Sunday, September 11, 2011

Hurricane Irene

Once, while I was pregnant, a tornado was sighted outside of Kinston.  My mother-in-law called me to tell me this, since at the time we had no TV.  She told me to go into our tiny bathroom (the most interior part of our house), sit on the toilet, and wait until she called me to tell me it was OK to leave.  I quickly did so.  A few minutes later, the hubster called me.  Our conversation went something like this:

Chad -- Hey, where are you?

Katie -- I'm sitting in our bathroom.  Your mom just called and said there's a tornado watch for Kinston.  Where are you?

Chad -- I'm out in the parking lot watching this storm.  This is awesome!

That's when images of me as a single parent began flashing before my eyes.

The husband and I have a very different outlook on the power of mother nature.  That's why when the weather channel started covering Hurricane Irene's approach to our coastline 24/7, he relished in it, while I contemplated quitting my job, taking Kaden, and moving in with my parents until the mess blew over.

This was my first hurricane, and I've got to tell you, I don't like them.

We were very lucky.  The damage we suffered at the hands of Irene consisted mostly of an emotional kind, as we yearned for the power of electricity to restore air conditioning to our lives.  Our car took a heavy beating from the masses of shingles that fell from Bruce and Joy's house, so we will have to pay for a new paint job, but we still have a car.  The four massive pine trees on the corner of our lot were still standing when we came home to survey the damage, and our house (other than flooded air-conditioning ducting) was fine.  We are so grateful for the huge blessing this is. 

Others, didn't fare so well:

We moved in with my in-laws the Friday before the big storm, because we knew it was going to get ugly in the wee hours of the morning on Saturday.  Fearing the giant pine trees in the corner of our lawn, and our single-paned-stone-age windows, we packed for our weekend getaway and left our house behind.

After we lost power early on Saturday morning, we enjoyed watching the storm from the safety of the back porch.  Kaden thought it was awesome watching the trees bending back and forth.  He just kept pointing and staring. 

No power from Saturday through Tuesday meant we had a lot of time to bond as a family.  We cooked on Tyler and Lauren's camping stove, Kaden became Poppy's shadow (that boy loves his Poppy), and we played lots and lots of Fill or Bust.  Kaden got to take all of his baths with his daddy in Gigi and Poppy's jacuzzi tub, since the other tubs were mid-renovation.   

Bruce and Joy have a generator, which we used to run the fridge and freezers (we all moved groceries from our individual houses to one central location, trying to save some of our food) and an occasional lamp and fan.  They were so generous to let all of us invade their home for so long.

Power lines were down everywhere.  Driving around after the storm to survey the damage showed just how powerful Irene was.

Our house didn't get power until late Wednesday night and we didn't move home until Thursday.  School was cancelled for students until Friday, but I had to go on Wednesday and Thursday as "work days."  I have never realized how much I love being able to turn on a light switch, turn down the thermostat, and plug in a fan.     

This experience also made me realize how important it is to be prepared for a state of emergency.  We were very blessed to only have to deal with a loss of electricity.  I can't imagine how difficult this would have been without running water.

Hurricane season runs through November 30th.  I hope we don't have to get on a first name basis with any more.

For your viewing pleasure, here is Hurricane Irene, just gearing up:

Here she is with a little more zest:

And here's Kaden, composing his first concerto with the help of his uncle, while we were waiting out the storm:
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