The Weekend Warning–In Which Some Mondays are Harder than Others

Dear Lily June,

I was once employed at a Call Center, handling complaints from parents about their childrens’ school photos. That job met every definition of a nightmare. It triggered my social anxiety, the computer system they used was unnecessarily convoluted and in no way user friendly, the management timed your bathroom breaks, and if you couldn’t average getting the customers (who were often livid and sometimes downright cruel) off the phone in a certain number of minutes, you could be given the axe pretty quickly. I would come home and stress vomit, hoping I was pregnant but realizing I was more likely nursing an ulcer than a child. It was a hell I’m thrilled to never again have to live through (unless you need an organ transplant or something, and then I’d crawl through burning broken glass for you).


Before we’d moved to this town, back on April 27, 2011, we lived through a major tornado. I’ve written about it elsewhere, only touching down (pun!) on how it shook me up (pun!) and spun me into a destructive case of PTSD. As part and parcel of that, I found I couldn’t hear a tornado siren go off anymore (a sound I’d once grown callous enough to mostly ignore) without breaking into a case of the shudders. When we moved from the South, in part to escape the haunting memories of having been poked by the kind of storm they call “the finger of God,” we moved smack dab into Irony. Our new apartment complex was right down the road from a very new, very, shall I say, functional tornado siren. In fact, its exact location was right out the window from that Call Center.


Every Friday, the siren would go off, alerting the entire town and testing whether it could still rattle me to my bony core. (It could.) But something strange happened. The dictators I worked for demanded that, when we heard it, regardless of whatever call we might be on, we stand up from our desks and shake our hands in the air. They called the siren’s song, Lily, our “weekend warning.” And slowly but surely, I got conditioned into looking forward to that sound that had once terrified me.


It’s been a couple years since I blissfully quit that job (in the most immature of ways, too; I never showed, never wrote, never called–something I have never done before and can’t see myself ever again doing). But I’m still not too many miles down the road from that office building, and thus its tornado siren. And now, every Friday when I hear it ring, like one of Pavlov’s dogs, I immediately start salivating for the weekend coming. I say all this to say that it’s only Monday, and I’m already sitting at my desk and daydreaming of this sound.

I am sincerely hoping the rest of the week doesn’t go this way. Give me some hugs when I get home, okay, Lily?


Picture Credits:





18 thoughts on “The Weekend Warning–In Which Some Mondays are Harder than Others

  1. bitsfromheaven says:

    I live in tornado alley too. I still forget (of course) they go off on a schedule. We’ve had some home leveling straight line winds come through, and we were in an F1 tornado on a bridge over the Mississippi river. It was terrifying. I feel your pain. I’ve trained myself not to emotionally ballistic when it goes off, but…when there really is a tornado I still try to carry ALL my kids to our basement.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. dearlilyjune says:

      Thanks, Bits. Just hearing from you is uplifting enough. I hope you get your pep back. And thanks for the encouraging words.

      I never cared about tornados until I actually lived through one that dropped trees through our building while I huddled in a bathtub. Then, suddenly…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Amy says:

    It’s no wonder we all feel a bit off… OCD tendencies don’t lend themselves well to things like “extra days” once every four years. To soften the weirdness I just keep randomly leaping around like a drunken wacko. My children don’t know whether to laugh or look away. To their credit the two younger ones have “leapt for mummy” at different points during the day, bless their little hearts. When Lily’s older (4 just might be perfect) you may find it to be a strangely liberating practice. Or now. It helped me not take myself so seriously today which I really needed…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. BarbCT says:

    I remember that storm; I was living in Kansas and pulled a chair into the bathroom to listen to the radio every time the siren went off. I’ve witnessed small tornados before and seen their devastation, and I survived Hurricane Rita in 2005, so I can understand the nervousness the sirens set off in you. I’m glad that they have a more positive effect on you now.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lonna Hill says:

    Growing up I lived in the country, outside a one-stoplight town where the siren went off noon everyday. We lived far enough away that it was a simply a clock for me–a gentle reminder when I was outside playing that it was noon and lunchtime. I remember, though, the first time I happened to be in town when the siren went off and feeling sorry for the people who lived close by.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. dearlilyjune says:

      I’ve lived on the wrong side of the train tracks all my life, and I’ve now moved down the road from a tornado siren. Luckily, I’ve always lived with the right people, even when I’ve been in the wrong places. Wish our family luck in house-hunting. May we be in the right place at the right time for once!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lonna Hill says:

        I definitely wish you luck in the house hunting. I remember when we knew we were leaving Korea but had no idea where we would end up next, I was having a nervous breakdown almost daily. One day my husband said to me, “Lonna, just relax and enjoy not knowing. Use your energy to imagine and dream and think of possibilities.” I really tried to change my outlook, but not knowing, I guess, is easier for some people than for others.

        I also wish you luck on getting your health problems figured out. That’s so scary. Blessings to you and your family and in all the changes and adventures you’ll have to come.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Brian Lageose says:

    Ugh, I go a little bit insane when severe weather is occurring anywhere near me. It’s kind of odd, in that I’ve always lived in tornado alley, and when I was younger and even up through my mid-40s, I respected the weather but never truly feared it. But for the last 5 years or so, I kind of lose my mind when we’re under a tornado watch. And if that siren goes off, hoo boy. But anyway, enough about me: This was a lovely post, as usual, and I appreciate the theme of turning something you dread into something you accept, and life goes on. But I did not click on the “Tornado Siren” video. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Debbie Diljak says:

    When I moved to a small southern town, I was introduced to a tornado siren. It went off once a month, when they tested it to make sure it worked. Lucky for me, the first time I heard it, the sky was perfectly clear, but I had to wonder all day what was going on! I hope the rest of your week goes better, and that you have a lovely, sunny weekend.


    1. dearlilyjune says:

      It’s good that there are warnings; it’s bad when they’re played so often that they cease to instill that sense of urgency. C’est la human vie.

      In the meantime, I hope, months later, you’re experiencing your own lovely, sunny weekend. Sorry for my delay in response!


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