Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Twenty Minutes in the Closet with Twitter

I know. The title makes no sense. Stick around and I'll explain.

We've had strange weather in Northern Colorado the last couple of weeks. Lots of rain. Hail that shredded gardens. Wind. A few tornadoes around Denver and on the eastern plains. Yesterday was stranger than most at my house.

My second floor office space, where my desktop computer lives, is at the east end of our house. At the west end, one bedroom window looks out past houses toward the hills. While I was working at my computer yesterday afternoon, I heard a rumble of thunder. I strolled to the bedroom and rolled up the blinds, stared at the ugly black cloud with its rolling, twisting tendrils, left my desktop to defend itself as best it could, and headed downstairs.

My laptop was parked on the kitchen table where I'd left it earlier, so I powered it on. In seconds, the Weather Bug began to chirp. Sure enough, there was a tornado warning that included my town. Tornadoes never come to my town, and they sure don't form to the west of my town. Except yesterday.

The safest place in our house is the closet under the stairs, in the center of the house, just off a hallway. The entry into the crawlspace is also in that closet, extra protection if needed. I hauled the sweeper and a couple of boxes out of the closet, grabbed a chair and my laptop, and took shelter.

It began to hail and the wind picked up. I closed the closet door. There was a low rumbling. Was it getting louder? I couldn't tell. The closet was dark except for my laptop screen. I logged in to Twitter. With the alerts from Weather Bug and tweets from local weather spotters, I was in touch. I knew what was happening. Nothing. The background rumble continued. I opened the closet door and listened. Ah. The clothes drier.

I still waited until the tornado warning expired to exit the closet.

Yeah, a bit anticlimactic. You're disappointed, aren't you? You were expecting something more intense. Maybe I can fix that. Tomorrow I'll tell you about the night I spent in a high school boys' locker room during Hurricane Andrew. I'll bet you can't wait.


Galen Kindley--Author said...

Now, this is a nice short story. It even reveals little Patricia tidbits. For example, she has a space under the staircase, large enough for a chair. This immediately put me in mind of Harry Potter. Patricia, are you ever banished there for mis-behavior?? Do you banish others there? Do you ever go there to find your muse? The possibilities are endless. The genesis of a new novel, even.

Best Regards, Galen

Karen Walker said...

Yes, I want more. I love this. Glad the tornado passed you by.
Karen Walker

Patricia Stoltey said...

Too Funny, Galen. But don't be giving my husband ideas about banishing me there. He probably wouldn't let me take my laptop. BTW, he was at the Senior Center for one of his bridge games, and they all had to go stand in the hallway for a while.

Anonymous said...

Ha! Good build up. I'll look forward to the boy's locker room episode. :)

The Old Silly From Free Spirit Blog

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

Will Twitter now become a part of every survival kit?:) Enjoyed the story and glad nothing more dramatic happened.


The Practical Preserver said...

That space under the stairs is a great place to stash a body.