So, tornado. Or tornadoes. Or no tornadoes but lots of wind. The summary of the story could go thus: Something wicked this way came, but I absorbed no damage (aside from some missing roof tiles).
The longer story: Was awoken at 7:50 this morning by sounds of lightish rain and wind. Turned on TV. Window started to shake, trees started to lean in a way that they are not meant to. Sky turned yellow/gray. TV said “only a thunderstorm” but when the back door started rattling, I fled to the stairs/laundry area and huddled against the wall. Horrible noise and wind for about 5-10 minutes; all power went off. Lost all knowledge of personal pronouns. Then total silence, broken by the sound of the tornado sirens going off. That lasted for about 5 minutes. Then, all clear, all calm. Smoke detectors made some pitiful, broken whining noises. I found some pants. Etc. Went outside and engaged in Kansan ritual of Discussing The Storm With Neighbors. Oo’ed and ah’ed over damages, including a fire about a half block to the west in the open field, where a lightning strike had knocked over a power pole thingy. Went back inside. Mourned own stupidity in never investing in a battery-powered radio. Celebrated own brilliance over having cleaned out desk last night, finding two flashlights.
Showered, dressed, decided to drive somewhere that might have power. The drive lasted a very long time, as nowhere in Lawrence seemed to have power — the first working stoplight I encountered after leaving my place (west on 23rd past Kasold) was at Mass. Drove down Mass, thinking I’d find someplace open. Instead found destruction, trees down, windows broken, awnings blown down the block, etc. Went back to Target, which had power — and loooong lines. Ended up getting a free chai latte at Starbucks because the cash register broke and so they just started giving the stuff away. Excellent! Bought battery-powered radio, batteries, flashlight lightbulbs, and two Diet Pepsis and a bag of goldfish crackers (ultimate emergency survival kit).
Went home. Listened to the radio. Completely reorganized all kitchen cabinets, including throwing away expired spices and teas. Talked to many relatives. Retold story of rain/wind/sirens many times. Saw fire was finally put out.
Power: back on around 1. Yay! Did laundry, waited for next predicted storm to hit. Storm decided to veer away — obviously afraid to damage my laundry mojo. Painted clay pots; repotted two aloe plants (with some help from friends at Home Depot). Painted picture frame. Watched “Jarhead.” Did 5 or 6 loads of laundry.
Went to dinner. Went to work. Servers down, but everything else OK. Celebrated cancellation of school tomorrow by realizing I will still, probably, have to go to work. Canceled scheduled meeting of my staff for tomorrow night.
HATE TORNADOES, KANSAS, THUNDER, EVERYONE.