Saturday, June 28, 2008

When the Lights Go Out

I've slept through the last three storms. I have no idea how this happens, I'm not usually a deep sleeper.

We were planning to go out last night about 9:00, so I felt that a quick nap wouldn't be a bad idea. I lay down on the couch about 4:00, turned on NCIS and fell asleep with the fan blowing and the television on. I watched a little bit, drowsed in and out for awhile and the next thing I was aware of was wild winds. I opened my eyes to look at the clock and saw nothing. I tried to concentrate and realized that I didn't have any power. We had the front window open and poor Ichabod was sitting on the ottoman in front of the window. He looked at me with panic in his eyes and came dashing over to land on top of me.

I was still trying to make sense of the situation when Max came down the stairs. He was a bit shook up and shut the window for me. The two of us sat in the living room listening to the wind roaring around the house. As he watched it, he brought up memories of Hurricane Hugo when he lived in Charlotte, NC.

A few minutes later, the worst of it was over and within a short period of time, the clouds were breaking up and sun was coming through. We began to see the devastation that had happened around the neighborhood.

After a while, we decided to head to Carol's apartment. I hadn't been able to reach her, so I thought I might check on her. I tried her cell phone one more time while we were on the road. She answered. Hmmmm... the nut had left it in her car. She was fine and had power. Off we went to spend the evening with electricity and some entertainment.

Carol and I drove around a bit while foraging for supper. I'd never seen anything like it. Not only were trees uprooted but traffic lights were spun around, signs were destroyed, debris was everywhere.

At 10:30, Max and I came home to sleep in our own beds. It was a strange sight looking over the city of Omaha and seeing only darkness. There were pockets of lights, but it all felt quite eerie. Streets were blocked off because of downed trees and I began to wonder if we were going to be able to get back to our home. We turned south on our street and as we drove, it began to feel as if we were in what I can only call a war zone. A few scattered homes had lights on, but there was debris all over, trees were down, street lights were off, traffic lights weren't working.

Once inside, we lit candles and turned on the radio. It was nice to have sounds from the outside world coming into our home. I fell asleep on the couch. Sounds began to happen at some point and woke me up. I had turned off a lot of the things downstairs, but didn't turn the power off to the cable box. I shook myself awake again and realized that the power was back on and by golly, the cable was on as well!

Max experienced a hurricane when in Charlotte. Three straight hours of those high winds. We saw it for just a few minutes. I have a new appreciation for the power of nature. We were without power for a short period of time, it could have been much worse. Thank you God for being with us through it all.

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