Yesterday, everyone at work was sent home early because tornados were predicted. Honestly, I wasn't concerned (tornado warnings seem to occur as often as it rains here) - in fact, I was kind of psyched that I now had an entire afternoon and evening all to myself.
Everything was cool until about 4:00, when Ashleigh called to tell me she had seen a wall cloud on her way home from work (she got sent home early, too). She was telling me about it when all of a sudden she paused and turned up her radio. I heard the weather-guy practically yelling "It's moving at 86 miles per hour! There's rotation! There's rotation! It's heading down Drake...heading down Airport!"
I live off Airport.
Ashleigh yelled "It's right where you are!"
I said "Ok, going," hung up the phone, turned the tv up full blast so I could hear it from downstairs, grabbed Gilbert, and hoofed it into the stairwell below my apartment. Gilbert was not happy.
About 30 seconds after I sat down in the stairwell, everything went dark outside and rain began coming down in sheets. I could see the trees bending and straining and I thought "Um...this could be bad. This could be really...bad." Gilbert even stopped squirming, and I swear, he looked up at me as if to say "Oooook...I am not liking this. At. All."
It didn't help my state of mind to know that the apartment complex I live in was completely decimated 21 years ago...by a tornado.
Just when I started to inwardly panic just a little bit and had decided that I might have to break down the door of the first floor apartment to my left so I could huddle in their bathtub, it all stopped. The sun came out. To quote one of my favorite movies, "The Neverending Story," it was "like The Nothing never was."
I have to say - I'm still a little shaken up. You never think that it could literally happen to you, but it hit me yesterday that that's what everyone thinks. They're probably thinking that right before they die, be it in a car accident, freak fall, or even a tornado.
So. I'm going to be a little better prepared next time. I'm heading somewhere with a basement.