Monday, April 03, 2006

I'll get you, my pretty...

Aurgh! Our favorite bar's outdoor cafe!
(Photo by Jim Dixon, News Gazette)

LA Lori called me last night. 5 minutes into the conversation, I heard an odd musical noise. "oh yeah," she said, "I just talked to Jim. You guys are getting tornadoes. I guess I'll let you go."

I had no ideer. If you've lived in the midwest forever, you take tornado warnings with a grain of salt. When you hear the sirens, you go to the window or step outside to see how much attention you should pay to them.

Eh. It seemed pretty still.


Wind hit the back of my house, BAM, like a vertical belly-flop! It SLAMMED the place and the power went out and I decided that cover was something I should take.

I ran into the bathroom.

It's dark.

Snuck back out for flashlight.

I'm cold.

Back to Brian's room to grab an old comforter.

I'm bored. Where's my book?

Can I make it? I try to determine if I hear anything like a freight train, as that's what they say a tornado sounds like. I'd hate to win a Darwin award just for running for reading material due to boredom during a tornado. See my shelter below:

Wouldn't a glass of wine have been nice? I considered it, but passed, that's just how serious the storm was.

Once it was clear that it had blown over, I moved out, and lit the house with candles, of which I am well-stocked. How quiet it is, without electricity. How...boring. No wonder they were "Healthy and Wealthy and Wise" back in the day.

I awoke this morning by cell-phone alarm, still with no electricity. There are no windows in the immediate vicinity of my bathrooms. I skipped a shower, put on minimal makeup-by-flashlight, cursed this Monday morning without coffee, and ran out into the garage to be on my way to work.

Garage door opener.

No electricity.

And WHERE is the manual release? I don't see any source, ANYWHERE to get this freakin door open. Where is the rip-cord hangy-downy thingy? There is none!! Kids, I'm relatively manually inclined, and I could not for the life of me figure out how to get my damned door open. I was trapped in my own house.
See? Nothin!

Lot of chaos ensued, in which I called into work, called for rides, waited around panicking--still in the dark, mind you. FINALLY my ride arrived; and as I headed out the door, the lights came on; surge protectors, stoves and smoke alarms started beeping, and the phone began ringing: the bossman, checking back in, what's going on.

I was answering phones, trying to hit cancel buttons, telling my designated driver to move on, and trying to get out the door; LORD! I was in a mood when I got to work this morning. Grumbly and tired and RAWRRRrrrrr...

And then I got a grip. No one got hurt. No one died. I didn't even suffer damage to my home, hence, no financial damage. I have coworkers who stayed home today, to arrange having trees removed from their properties, and home repairs. This is the main intersection near my house, 24 hours later:

Sigh. That I take my shower after work instead of before today is not such a burden.


  1. Seems that not only are you fine, but that you carry with you a healthy perspective. Glad you're well.

  2. I just happened to be reading about the storms in Illinois in our paper and then came your thorough description. At least that porcelain was handy if it got too scary!

  3. You can make anything funny, can't you? :-)

    We had no damage and didn't even lose electricity. I was in my office, shredding paper, and Hubby was cooking when the alarm went off. We, too, were clueless. I knew it was sprinkling and unusually warm, but nothing else. The lights flickered and we lit candles, grabbed the cat, and went into the bathroom. Stuart watched the news until cable went out, then we sat in the bathroom laughing for about 10 minutes, and then carried on with life.

    A HUGE branch fell and hit our window pane, but nothing broke, thank goodness. We ate chicken and watched the weather people panic. Good times.

    Glad you're Ok, hon.

  4. Items to add to your bathroom shelter:


    2) Something to read. A novel, a Bible or the Karma Sutra. Something to occupy your mind. But nothing from Stephen King or Dean Kuntz. Why be even more scared. :)

    3) A good bottle of red wine.

    4) A corkscrew. Duh!

    5) A futon pad. To lie on or to cover yourself with, as necessary.

    6) A silver mylar "survival" blanket. Its even better than a comforter.

    I am sure that you can some small space in your linen closet to accommodate these items.

    Then all you'll need to bring with you is your cell phone. Hopefully, it will be charged.

  5. Wow. So glad you didn't have any damage. That stuff is scary! I think you should keep a bottle of wine in the bathrooom from now on - just in case.

    I don't miss that part of the midwest!

  6. for the thirteen years that I lived in Illinois I never experienced anything like that. I'd heard Springfield got hit pretty hard last month, too. Man oh man. Glad you're OK.

  7. Yes, what you need is a bottle of red under the sink! You were lucky! Risley Ranch just posted he was in the AIR flying to Chicago!

  8. It took us completely by surprise as well. We tried to wrangle the five cats to the basement. It was a no go - imagine that.

    You're so funny with your book and your wine craving and your little bed. How cute!

    It took me a little while to realize how close we got to disaster. Friends calling and saying they heard a tornado went right over my town - the damage that I heard about in Champaign - we are all incredibly lucky.

  9. You all are such good friends...but promise me: If you every really find a bottle of red and a corkscrew in the bathroom, someone please haul me by my heels to the nearest AA meeting. Thanks ahead of time!

    (Wil, the price of that radio is equivalent to a lot of cheap wine...)

  10. So glad you're okay!

  11. GAH!!!!! You'll forgive my ignorance. I was in Aruba during this. I hear on the weather report "29 dead in midwest tornadoes and didn't even THINK of Champagne Illinois! I think of the midwest as, well, Kansas or something. Yeesh! SO glad you are well. I disagree about AA though. Stocking your hiding place with wine or liquor is simply prudent planning. Water too while we're on the subject. Time to start building a root cellar my little pretty!

  12. DUDE! I'll take our New England blizzards, thank you. Somehow I don't think I would have handled this nearly as well. And the wine in the bathroom isn't an AA offense. Wine in the bathroom...and the garage...and the bedroom...and, and, and...THEN we'll talk AA. ;)

  13. Andy: Sure soak up sun while we're fighting for our lives here. As for stocking up on water...well, I had an entire toilet-full, in case of emergency.

    BP:...and in the glovebox, and in the desk drawer at work...

  14. I couldn't handle living in the midwest because of that. Although the Western part of my state got ripped pretty badly, I think there were 28 dead.

  15. Anonymous8:37 PM

    That was too close! I still couldn't get through that intersection Monday night. I can't believe you don't have a release on your garage door. My power came back on about 1:00 am. You need one of those weather alert radios so yuz knoz its a comin. R.S.

  16. Awww, a tornado. It's making me homesick.

  17. Survived yet another one ... Hooo ....


  18. You make mud slides look like spring picnic weather - great photos - glad you make it ok!

  19. Anonymous1:39 PM

    ahhh but yet another reason we men keep the potty well stocked w/ reading material...always prepared. tbr


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