So Friday night I was on the computer, looking through a zillion pictures of a zillion kids wearing uniforms on the VA CAP encampment website. I found one lone picture where I could identify Nathan, posted it on Facebook, and read some updates. A friend of mine from church posted that her husband was laughing at her for taking all the plants off the deck, and she also posted a weather map picture of a line of storms heading our way. I vaguely remembered Tim P. saying something about severe thunderstorms at Bible study, and Bob had indeed gone out on the deck and closed our patio umbrella when we got home.
Then the storm struck. It was a doozy! Wind, lightening, rain. Bob went out again to take down our tomato plants, and in the moment he was outside, he got absolutely drenched. And then the power went out, around 10:30 Friday night. We had been at Bible study late, so the girls and Micah were all down, but none of the boys were. They rustled up flashlights, and we headed off to bed.
We've lived here for almost 8 years (seriously?!), and the longest the power has been out was about 4 hours. I went to sleep annoyed that whenever the power kicked back on in the middle of the night, our crazy family room ceiling light and fan always turn on (with the fan on high), and so I would have to get up to turn them off. No problems, however, because when we woke up Saturday morning, a bit sweaty, the power was still off. Hmmmm. Our phone/internet was also out, and even our cell phones didn't work at our house.
Bob went out to get bags of ice for our freezers and refrigerators. We ate breakfast, I worked on some biology, we played a rousing game of Scrabble, we ate sandwiches for lunch, and the kids played outside in the sprinklers. Our pool was closed, since a huge swath of area was without power. We ran some errands and went out to Ci-Ci's pizza for dinner, fully expecting the power would be back on when we got home.
But it wasn't. The C's had moved over to her dad's house, freeing up the basement for us to sleep in, which was good since the temperature up on the second floor was 90 degrees, LOL. We moved pillows downstairs and set up camp down in the basement--the 4 boys in one room, and the 3 girls and Bob and me in the other. I read books outloud by flashlight for awhile, and then we settled in for a second night of restless sleep, punctuated by all the noise of 9 family members with no other sounds to mask it.
Sunday morning we again woke up to no power, but since power had been restored Saturday night at 5:00 to our church building, at least we could escape there for a few hours. It was still a little warm in the building, though, and I found myself dozing off several times. Lots of other church members were also still without power, and I felt really sorry for the people out west on wells--no electricity AND no water! We could certainly be worse off!
We went to Taco Bell for lunch, and then home so tired, crabby Micah could attempt to take a nap. He actually slept a good long time in the basement, while everyone else played games and legos. We were delighted to discover that our cell phones once again worked at our house, so we didn't feel so cut off from the entire world anymore, LOL. Bob went out and got some more bags of ice to replenish our freezers and fridges. I was pleasantly surprised to see how cold things still were. The ice cream in the (big) freezer was melted, but the meat was still frozen solid. Saturday morning we took out 7 loaves of bread to make room for 2 big bags of ice in the freezer, and that seemed to do the trick in there. Stuff in the fridge stayed cold enough too. It may spoil a little faster, but we were still able to have milk for cereal, and lunch meat for sandwiches.
We left around 6:00 to go pick up Nathan, who had taken the CAP van back from encampment. It turned out they didn't get in until 7:00, as opposed to 6:30, so we ran over to Walmart and bought 2 more big flashlights. It was so good to see Nathan again, but he has the cold I've been struggling with, as well as a very hoarse voice from all the sounding off. Then we headed off to Golden Corral for a late dinner. While we were driving, Christine called to say their power came on around 5:00! This was very encouraging, although Bob cautioned us not to get our hopes up, LOL.
After dinner, we were again encouraged because a few more stoplights were working on the main road near our house. But as we drove north, we noticed big dark tracts of houses, which was not encouraging. And indeed, when we turned onto our street, everything was still pitch black. Sigh. At this point, we were all tired, crabby, and sick of the heat. It was 92 degrees on the top floor, 85 degrees on the main floor, and in the high 70s in the basement. We trooped downstairs, at least having our 2 new flashlights as well as all the little ones, and prepared for a 3rd night without air conditioning. Poor Nathan--home from encampment, but camping out in the basement!
It was really hard to sleep last night. It was just muggy, and I so wished for some moving air! We all restlessly slept, and at 2:30, one of the girls got up to go to the bathroom. As I laid there, awake, I heard something outside the basement window. Could it be?! I woke Bob up to tell him I thought the air conditioner compresser was running, a sound more beautiful to my ears than anything else could possibly have been! He ran upstairs to shut windows, and I ran upstairs to grab a fan. Ahhhh . . . cool air blowing over me . . . heaven!
So from our clocks, it looks like the power was finally restored around 2:20 a.m. I tell you, we have never been more grateful for electricity, or more thankful for the line workers out there working around the clock to restore power! We are taking it easy today, trying to get the house cleaned up and organized. I think we are all looking forward to a good, cool night's sleep in our own beds. Bedtime can't come fast enough! Maybe a nap will be in order this afternoon, even for me.