One day last week we had a very good chance for tornadic activities in our area and since the F5 that went through here about 2 years ago, I don’t fart around anymore or go stand in the yard trying to spot a funnel. We had a storm shelter installed in the backyard. Since the day it arrived I have been prepping it for the next tornado that comes through.
I texted my weather guru friend Cindy that night and asked would she please call if the sirens were going off because chances are I would not hear them. I purchased a weather radio but it only seems to go off for freeze warnings and not during stormy weather. There is nothing like having a damn heart attack because a loud alarm goes off in your house to warn you to bring in your already dead plants.
The cell phone woke me up around 1:30 am. I mumbled a greeting into the phone and heard Cindy’s voice on the other end.
“I have called four times now, dumbass. Get in your storm shelter, the sirens are going off.”
I frantically grabbed a sweatshirt and the bag I kept packed by the back door. I ran outside into the middle of a downpour. Got to the cellar, opened the door and remembered I had promised the elderly couple across the street I would unlock our gate if they want to come join us in the shelter. I ran back inside the house, grabbed the gate key and ran across the yard dodging lightning bolts to unlock the gate, then ran back across the yard to jump in the cellar. I guess I can’t say run as I don’t do that…more like the trot like a rhino in heat. Needless to say, I was soaking wet.
I got the door shut and couldn’t see much. My hands skimmed the walls until I found the battery-powered lights I hung on the walls and was happy to see they were still working. Flipped out one of the lawn chairs and started digging in the large storage bin that contained the crank radio. I sat back in my chair and looked around at the cement dungeon and was pretty proud of myself for making it as comfortable as I had and that it was all down here waiting for me to use. No running around the house digging deep in closets trying to find a flashlight…I was actually prepared…prepared for about the first 15 minutes.
It didn’t take long for my hands to get very cold. Then the chill spread all over my body. The only blanket I had down there was sealed in cellophane and is basically like tin foil. You wrap a large piece of foil around your body and it keeps your heat in. I didn’t want to open it up and have to fold it back up small enough to fit into my storage container again. I was praying the old couple from across the street would show up and bring some hot cocoa and Snuggies for all. No such luck.
I left a note on their front door the next morning…
We had a tornado siren going off last night. I was disappointed that you did not grab your canes, load up Oscar’s oxygen tank and run over to join me in the storm shelter. I will assume that the reason is you took your hearing aids out when you went to bed. If you don’t want your asses blown away, I suggest you leave them in from now on.
Your kind and generous neighbor,
P.S. I was almost electrocuted trying to unlock the gate for you all, so if you are not going to join me it would be nice to receive at least a text message so I don’t risk my life again for you unappreciative old farts. And don’t use the excuse you can’t see to text because of your cataracts. They have surgery to fix that shit, so get it scheduled…not like you have anything better to do.
Needless to say, lesson learned. I have bought a radio to keep in my bag so it is easily accessible and I have carried down several old blankets to keep me warm.
If I can figure out a way to install a hot chocolate maker this roughing it during storms might not be so bad.