The first warning for the storm came when I was racing through preparations for dinner, and I deleted it without really reading. The weather service sends out a lot of alerts, and I had gone through a hectic day at the end of a hectic week where my to do list was too long and I had no time to complete the tasks. I had been out of the house all day, but I hadn’t heard any other news for a storm coming, hadn’t heard people talking about storm preparations. So I wrote off the warning and went back to cooking.
The second warning came while I was folding winter clothes (yes, it took me until mid-summer to actually switch over the drawers), trying to locate the matches for lone socks, cleaning the bathroom. I deleted it after glancing at the first few lines. I was so focused on completing each task that had to get done before I could go to sleep that I didn’t have time to contemplate rain.
The third warning came while I was tucking in the twins. I paused near the Wolvog’s bed, reading the warning that people needed to get off the roads immediately. But then I kissed his forehead and we talked though some things that were worrying him, and I walked back to my room with the impending storm forgotten.
Until a little after 10 pm last night, I believed that Josh was going to run out to get me frozen yogurt once the last task was complete.
The storm began with a loud crack — lightning must have hit a tree — and the ChickieNob’s accompanying piercing shriek of “Mommy!” We ran into her room right as the lights went off, came back on, and went off again. Moments later, the Wolvog followed the shine of the flashlight and joined us in her room, curling up with Josh on the floor while the ChickieNob and I lay in her bed, listening to the wind and the pounding of the rain, the sky lit up by constant lightning. The house shook with some of the gusts.
After a day of constantly moving, my mind always focused on the upcoming tasks that still needed to get done, it felt like a relief to have the productivity out of my hands. To have nothing I could do beyond lay next to the ChickieNob and answer her questions which were sometimes about storms and sometimes just about life in general, as if we should use natural disasters to cover any last topics we may have wondered about in passing over the course of a day.
I went to bed believing all would be right in the morning, but we woke to the dark, to news of the people who died in the storm. To downed trees and electrical lines. To every town in the area still. We drove out, my hand over my mouth as we skirted an enormous trunk, shattered in half, its leafy upper torso resting across the road. Branches blown apart.
I’ve heard from neighbours that we’re not getting power back for a few days.
New weather alerts were sent this morning; this was just the first of three terrible storms coming through the region. The next will land tonight between 5 pm and 10 pm, the third some time on Sunday. This time I read the alerts and processed them.
I have no right considering that we are merely without power vs. the people who are grappling with terrible property damage, loss of life. I am trying to keep things in perspective, but I’m in a terrible mood. A growl-y, snippy mood.
Distract me please me with something amusing, an interesting fact. You can tell me how many candy bars would be needed to circle the earth or your most embarrassing moment. I know, I know, I know, I’m supposed to be getting all my entertainment from books, but it’s nice when the blackberry buzzes too. Especially when you have no power.