Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Big Storm

Loooong time, no blogging. In the last month and a half I stained a bookshelf, got some great training at work, took a trip to visit my nieces and Sister-in-law in San Antonio, celebrated my birthday by buying a pair of cowgirl boots, went to the wedding of one of my best friends in Maryland, got more great training at work, and began attending the young adult group at my church. I also learned how to crochet, and I am a wee bit addicted. You can understand, then, how I may have been distracted and slacking in the blogging department.

Not much has changed around the house since I finished the pantry, until recently, and it wasn’t by choice. Maybe you heard about the big storm that came through Texas? If not, let me just tell you that it was one of the scariest storms I have ever experienced because it came on so fast and it was so strong. A college campus a mile from my house lost half of the roof on a huge building. One of my coworkers has a flag pole in her front yard - it was bent in half. Basically, I expected to see a tornado coming towards my house. We were without power for 64 hours which, although it was a totally new experience for me, really wasn't bad, it was just unexpected.

Spoiler alert; the house is just fine, but some of our tree branches didn’t fare as well. I have spent many hours in the last week raking the yard and braking down tree limbs and branches. 23 garbage bags later, the yard is almost clear. Anyway, as I went into potential survival mode that afternoon, about a thousand thoughts ran through my mind. I tried to replicate them in real-time style and, for your entertainment, here they are:

Last Thursday afternoon I was upstairs, being all crafty, when the wind picked up out of nowhere, swirling leaves all around the house. In the few remaining moments I had with the Internet, I checked the weather reports: severe thunderstorm, hail, wind, and possible tornadoes. My favorite!

When it pours down rain here, our driveway turns into rapids that rip dirt, grass, and plants out of our yard.

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Electricity? Forget about it. It was out within minutes of the storms arrival. Being someone who loves weather updates during storms, I was not happy about this.

“Dear God, please don’t let anything happen to the house while Drew isn't here. Or to me.”

Text Daddy, because he is even more obsessed with weather reports than I am.

“I really need to get that weather emergency box together, with our radios that get weather reports. Where is the only cheap flashlight that we own? Found it. Whew!”

It was the first time in my life that I really thought there might be a tornado in my midst. The wind tore down tree limbs and dropped them in the backyard, only feet away from the house.

The backyard aftermath

“Do I feel like going out there to get the car into the garage with the door that needs to be opened and closed manually? Probably not. The hail isn’t that big. Thank goodness.”

Grab purse, grab water bottles. Go to the bathroom. Grab dog. Head to pantry, put snacks into purse and leave it there, just in case. It’s kind of awesome that the pantry is the “safe room.” We need more snacks.

“It has been so long since I have experienced a power outage . . . MANY years . . . if we ever lose the ability to generate and distribute electricity, life is not gonna be fun.”

When you lose electricity, you eat canned tuna for dinner and you prepare it by candlelight. Very classy.

Walk laps inside the house, look out every window and pray the storm stays under control. Hold my friend's shaking dog, tell him it will be okay, it calms me down, too. Wipe rain water off the stove because, yes, it rained so hard that it rained through the exhaust fan vent.

The wind died down, the tiny hail melted, and eventually the pouring rain turned to a drizzle and then gave way to gorgeous sunshine. I thanked God and high-fived the dog because hey, we don’t have power and I don’t know what I am going to do about the small jungle that fell into my backyard, but we are alright and it could have been so much worse.

I can't begin to express how lucky we are that the branches only fell on the grass. They all missed power lines, the house, and the grill.
"I 'get' to clean up this mess!" (It was actually great exercise.)

I couldn't let those branches sit there without giving them a photo shoot first.

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