In September of 2008 we had a Tropical Storm in the Midwest. In what was called a once-in-a-lifetime event, Hurricane Ike blew inland and merged with another storm system, then blew farther north and made a huge mess in states located nowhere near an ocean.
My extended family remains close although we’re now living in multiple states. One of the ways we stay in touch is via email. Whenever someone goes on a neat vacation or experiences a newsworthy storm, the emails start buzzing around the interwebs like moths around a porch light. I suspect it has to do with so many of us having a strong “worry” gene, which I suppose is a topic for a different post on opportunities for spiritual growth.
The talking heads on the news were probably having a field day, but we couldn’t see it because our power was out at the time. Having a tropical storm in the Midwest qualified as sufficiently newsworthy and of course I poured out the story in a long email to my parents and the family once the lights came back on. I didn’t want Mom to worry!
So today I thought it would be fun to take a little trip back in time. What follows is the text of the email I sent (edited to disguise a few names and correct as many typos as I could find).
I tried to stay in touch with Mom, Dad, and [Sister] while the power was out but am not sure what everybody else experienced or what stories were shared. All in all, we had it easy at [our] household. We were inconvenienced but never in danger or hardship. With [Sister] & [Brother-in-law]’s generous offer to share their generator, and then [Sister]’s willingness to drive [down] to deliver it to me, my worries were nil. And for the record…the sweet corn is fine! (I mean, meat can be replaced, but home grown sweet corn is a precious commodity to city-dwellers!)
So here’s the story…and you know me well enough to know it won’t be a short one.
We rushed out of church on Sunday to get Sweet Pea to her soccer tournament. The kids and I left immediately and Jay came in his car once he was able to get away, so we were parked separately. We were pleased to be getting the game in since the weather forecast indicated a possibility of thunderstorms.
The wind was picking up as the kids and I arrived. Jay came later and said that traffic lights that were working for me were out when he passed through. We soccer moms & dads laughed at the chairs and hats trying to get away from us and the trash blowing out of the garbage bins during the game. We kept saying we’d never seen anything like it. When Sweet Pea tried to punt, the wind would hook the ball and cause it to “float” in strange ways. I could see the metal light poles on the baseball field swaying wildly. The soccer game ended in a tie but the girls placed second in the round-robin tournament…much to Sweet Pea’s delight.
We were told via the public address system to use the back exit from the park since a tree had fallen on a car and blocked the front gate. Jay got out ahead of us. Traffic lights were not working. Most people remembered to treat them like 4-way stops, but the usual assortment of crazies added to the adventure of falling trees and power lines. At one point Jay had to turn around and backtrack because of a downed tree. He and I took separate routes home and I beat him to the house even though he left first. I was never so glad to see my driveway even though we were coming home to no electricity.
Since you know we made it home safely I’ll leave the rest for another day. I told you it was a long story. One thing I learned from this experience is to always keep my gas tank half full. You never know when you’ll burn gas for an hour trying to make what should be a fifteen minute drive!
Have you ever had to deal with a weather emergency when you were away from home? How did you handle it?
I moderate comments manually but will get them posted as quickly as possible. Please keep your comments kind and if you must disagree please do so without being disagreeable. Rude or inappropriate comments will obviously not be published.