Travels and Tornados

Last week I went on choir tour with my university choir, main destination being the National Cathedral in Washington, DC.  It was a great trip - four evening concerts, three high schools, and two Sunday services - and we got to spend almost two full days exploring D.C.  Of course, one could take two months and not see the whole city!  Unfortunately I did not have my camera, so the few photos I may post will be borrowed from my friends' facebook albums.  The one above is of our whole group in front of the high altar in the Cathedral.  The concert was a very moving experience - to be able to sing, and to worship, in a place of such beauty and grandeur, somehow made God seem very near.

Of course we missed an entire week of classes for this trip, and no one can do successful work on a touring bus, so when we got back I had two near-sleepless nights trying to catch up in homework (mostly successful).  These were followed by our spring Choral Concert last night, with all three choirs - all of which I am in.  I started coming down with a cold, and I had to put myself on voice rest for the entire day beforehand to have even a chance of being able to sing, but it went remarkably well.

And then.  I put myself to bed about 1:30 am this morning, with a dose of Nyquil because of feeling sick.  Around 3 am I slowly surfaced and realised that the tornado sirens were going off, people were running and slamming doors, the RA was shouting outside, and something was being said over the dorm. intercom.  I finally woke up enough to realise that there was a tornado warning and we were being told to get downstairs.  I grabbed a sweater, my computer, and my phone and we hurried down to the apartment below us, where we sat for the next 3 hours.  Nothing happened except a lot of rain.

About 6 am the RA said we could go back up.  Up we went, and I went back to bed -- only to be awakened around 8:30 by the same thing.  I had taken some precautions after the first time; packed medical supplies, water, a blanket and pillow.  This time we were downstairs until about 11, but still no tornados.  (We've had incredible amounts of rain though - 12 inches in 12 hours - and the south part of town is experiencing massive flooding.  There are photos of semi-trucks in water halfway up their doors, Sonic parking lots submerged, and roads not only underwater, but in some places broken, the earth underneath them washed away until the pavement crumbled.)  They let us out eventually and I went back to bed and slept until 4:30.  So much for the highly productive day I needed to have.

Now, they're predicting more bad weather for this evening, anywhere between 11 pm and 5 am, possibly even later.  They suggest we "remain awake and alert" during this time in case we have to take shelter.  And while I appreciate their concern - the RAs and RDs who are working to keep us safe -- I just want a good night's sleep!  It's been weeks.  I've pulled all-nighters before but never ones that were enforced by the school!

I think everyone is hoping that classes will be cancelled on Monday.  I don't know of a church in the area that is having services tomorrow, and I know the entire campus was awake most of last night and probably will be awake most of tonight.  Class on Monday would be a waste of time, full of people so tired they can't concentrate.

Anyway.  It is quiet here right now but we are expecting more bad weather.  I know we would all appreciate prayers that we do not have a repeat of the tornado of February '08!