was buzzing, as to be expected. We may have even snagged some very good seats because of the smaller crowd.
Just when I thought maybe we were in the clear from any huge situation considering the condition of the weather outside, Lambert stopped after only a few songs into her set. She explained that the show had to be put on hold until whatever it was threatening us outside blew over. I was scared, but at the same time, not surprised by the turn of events.
It was then that a friend who does not handle natural threats well, especially the tornado kind, declared that all the commotion had made her had to really use the ladies’ room. After jumping the mild wall to the floor, and some cajoling of the security guard, I found another employee of the arena. I explained to her my situation, and the next thing I knew my friend and I were not only led to a line-free employee restroom, which happened to be in the break room.
We watched the storm with strangers, hearing gasps out of the crowd in fear for family members, and kept our fingers crossed. After about 30 minutes, we returned to our seats and to one of the best performances I have ever witnessed. Lambert even got choked up during the first couple of songs back from the break. It was at that moment I realized I was pretty glad I followed by instinct on this one. I survived, saw an amazing show and have a story that will someday, keep my grandchildren wide eyed as I tell them where I was during the April 14, 2012, tornadoes.