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.
Earlier I thought it would be fun to take a little trip back in time, so I started sharing the text of emails I sent to my parents and family in the aftermath of the storm (edited to disguise names and correct as many typos as I could find). The first four parts of the story are posted HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE. In an email written after the power came back on, I told my family about trying to get home as the storm was blowing through, taking care of our family during and after the storm, and making sure our church members were all right. My mother and my aunt sent sweet replies of encouragement. Now we’ll move on with the story as recorded in an email I sent the next day.
Let me begin by thanking my aunt for her e-mail. I blame living with the preacher for the adventure. I mostly stayed home and minded my business, but adventure seems to find us anyway! If you get bored, the spare room is now empty and waiting for the next customer.
All continues well with home school. As best I can tell most schools are delayed or off today. It’s not just about power; it’s about restocking the cafeterias. Our house has power and food, so we are hitting the books!
To my knowledge Elder1 & Wife1, Elder2 & Wife2, the youth minister, the church, and my friend are still without power. Jay’s parents have electricity now. As of last night we were hearing that power may not be restored to the area around the church until Saturday. I will find out today if the Ladies Retreat scheduled for this weekend will be a go or not. The camp was still without power yesterday and will be unable to provide food & lodging for the expected group if the power doesn’t come on today. Last night’s television news reported that the power company is focusing on restoring power to local schools.
You know we resumed schoolwork and laundry yesterday (Tuesday). I had one customer at the internet cafe. Our friend is in our small group, has been in church drama productions with us, went on the mission trip with us, and is still without electricity. She is also in charge of music for the Ladies Retreat I mentioned earlier. She explained that they needed a place to rehearse since the church has no power. Of course I offered our piano.
Meanwhile, I was preparing to cook the 5 pounds of ground chuck that survived the power outage but now HAD TO BE COOKED. I had Jay call around and find “powerless” folks who might be weary of peanut butter to see if they wanted to share a pot of chili. I ended up making half of the cooked meat into soup and stashed the rest in the freezer for the next thing…and you know it’s coming. I made a double batch of garlic & cheese biscuits, a loaf of quick bread, and a pan of peach “miracle cobbler” to go with the soup. By the way, I used some of my sister’s canned tomatoes in the soup and served Mom’s preserves made from my uncle’s peaches.
Elder1 & Wife1 elected to go check on her brother, but Elder2 & Wife2 came over, as did the youth minister, another single guy from church, and the Ladies Retreat music team. I joked with Elder2 that we throw great parties at our house…food, live music, electricity. The peach preserves earned high marks from those present, even from the youth minister, who claims not to like peaches!
Forgive a proud Mommy for mentioning that Sweet Pea was singing along with the Ladies Retreat team. They welcomed her and shared their sheet music, perhaps because there are three grandmothers in the group? I should have taken pictures. Sweet Pea was just singing her little heart out and having a ball.
Everybody else bailed between 9-10 but the youth minister hung out with Jay for a while to watch TV. I cleaned up the kitchen and headed upstairs to watch “girl” TV. There was a news report about gas shortages in the city, so I am very glad I filled the tanks when I did and that I’ve been sticking close to home since then. I reminded the youth minister before he left that he knows where we live and about what time we usually eat. 🙂
The weather today (Wednesday) is sunny and beautiful with an expected high of 78 degrees. I have the windows open and the air conditioning off. Jay & the youth minister headed over to our internet café friend’s house this morning to put the chain saw to work. I honestly think they’re enjoying the opportunity to minister out of the office. My friend still has no electricity and at last check was headed to the laundromat. Her third child is celebrating his 13th birthday today, so I think she was planning to pick up a cake while she was out. Tonight’s church youth activities and tomorrow’s senior adult luncheon are canceled. We may be hosting another music practice tonight. I told the ladies I was going to inform the neighbors and institute a cover charge. 🙂
A special news report just came on the TV saying there are still 160,000+ homes in our county without power. The power company claims 85% of power will be restored by tonight. I would hate to be in the remaining 15%.
Once again I thank those who have shared their resources with my family and trust we are using them in a fitting manner. (James 2:15-16, Luke 12:47-48)
That’s the last of the big emails about Ike. The Ladies Retreat did end up being canceled. My friend was without power for over a week but managed to keep the generator running and the home fires burning, so to speak, during that time. I learned a lot from this situation and have been better prepared for other interesting situations that have come along since then.
What have you learned from “interesting” situations you have experienced?
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