You can stay on the deck honey, I’m headed to the basement

I’ve just dozed off to sleep when I think I hear my phone ring. I ignore the low-pitched chime but pop open one eye. I spy the screen of my Kindle which has also gone to sleep by the looks of the Visa ad on the screen.

That’s when I hear it again. Sounds like music and it’s familiar. It’s my phone.

I jump out of bed. Rosie’s on a sleepover and who knows what’s happened. My best guess- two strong-willed girls born a day apart have just decided they are no longer friends. And, that probably includes their American Girl dolls too. I ring her BFF’s mom back.

“Well, we’ve moved to the basement,” she said matter-of-factly.

I search the recesses of my brain to try to figure out what that means. Earlier they were going to sleep in a tent outside, but Jenny convinced them it would rain so they moved to the living room. And, now they’re in the basement?

She must have sensed my ignorance about the situation (or become uncomfortable with my pregnant pause) because she quickly added, “the sirens are going off. So we’re safe in the basement. I just wanted to let you know. There was a tornado around Baldwin City.”

That jolts me completely awake. I tell her that I’m not going out to pick up Rosie and that I trust them. Then I start to worry and wonder. SIRENS? How the hell did I sleep through sirens? And, why didn’t anyone wake me up?

We were lucky and avoided one of these twisters last night

I’ve lived in the Midwest my entire life, so I’m used to severe weather in the month of May. When I was in grade school, a tornado hit my neighborhood. It missed my street but it took off the top of the Armato’s house around the corner. I know that tornadoes can be serious shit.

I rush downstairs to find my hubby and he’s standing out on the back deck staring at the sky. He doesn’t even have the television tuned to one of the crazy meteorologists that’s probably justifying their entire year’s salary right now. And, he’s as calm as a cucumber.

“Kelly, there are TORNADOES!” I scream. “Why didn’t you wake me up?”

“Well, yeah, the sirens have been going off for a while…”

I give him the best look of total disgust that I can muster and storm off. While he may think storm watching is cool, I’m heading underground. And, I’m taking my Dad and the dog with me.

Waking up my Dad was almost humorous. After a few minutes of gentle coaxing, I finally just hit him on the shoulder and told him to get to the basement. We were about to get hit by a tornado.

“Well, I better get outside then,” he said. And, then he disappeared.

He went out on the deck and took his place next to my hubby staring at the sky. I picked up the dog, my laptop and a bunch of blankets and headed to the basement. If they weren’t going to take the weather seriously, that was their problem.

I went online to check out the forecast. My Facebook friends were aligned with me. They were taking the sirens seriously. So, I felt validated (and a little cold. I should have grabbed a sweatshirt).

I wasn’t down in the basement long. About ten minutes in, the forecast changed and the path of the tornadoes moved to the east. I picked up all my stuff and headed back upstairs to the comfort of my bed leaving my Dad and Kelly out in a severe storm on the deck.

Where were you last night during the storm? And, why do all men think it’s cool to watch the weather?

About debcb

All Deb wanted to do was work, until she had Rosie. For the past decade, she's juggled a full-time career, high-profile volunteer work and mommyhood.


  1. Kimberly Cole says:

    I can honestly say, last night was the first time I was seriously scared by the weather in a long time. I’ve been in a tornado, so I tend to take these things seriously. I immediately grabbed a bottle of water, a flashlight, my blackberry, my cat’s carrier, pillows, blankets, and headed to my closet which is the center most room in my 2nd floor apartment. I moved a few things around in my closet, then realized I needed some water and food for Mookie. I put this food, water, and carrier in one corner of the closet and laid out the blankets and pillows for me on the other side. Now that I was all set up I proceeded to locate Mookie so we could take shelter. Animals can sense weather changes, because he was freaking out about 2 minutes before the sirens actually sounded. I think we camped out in the closet for about 2 hours before I decided it was safe to come by to my bed. Plus, I don’t have an air vent in the closet and it was starting to get stuffy. So that’s where I spent my time last night from 11p.m. – 1a.m., while face-booking a friend who was ALSO in her closet with her 2 bull-dogs LOL

  2. I’m smiling because I’d be another idiot out on your deck pointing at the sky. Can’t help it….too many fond memories of sitting with my dad to watch storms. Best conversations ever happened during horrible weather. 🙂

  3. When I was a kid, the sirens signaled a block party. After last night in Joplin, though, I think it’s time to really pack an emergency kit for the basement.

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