I was sitting in a meeting at the Department of Labor when my cell phone rang. This was an important meeting and I was annoyed at myself for having left my cell phone on. I quickly glanced down at the screen and saw that it was my wife. I quickly hit the button to drop her into voice mail and quickly smiled an apology around the table. At that instant someone stuck their head in the door and said “There’s a tornado near Dulles [airport]!” I jumped up and said “I live near Dulles. Excuse me. I have to call home.” I ran out into the hall and called Ann back. She answered, “Where’s the safest place in the house to be in a tornado?”
She woke Jack up from his nap and brought him down into the basement. We’re always amazed at how kids never listen to you until it’s actually serious. He must have caught something in her voice because he did everything she told him to do. Including staying put.
They sat in the hallway in the middle of the basement where they could see the TV. She had lots of pillows, the phone, and a flashlight and they waited it out.
I went back into my meeting but occasionally dropped outside to check on the tv in the next room where they were watching the news which was showing a live doppler of the storm. I watched the big purple blog inch closer and closer to where we live…
In the end, a tornado did, supposedly, touch down briefly about 7 miles away and the worst of the storm did track right over our house and low pressure points with strong rotation formed in the wake of the storm. But no tornado actually came to visit and everyone was fine. And the meeting went very well.
After the storm was over, Ann opened the curtain in the basement family room and Jack said “Look Mama, there are men in the tree.” It seems that our neighbor asked the gardening contractors to trim our tree as it sticks over onto his yard. They were a bit over-zealous and were trimming it back on our side of the fence (which in technical terms is called trespassing). Ann went outside and scared them off using her dreaded scary-voice. Our neighbor apologized profusely and today the tree was trimmed correctly.