I was shuffling off to bed Tuesday night, right around my typical 1 AM bedtime ballpark, when I happened to witness the End of the World. It began quickly, between the 10 steps from the kitchen to the stairway to the second floor. When I turned out the lights and left the kitchen: no rain, a reasonable level of windiness. Yet, a mere 30 seconds later when I reached the stairs, I glanced out the front windows and witnessed a Hyundai Sonata, two dairy cows, and all seven dwarves go flying past. I also happened to notice that actual solid sheets of rain were attacking the house.
Never having been one to cry like Chicken Little, though, I decided I’d continue shuffling off to bed. It’s just rain, right? And a little wind.
By the time I got upstairs and went through the usual nightly routine of checking on my four, somehow still slumbering offspring, I’ll admit that the little wind had taken on slightly more angst than I’m used to. It’s as if it was practicing for one of those melodramatic, emotional scenes that always seem to play out around shiny vampires.
Still, I’m a firm believer in being the third piggy. Let the Big Bad Wolf huff and puff; I was surrounded with brick and sleepy besides.
So I continued with my bedtime routine and did what any well-adjusted technophile does right before crawling under the covers: I pulled out my phone to say goodnight to Twitter*.
“Goodnight, Twitter,” I like to say.
Usually Twitter replies, “Goodnight, Ma. Goodnight, Pa. Goodnight, Puddinboy”.
But there were few “good nights” last night. Instead, my twitter feed was flush with 140 character-long screams of horror and fear. For instance:
“OMG! RUN for the HILLS! The spinny winds of DOOM are upon us!”
“Take cover! Repent Cincinnati! Get the Hudy Amber and canned Skyline to the bunker!”
“I’ll get you, my pretty, and your little dog too! AHAHAHAHAHA!”
Meanwhile, I noticed that my weather widget blazed with the Red Warning Icon of Imminent Destruction. And just at that moment, a gust of windy violence rocked our house unlike anything I could ever recall hearing or feeling before. Everything shook.
The power winked out all over the neighborhood, which was admittedly a pretty cool thing to watch, especially when standing rather stupidly by the window like I was. That’s also when the emergency weather siren starting blaring, but I could just barely hear it over the howls of the Big Bad Wolf.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m not the kind of person who runs to the basement every time a few leaves skitter across the yard. Weather Watch? Bah! Humbug! Watching is what you do with birds and clocks. And, believe me, I tucked my head between my knees enough for three lifetimes doing elementary school tornado drills. So I’m not buying this “conditions are right” nonsense. You want to get me worked up, somebody with actual eyeballs rather than silicon processors and climate models better witness some Actual Serious Weather in the area.
Yeah, well, turns out there was some Actual Serious Weather last night. Thus, for the first time in our married life, when the Puddinette asked me if we should go to the basement (with just a subtle hint potential for freaking out in her voice), I replied in the affirmative.
So, that’s how my family and I spent Cincinnati Stormageddon 2011. We clung together in a dark basement with nothing but flashlights and an iron will to survive while the Unholy Tempest swirled outside, determined to huff, puff and blow our house in.
And then we went back to bed.