April Showers Bring May Flowers and Tornadoes to the South


When thinking about the month ahead, do you pick a memory from the past to tell a story?

That's what I do. When I wrote "April showers bring May flowers" to inspire my content planning for April, a striking memory popped up in my mind about tornadoes.

Yes, the tornadoes were real, and it was a terrifying, twisted sister!

A twisted sister is when one big tornado breaks off into twin-sister funnels split in two. This creates a suction effect between them, and I happened to be located in between them when they arrived.

It was April 16, 1998. I was working at Healthcare Corporation of America in Nashville, Tennessee, as their internal actuary and finance manager. The weather was actually nice that day, and a lot of people were picnicking in Centennial Park, which I could see directly outside my window.

The radio was playing when tornado warnings interrupted the low hum of music that accompanied my spreadsheet updating. I heard co-workers chit-chatting in the hallway when I noticed that the air outside had a hint of green to it. It was very subtle, but I recognized that putrid hue.

I grew up in West Tennessee around the corner from Tornado Hill. The storms have been a part of my life forever. Tornado Hill is one area that sits on the edge of my hometown where no buildings reside. It was less than a mile from my home. You can see the clear path that has been hit time and time again as it is situated perfectly along a jet stream that comes up from Memphis.

So I have my fair share of knowledge about what happens when tornadoes are coming.

Telling stories makes content more interesting.

You may be wondering, "Why are you writing about this memory in a blog post about social media content?"

Because it's a good story! And people connect with stories.

When we tell stories, people find common ground. They feel how we feel. They relate to our experiences, and their own memories that made them feel similarly come flooding back to them. That makes for great conversation.

And in case you haven't heard...Facts tell, but stories sell.

It has to do with relationship building. You can spout your expertise all day long, but if someone has to choose someone they're going to work with, they'll pick the person they feel they know the best over the fancy resume in many cases.

So what happened with the twisted sister?

As soon as I saw the green hue hovering in the air outside, I instinctively got out of my chair and hurried to the bathroom. The tornado had been spotted on Charlotte Avenue about 3 or 4 miles away headed towards downtown. I knew it was upon us when I saw dust swirling about.

When I got to the bathroom, I was the only one there. I nestled my body into a stall and sat on the floor between the wall and the toilet. Within a few seconds, I could hear people talking and running down the stairs. Why I didn't go down the stairwell, I do not know. About that time, Cookie and Lorainne entered the bathroom and took shelter in the other two stalls beside me. Cookie prayed the Lord's prayer out loud while Lorraine and I remained silent.

That's when it hit!

A tornado nearly a mile wide split into two identical, smaller tornadoes and gained velocity as they hit the corporate headquarters at the same time, one on one side of the building, and the other on the other side of the building. We were in the middle.

It sounded like a train riding over us, and I mean directly over us.

We found out later that the windows on the 5th floor right above us were blown out, yet our 4th-floor windows remained intact. No wonder the train sound was so loud. With damage from pine needles piercing holes into the bodies of nearly every car in the parking lot and imploding all the windows, too, I was one of the lucky ones because my car had been parked below street level in a lot that wasn't touched.

Unfortunately, a young man lost his life in the park outside my window that day. The largest oak tree in the park was felled by the storm and landed on top of him.

Afterward, we all bonded over the shared experience, and to this day, it's the closest call I've ever had with a tornado, even though I grew up less than a mile from Tornado Hill.

News Channel 5 Video: 20th Anniversary of Downtown Tornadoes

Inspiration for the month of April and beyond

With a content calendar in place that is right for your business or influencer status, you can make engaging posts from the hip without overthinking it. Curate ideas with a week-at-a-glance or month-at-a-glance calendar to eliminate stressing over what to post each day.

Here are some ideas to get you going. If you'd like our full Funny Holidays digital calendar for the entire year to add to your online calendar program, sign up to get it. It's free!

April Monthly:

  • Global Astronomy Month
  • International Guitar Month
  • Keep America Beautiful Month
  • Lawn and Garden Month
  • National Card and Letter Writing Month
  • National Frog Month
  • National Humor Month
  • National Kite Month
  • National Pecan Month
  • National Poetry Month
  • National Welding Month
  • Records and Information Management Month
  • Sexual Assault Awareness Month
  • Stress Awareness Month 

April Weekly:

  • Week 1 Library Week
  • Week 1 Read a Road Map Week
  • Week 2 Garden Week
  • Week 3 Organize Your Files Week
  • Week 3 Medical Labs Week
  • Week 4 Administrative Assistants Week
  • Week 4 National Karaoke Week
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What you get:

  • Content planning instructions
  • Content categories
  • Deep dive topics
  • Digital calendar for daily inspiration
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