What's happening with the Hill family!

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Closet of Doom, or how my family handles an emergency

This week we had some severe weather. Actually we have had a month of severe weather, but Tuesday night was a doozie. Just as the family was settling in for the night, we saw on the news reports of tornadoes everywhere. The lightning storm was unbelievable. Matt and I kept vigil in front of the tv, he for the weather and me hoping that the season finale of Glee would miraculously appear (it didn't) though at one point Matt did refer to me as "really hardcore" because he thought I was DVR-ing the weather. Suddenly we heard our city's tornado sirens. Crap. That meant it was time to hop into the rarely used (at least for this purpose) tornado closet. This is a closet located under our stair case, and it seems very safe. There is a slight problem with this emergency shelter. It also moonlights as my craft, random storage and hide things from Matt closet. I was not prepared for it to be exposed. Matt ran around looking for some candles while I burrowed out a space for the four of us to take cover.

Matt couldn't find a candle anywhere. This didn't surprise me since I have completely phased out candles in favor of the fantastic wickless Scentsy warmers. I am obsessed. Matt was so kind to point out that wax warmers that also produce a gentle soothing glow and depend on electricity for said glow aren't going to do jack crap when the electricity goes out (I felt like that was a little harsh on the scentsy) but he was lucky enough to find a weird triple wick candle we got as a wedding present that has not been lit once in almost 7 years of marriage. Matt acted like he had hit the lotto and headed to the closet, fully prepared to lose electricity. I, for one, was against lighting this candle and voiced this opinion against a backdrop of tornado sirens. I felt like it would somehow jinx our marital happiness to break the tradition of not-lighting this candle. Obviously it has been working for us so far, why mess with a good thing. But I was outvoted and in it went with us. Once we all got in there, we ran into a little more trouble. While Matt and I had our little wedding candle discussion in the living room, Hudson felt the need to completely disrobe in the emergency shelter. Connor was calmly assembling a puzzle that he found in my stash of junk while his brother was trying to use the winter coats to scale the walls completely nude. Yuck. Once we had wedged ourselves in amongst the craft paraphernalia, Matt set the candle and lighters on the floor so they would be at the ready, the moment the power went out. Hudson caught sight of the candle and lighter and gasping with delight, squealed, "It my birthday!" Then he proceeded to sing himself the birthday song, oh so sweetly. Come on, how sad. Like would ever force our youngest to celebrate his birthday trapped in a tiny closet with all the members of his immediate family, while in his literal birthday suit. We aren't that trashy.

Before Hud had even reached the end of his first verse of Happy Birthday, the closet light went out. Matt, the boy scout, declared a really mature, "I told you so" and reached down to light the sacred candle. Since I was at the bottom of the pile of bodies, and therefore closest to the floor (and by close, I literally mean my face was on the floor) I noticed through the crack under the door that the lights in the living room were still on. So how did we just lose power in the closet? Oh friends, I'll tell you how. It was Matt's stupid, but energy efficient light sensors! He is driving me nuts with those things. He has the darn timers set so low that you can't so much as take a slightly prolonged blink and you are plunged into darkness, forced to wave your arms over your head like an idiot to get the lights back on. How much money could we possibly be saving and is it worth my sanity? I think not. So black out crisis averted and candle still unlit. Whew. With our single bulb back to burning overhead, Matt felt like it would be an appropriate time to dissect the contents of my secret closet/emergency shelter. I felt that this was highly inappropriate, especially in front of the children. No woman wants to be called out on her stockpile of ribbon, yarn and beads (what in the world was I going to bead). But since we had nothing but hot, closely packed time on our hands, we got to have the pleasure of talking about my craft problem. And my scentsy problem. Matt was in the midst of a lecture on how unhelpful a truckload of poster paint and 10,000 A7 envelopes would be in a real emergency, when the sirens stopped.

Sweet relief we were free! We fell out of the closet like a bunch of drunks out of the back of a wino wagon and all went our separate ways for a little breathing room. Connor raced to find paper to draw what he thought a tornado would look like, Matt went to call his parents to check on them (he is like a saint) and Hudson split for the most important thing in his life....the fridge. By the time I caught up to him, he had bitten his way through the foil lids on three containers of yogurt and was downing them like shots. He acted like we had been in the closet for 10 months, not 10 minutes (did I mention that it had only been ten minutes). He is like two power bars and a five hour energy drink away from being dropped into the middle of a wilderness survival reality show. Before he finished his last yogurt, the giant hail came and brought with it more sirens. So back into the closet of doom we went. Now it felt even more crowded because no one wanted to sit next to Hudson because he was covered in yogurt and still naked. So the three of us huddled together in the corner while he had the run of the place. Not that it bothered him. He took a lick off his arm and started pulling down scarves to try on. Matt decided that he, being the man of the house, should probably wait for the dangerous weather in the living room where he could see it coming and then warn us. Oh, I don't think so buddy, I wasn't born yesterday. If anyone was going to leave that closet it was going to be me! I'll be darned if I am left to raise those two hooligans alone! Luckily in the midst of that "discussion" the sirens stopped and the weatherman seemed to sound the all clear for our area. Exhausted, sticky and extremely disgruntled we trudged off to hose off the children and put them in bed. I told Matt to wake me if there was any more impending danger, but to please remember that I have upgraded my own personal warning system from tornado siren to I better have a confirmed visual of a tornado on the ground (preferably on my actual street) before I jam myself back in that closet with any of the human beings I currently live with. He agreed but let me know that he had decided to leave that candle in the closet just in case so it would be ready at a moments notice. I kissed him goodnight and let him know that if we ever have a tornado closet experience like that one again, he could have custody of the stupid candle.....and the kids ;)

1 comment:

  1. Oh Lissa, I saw all the FB and twitter messages about tornadoes in Dallas, and I was really and truly praying for everyone up there to be safe... but I was also thinking, "I hope this makes for a good blog story!" And I was not disappointed! Thanks for the laugh, I'm crying over here!