Another story I told to cheer up my father when he was in the nursing home was about the time a tornado went over our house in Kansas. I brought in this old photograph to help my father recall the story. It was beautiful to see his eyes brighten with feelings, to see him bow his head over the memories. I loved so many things about my father. This story is one of them.
When we lived in Kansas this ≈ 270 lb solid oak roll top desk was in our basement. My father studied chemistry at this desk, and he kept the spare parts for his model train layouts in neat little trays arranged in the cubbyholes of this desk.
One day when the sky was ominous over Kansas, my father was outside, and the rest of us were inside the house watching the weather. Suddenly he yelled for everyone to get into the basement, as there was a tornado headed over our house. At his alert we all stampeded down the basement stairs. We milled about until father stuffed mother into the well of his ≈ 270 lb solid oak roll top desk, put his son in her arms, and put his daughters on either side, then he wedged himself in as far as he could get. Mother keep telling him to get in closer, to put his head in, to put his hands and feet in. The noise of the tornado was awful, but being mashed in as a family was more fun than frightening. Being a young man (who did not fit comfortably into the well of the desk), father soon got impatience, and when the noise died down he ran upstairs to SEE! Mother shouted after him that the other wall of the tornado would soon be there, and sure enough, father soon thundered back down the basement stairs and wedged back in with us.
It is amazing to realize how slender we all were so as to fit almost our entire family into the well of a roll top desk. Miraculously, the tornado did not touch down.
Caption: ≈ 270 lb Solid Oak Roll Top Desk
under which my father sheltered his family from a tornado.
See cute Carla playing behind the desk!
Experimental rabbit that father rescued from his colleagues' lab sits on his chair.