Attack of the Squash Puddle

3 Jun

The post-storm, 48 hour blackout ended last night. The flashlights, after discovering a renewed sense of purpose in their empty “flash lives,” were again ignored. One minute they’re essential; the next, they’re stuffed back into dark, dusty drawers.

But I need to back up and cover a few things about the storm that left us in the dark. I know, I’m reporting out of order.

* * *

Back story

Months ago, we were given a giant squash that I thought I’d need a chainsaw to cut up. I dragged it down to the basement through our storage room and into the little room under our front porch. I’ve talked about how our house is too large and this is a perfect example: Our large storage room has its own walk-in closet.

At some point the large squash, sitting right in the center of this smaller room, began to decompose. To help you visualize, two words–squash puddle. Yeah, I know, gross.

Attack of the Squash Puddle

* * *

I love experiencing severe storms, preferably from a covered outdoor area where you can feel the full force of the wind and hear all the sounds. But that was B.K., or “before kids.”

Now, A.K., my job is to hug, to comfort, to protect, to be responsible. I hear the stories and see the photos of far-away monster tornadoes, tornadoes that kill, and I think about the kids.

So when the psycho storms blew into Edwardsville Friday night, we headed down to the basement where, fortunately, we have several options for hunkering. I decided the little room under the front porch would be perfect to ride out the storm if a tornado were to rip away the rest of the house.

So we’re in this tiny room, under a  bare, flickering light bulb, looking at this horrifying mess on the floor. What’s more frightening, the squash or the storm? Nobody can say. I’m holding our puppy, Coco, in my right arm. I want to put my arms around the girls, pull them close, but I can’t put the stupid dog down because of the squash.

The bulb goes dark. We can’t see the squash or each other. The girls are scared. The puppy is strangely silent and still. Ainsley’s asking me over and over Are we going to have a tornado? I tell her the truth: I don’t know but probably not. I tell her I’ve never seen a live tornado, only on TV. I tell her that even if a tornado comes into our city, it’s unlikely to come to our street, even less likely to touch our house.

From the sounds, it’s obvious that the storm is almost right on us. Jennifer delivers a small flashlight and disappears back up to watch from a window. Now we’re at the point where I should be saying “Okay, girls, get down on the floor, put your head between your knees and cover your head with your arms.” Instead, here are a few things that were uttered at the storm’s peak:

  • Ainsley, your blanket’s almost touching the squash.
  • Let’s all scoot towards the corner away from the squash.
  • Daddy, why did you leave this squash in here so long?
  • Oh my God, that squash is seriously disgusting.
  • Scoot over Chloe, you’re pushing me closer to the squash.
  • Girls, I’m sorry, I really, REALLY wish I had taken care of this squash before tonight.

It was the most disgusting storm experience of my life and I haven’t even mentioned that we keep the litter box in the storage room in front of the squash room entrance. Any time I get near the litter, the cats are like “I think I’m going to take a crap right now.” The smell of cat poo combined with the sight of squash puddle was almost more than I could handle.

We left our hellish, mess-riddled shelter a little sooner than we should have–according to the radio–but we’d had enough.

Of course, it’s too early to know but I’m already worried about how the girls handle future storms. Will thunder and heavy rain forever bring forth visions of menacing squash puddles? Have I unintentionally ruined–for life!–their appreciation and enjoyment of acorn, delicata, butternut, spaghetti–pumpkin even?

Anyone have a hazmat suit I can borrow? Today I’m sopping up the squash puddle.

Wish me luck.

One Response to “Attack of the Squash Puddle”

  1. Anonymous July 21, 2013 at 5:40 am #

    Excellent confident synthetic eyesight for the purpose of fine detail and can foresee troubles before these people take place.

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