Saturday, August 11, 2012

All in a Day (Two)

(If you missed Part One of this post, click here)

My daughter’s text from fifty miles away alerted me to the weather issue developing outside my window about the same time my iphone started vibrating to the Mirimba. The call was coming in from Em’s best friend – Meg, who lives 35 miles south of me. For someone who always sounds most chipper and calls me Mrs., there was a surprising urgency in her voice. “Are you in your basement? You need to go to your basement.”

“No,” I answered the question before she blurted the statement. The statement to which I replied “Yes, I know,” just having caught on to what my daughter’s text and her friend’s phone call was about.

I switched on the TV in the kitchen. The screen displayed an atmospheric map of Connecticut with large colorful blobs splattered over my area - north central. These indicated tornado warnings in my area. Actually closer than my area. The most intense splatters were just over the airport I lived close enough to walk to. The meteorologist matter-of-factly stated, “ If you live in any of these towns go to your basement. Turn your TV volume up and go . . .”
I scooped up the dog, and took stairs I had avoided for days into the cellar dampness. I crouched  under a table pushed against the cement wall. Sitting cross-legged on a plastic bin cover challenged every muscle in my healing leg that, once again, felt tight from hip to toe. I texted back to Em.

Tense muscles. Tense moments. Yet, I remained calm. Being able to keep in touch with Em and Meg through the storm helped. Plus, it was traveling in Em's direction. I couldn't go through her labor for her, less than two weeks ago, but maybe I could sort of model what she might have to do  - head to the basement with Patrick and a friend who was visiting - when the storm passed her way. Besides, except for the sound of heavy pounding rain, it felt perfectly fine in my basement.There was no sound of wind gusting or, what might have pressed my panic button - the sound of a rushing train.

 I got through the ten or so minutes the meteorologist said to sit in the basement, under a mattress (in my case, a table), texting and playing with the dog. And then I saw the sun shine through the small rectangle of the basement window.

The dog and I headed upstairs, to the smell of baked chicken fingers. I had set the toaster oven on/off timer. They hadn't burned.  And the cloud burst was beginning to lose intensity   as it traveled due east toward Boston. There'd be no danger in the more northeastern Massachusetts hills tonight and less complaint about an aching leg in North Central Connecticut. 


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