Just Another Kansas Night Cleaning the Basement and Tracking Tornadoes: Everyday (and night) Magic, Day 858

IMG_0947For the last three nights, I’ve been accumulating assorted sizes of plastic containers, sorting 1998 holiday letters and tiny tank fireworks, and tracking tornadoes. “Look at what I did with the boxes of paper on our highway fight and our old baby blankets,” I said to Ken. “Look at the radar,” he answered.  When it’s dark out and the tornadoes tend to be rain-wrapped, such nights mean a lot of time cozying up with half a dozen weather websites.

It’s been a whirl of excessive humidity, insomnia, drawings of monsters from another planet, long-track tornadoes, and rusted ice cream makers. Because of mice and mildew invading our bevy of cardboard boxes, I’ve been putting my hands on all our stored history — from my labor history term papers from 1980 through Ken’s junior high yearbook onward through our kids’ baby announcements that thrilled us, elementary school music programs based on deep surrealism, and college grade cards that depressed us all. Meanwhile, the heat and humidity drenched me in contemporary sweat, Daniel yelled, “Oh my god!” while following live cam storms, and Ken explained to me that the tornado near Harveysville, if it kept going straight, then died its way north just a bit, could wipe out our home.

In between it all, I work a little, guzzle iced coffee, pack up Ken’s teenage ice skates, and return to Target each day to fill the back of the CRV with more purple, blue and gray giant plastic bins that will find a new life holding letters from dead relatives and hundreds of video games that might be worth something in 2070. There’s something very grand and satisfying about putting the pieces of our old signs and wonders into some kind of order, one bin at a time, clearing the first chakra of the house while the big sky of the world remakes itself in its wildest high wind unfoldings.

One thought on “Just Another Kansas Night Cleaning the Basement and Tracking Tornadoes: Everyday (and night) Magic, Day 858

  1. Love the writing…Wishing us all safe.
    some tips from humid hot storage…Mom used plastic containers in Florida and found if she loosely crumpled up 2 sheets of newspaper to sit on top of the interior, the contents did not mildew and might even lose a mustiness they developed in cardboard boxes. Every 6 months or so she would throw the old newsprint away and put in fresh sheets. For some reason, it kept out the damp that can accumulate in closed plastic containers and the contents stayed crisp. Another trick was to keep cardboard boxes off the cement on two by fours and not stack against cement walls. Concrete (or tile) wicks in moisture. Don’t know why.

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