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Hiding in the Basement

I have dreams of having a nice, finished basement that I can let my kids play in and host playdates in. Sadly, our basement will only become that with thousands and thousands of dollars in work first (it’s very, very leaky when it rains). Yesterday morning though, I got to host a playdate in my leaky basement anyway!

My friend Jessica had come over yesterday morning so that we could start discussing the mom’s group we’ll be co-leading next year (she’s my new partner in crime). Her 3 kids were with her and the oldest 5 kids of the group were having fun playing together when my weather radio went off. Tornado Watch. Huh, didn’t see that coming! They’d hyped tornado potential the night before but hadn’t really said anything about yesterday morning.

We went about our work (a watch just means be aware and pay attention to the weather, not that you’re in any danger) and about 15 minutes later Nick called me from work. He asked if the sirens were going off at home because they were going off near the church (where he works) and the staff was headed to the basement. Freaky! A couple of minutes later the weather radio went off again this time with a Tornado Warning and then the sirens went off.

Jessica and I stayed calm as we scooped up the babies and ushered the 5 older kids down to the basement. I found our rarely used pack n play down there so that I could lay Lily back down and I hurried back upstairs to grab my laptop, my camera (gotta save the important stuff!), the last 4 apples in the house (the kids were complaining they were hungry) and a basket of toys to keep the kids entertained.

We got command central set up and I downloaded the plug-in needed to watch the local weather guys on my computer. There were images of funnel clouds and tornadoes forming. Yikes! Most of the early action was over by the church and everything here in the metro was mild. A larger tornado ripped through a town about an hour east of us, but no one was seriously hurt or killed.

While the storm went on outside, my children announced they had to go to the bathroom. Awesome. Jessica and I had the same thought at the same time – have them pee into the floor drain!

And further proof of my leaky basement: check out the little streams heading for the drain! At one point I was standing in a puddle, holding up the cords for my weather radio and laptop. We decided that probably wasn’t a wise move, so moved stuff to a drier location.

50 minutes after we went downstairs the sun came out and the tornado warning expired. What an adventure! About an hour later the skies looked unsettled again (and we were still under the watch) so I thought “I should bring a couple of chairs and some snacks to the basement in case we have to go down again”.

Forget the fruit – let’s have some good old comfort food! Ha!

We ended up only needing to go down that one time though, so the Golden Grahams were consumed for breakfast instead. In the nearly 6.5 years we’ve lived in Kansas City, this was only the second time I’ve had to take shelter and the last time was 3 years ago. I’ll be just thrilled if it’s another 3 years before I have to do it again. Joplin has definitely made me more anxious about tornadoes.

  • May 26, 2011 - 11:14 am

    Nanette - I live in the metro area too and also work at a church. Every Wednesday a group of women (most in the upper 70’s and above) meet. We had to get them all to the basement and boy was that an adventure. At least 2 of them are in their 90’s. We had them take their lunches and purses and we took down pitchers of water and dessert. I stayed up on the main level and watched the tv until it said it was near us. They were down there about an hour. It was a crazy day.ReplyCancel

  • May 26, 2011 - 2:21 pm

    Sarah - The kids probably had a ball!ReplyCancel

  • May 26, 2011 - 4:46 pm

    MandyE - I have been much more anxious about the weather over these past few weeks, since the devastation in Alabama (where I grew up). We were under warnings last night – although thankfully we never heard the sirens – and I can tell you it was not a very restful night!

    So glad your biggest “event” was going to the bathroom in the drain pipe! ๐Ÿ™‚ReplyCancel

    • May 26, 2011 - 8:58 pm

      Helen - Isn’t the anxiety the worst, Mandy? ๐Ÿ™

      Your last line cracked me up!ReplyCancel

  • May 27, 2011 - 11:06 am

    Jessica - It was so nice of you to leave out the part where we had just settled in the basement and Liam heads for the stairs because he needed to potty and he had an accident on your stairs. Too bad we didn’t think of the drain sooner! I hope we don’t have to have any more trips to the basement this summer in KC, but I do like how you prepared! Now I am glad my stockpile is in my basement ๐Ÿ™‚ReplyCancel

    • May 27, 2011 - 11:21 am

      Helen - I’m all about embarrassing my own children, but it’s job to tell your kids’ embarrassing stories ๐Ÿ˜‰ReplyCancel

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