Next stop -- St. Louis, after a two hour drive. We had planned on getting a bite to eat before setting off but then I overheard someone in Springfield say that a storm would be arriving by 5:30 p.m. and we thought we'd get out of there before it hit. Little did we know that we would be running into those approaching storms and driving through what I saw later was an entire red blotch on the radar of storm and tornado warnings.
As the sky began to look eerie I pulled out the map and found a radio station that kept interrupting with the updated warnings which always seemed to be the county we were in at the time. I for one am not good with high winds and tornado warnings and am very thankful we live in an area where they are not frequent. So I was a little on edge, as was George, who takes after me in too many ways. Tank, our child who throws up when he hears thunder was in hiding underneath pillows but at least the rain was too strong to hear any thunder. The other boys slept and Missy Blue sat in the back chattering away without a care in the world.
I am thankful for a husband who does not get rattled and was calm as could be. He is the kind of driver that I am not fond of in that he passes other vehicles during pouring rain while the cars on the right-hand lane are all driving with their hazards flashing or were pulled over to wait it out. It was nice when we'd come to a break and then could relax a bit and I'd ask John if he could just keep driving toward the clear skies instead of the way we were headed but he kept on telling me that he'd rather be in a moving vehicle during a tornado warning than stopped in a restaurant or somewhere as he could keep moving. I think my problem is that I watched the movie Twister years ago and so I envisioned a funnel dropping down right in front of us on the road and picking up our van. It seemed the Christian radio station was purposely playing certain songs because "Praise You In the Storm" and others like it kept playing which I kept trying to belt out to keep calm as I was getting so tense my braxton hicks were getting too frequent.
After searching the clouds the entire time and waiting to see a tornado we safely arrived in St. Louis. We were so happy to see the welcoming Gateway Arch amidst the rain but could see that this time we were indeed headed toward clear skies and I could even see a hint of the sun. We did stop for a bite to eat for all the growling tummies and tried Five Guys Burgers and Fries as I had heard they are so good (but a little pricey for a family of 8!). I did like that everything was fresh without fillers and such and I did enjoy my double burger with the works but alas, it does not come anywhere close to a Sheboygan hamburger on a hard roll, especially from our favorite little diner, Charcoal Inn. That is our opinion anyway. :)
We were very thankful to arrive at John's cousin's house and get settled. We haven't gone anywhere without our motor home for a long time so staying at someone's house was a new experience and we were so thankful for their hospitality!