Childish Nonsense

Exploring Children's Literature

Stormy Nonsense

on July 2, 2012

I have tried twice to write a particular blog and both times it’s been pre-empted by another topic. Oh well, I’ll get to it eventually.

Last Friday, we were subjected to a fast and furious thunderstorm that left the capital area devastated. This is the kind of event you will find folded into many books. If only authors remember to make notes on the details for later fodder.

At 10:30 p.m., the movie we were watching had just finished. All through the last half of the movie, the cable company’s emergency warning system would come on with unintelligible messages that looked only like lines of code. This happens regularly when they’re testing the system. So much for early warnings. I attempted to turn on a news or weather channel so we could find out what was really going on. The electricity flickered a few times, making the television go off and on. The wind came up, and my husband stood by the window to try to look at the storm. I had just told him I didn’t think he should stand next to the window.

The wind roared. I got up from my chair. My husband said “I’m going to the basement.”

I said, “Where do you think I’m going?”

The dog was right on our heels. Our Midwestern training in recognizing dangerous storms paid off. We know when to respect Mother Nature.

The lights went out for good. We waited a while and went to bed.

By morning, it was obvious we would get no relief from the searing heat predicted. On Friday, we had hit 100 degrees with a 75 degree dew point.  Also, the water company had lost power, so our battery-operated radio said we were under mandatory water restrictions.

We could probably hang out at a cooling center, but what would we do with the dog? We couldn’t leave him in the hot house. I’d never do that. Especially to a pet.

My cell phone was still in operation. I called the power company to make sure we were on their list. Then I called our daughter, who lives about 25 miles north.  She had power! And air conditioning!

We grabbed a few things from the freezer and headed north for the day. Most of the stop lights along the way were dark. Tree limbs everywhere. One neighbor around the corner lost a stand of eight large pine trees. Their trunks broke in half about halfway down.  A local jogging path was impassible. A clock tower at our closest grocery store lost one face and the entire façade of its lower half. Our three lost shingles suddenly seemed like nothing.

The power company made no predictions for the first day and a half. Then they promised 90% restoration by a week after the storm. This was not going well. We slept in our own house the next night, though it was beastly hot. At least we escaped the hottest part of the day.

The second full day without power, we planned to spend part of the day with our other daughter, also 25 miles north of us and part of the day with the first daughter. It was starting to be a routine already.

About 1:30 p.m., we called our own house and got the answering machine. The power was on! Praise the powers!

Things are just starting to get back to normal. I threw out the milk and eggs even though I don’t know if they were bad. The grocery store was just starting to restock these items when I went to replace them.

Events like this force you to appreciate the little things, like being cool when you want or reading with enough light. Makes you feel lucky to be alive.

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