you say tornado, i say get thee to the basement

It’s 1am and I’m hunkered down in the basement of my home. A few minutes ago, our mobile phone alarms sounded off before blasting out the news of a tornado warning in our area. This was quickly followed by another round of alarms and news of a flash flood warning in effect for our area.

This seems like a tricky situation, right? A catch-22. A cosmic joke, really. The basement is the first place we go to take cover for a tornado but the last place we’d go for a flood.

tornado on body of water during golden hour
Photo by Johannes Plenio on

Nevertheless, here I am in the basement, waiting it out, writing my daily post.

Prior to this, the closest brush I had with a tornado was when I was a pre-teen. I lived with my parents in an upstairs flat. There was no basement to go to so we watched the skies turn green from the bedroom window. That’s all I remembered other than the aftermath of upended trees throughout the neighborhood.

While waiting in the basement this morning, my sister revealed that I had blocked out a crucial memory of the childhood event. Apparently, the tornado caused the massive tree in the front yard to topple onto the building we were living in. The tree blocked the stairwell, trapping us in the apartment. Dad had to climb over the downed tree to find help removing the obstacle.

Strangely enough, the knowledge of this lost memory disturbs me more than the threat of a tornado outside.

*    *    *

I’ve left the basement now that the storm has passed. All is safe here. I feel especially lucky but curious to know what else I might have forgotten.

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