Monday, June 15, 2009

253 Power? We don't need no stinkin' power!

On Friday we were slammed with a sudden storm. And I do mean SLAMMED and SUDDEN. The first I heard about the storm was when it was 55 minutes away. The sky looked fine. You could kind of see some clouds in the distance, but it did not look like there was anything to worry about. Here in the South, we are used to some pretty strong storms. The "severe thunderstorm warnings" usually fall on deaf ears. We roll our eyes as our regularly scheduled programming is interrupted by radar reports and boring weathermen droning on and on about clouds and frequency of lightening strikes. And nothing happens. BUT ... when something does come of these warnings, it sure comes in a BIG way!
We were in the backyard, splashing around in the pool (told you we weren't overly concerned). Kaitlyn had gone home in case it got bad, but it was still a ways out so I let the girls jump in the pool. Their thirty minutes of pool time was up, and the clouds were rolling in. In the time it took for me to point out that the sky was getting dark, the clouds had tripled. They were racing across the sky, straight toward us. We got inside, and Mia's mom called to say she was driving down to get her. She pulled in the driveway. I opened the door and FWOOSH! The rain and the wind hit! The power went out. "Uh, you wanna come inside???!!!" So, we all hunkered down at my house. I unloaded the closet under the stairs, which is no small task. The kids waivered between being SCARED and enjoying the new play space in the closet. The girls were gathering "supplies". They put bottles of water in the closet, and were asking for food. The storm rolled through so quickly! In that first blast the neighbors lost one of their trees (and as a result a section of fence) , but luckily for me it was the tree on the other side of their yard. The tree on my side of their yard would have landed in our pool.
The really fun thing ... we did not have power, but two doors down they did. We just happened to be on the wrong grid at the wrong time. My neighbor across the street (and thankfully two doors down) texted me that two telephone poles had snapped like twigs as he was driving by. His wife, my ShutterBuddy, made it to her parents house and into their storm shelter. All of us were texting around checking on everyone. We hung out for a while across the street. We descended on ElCharro's for dinner, and then we headed back home. We spent the night in the living room, by the light of two lanterns. Connor did sleep in his crib, we just left the door open since there was no noise to keep him awake (and no monitor to hear him if he cried). At this point we were told it could be noon on Sunday before we had power.
A few hours before the storm hit, we had made plans to meet some of our dear friends at the Pink Palace. They were going to be up from Oxford so that Daddy Joe could take some huge test, part of becoming a school administrator, and Julie and Molly needed someone to kill time with. Like every one else in the Memphis/North Mississippi area, we had signed up for the free membership to the Pink Palace so it seemed like the obvious choice. As usual, we arrived late. Oh, and did I mention that we had not PRINTED the free pass, and with no power .... you get the idea. Street lights were out, but it was almost as though every other streetlight was out. We pulled into the Pink Palace, and the parking lot was EMPTY! Yeah ... they did not have power. So, we decided to try the Children's Museum or Memphis. Gates were closed, no cars ... I am guessing NO POWER. So, where do you go when you need to kill some time? We headed to the Memphis Zoo. The animals don't need power (although I was a little concerned about electric safety doors). And SURPRISE ... it was a popular place on Saturday.
We had a great time walking around in the sweltering heat. They had a few generators hooked up. There was a food place open at one end and an icee place at the other. There was quite a bit of damage. Especially in the African Animals exhibit. The tree in the Zebra area was down, and there were quite a few down in the ostrich/gazelle exhibit. But, for the most part it was a great visit. Best place in the zoo? The doorway to the sea lion show! There was at least a cool breeze blowing off the water.
The girls were ADORABLE!! They were holding hands and had a really good time with each other. Miss Molly was enjoying Connor, too. When we ate she insisted on feeding Connor some of her food. Connor would just grin and babble at her. She was so cute. She said "I think he LOVES me!" and I am pretty sure he does! Maybe she can start asking Daddy Joe for that baby brother now!!
I will have to come back and finish this post later. Connor is screaming and wants me to give him everything on my desk. Of course, there is not much on my desk for a baby to play with ...


Linda Woods said...

Really adorable photos!
I don't think I could live in a place where you have to clean your closets out in a hurry when there's a storm. The fridge-yes. The closet- no.

Kathleen Tennant said...

The thought of a tornado terrifies me..just the mere thought. Goes back to camping as a kid in Virginia Beach and I thought for sure we were doomed. Ever since, storms I can handle but too big of winds or the words "tornado" or "hurricane" absolutely freak the crap out of me. So...because I know you so well, I was terrified for you! Glad you are fine and thank god for texting and cell phones!!