Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ike Came to Visit

I think the last hurricane we had to deal with was Hurricane Andrew in August of 1992, when John and I lived in Baton Rouge. When we left Louisiana, hurricane season is one thing we gladly left behind... or not!

Ike came to visit this past Sunday, and took out trees and power lines throughout much of our region. Virtually everyone has major tree damage, and a good number of people we know have some serious house damage as well. I had gone to church early on Sunday for praise team rehearsal, and John had dropped the kids off at church and then run back home to finish dressing the turkey he was preparing for CARE group that night (that right there should tell you that this was a most unusual day!) He was just about to walk out the door when he felt a huge "BOOM!" and the house shook like when lightening strikes. Still in a hurry for church, he rushed out the door and saw neighbors from all sides converging on our house- not a good sign!
This is a large section that broke off one of our maple trees. At first we figured a new roof was in our future, but thankfully, the heaviest part of the tree missed the roof and hit the side of the house. Ironically, the tree we had been most worried about, an insect-eaten pine, is one of the only trees in our yard without major damage.

We lost our power and cable lines, and things did not look good for the fully dressed turkey we had sitting in our fridge. We were very thankful that we had taken the pool down a few weeks ago, thus avoiding having 5000 gallons of water flood our yard, because all these branches? They're right where the pool sits.

A crew from church came and helped haul the limbs to the back of the yard- a project for another day. Afterward, John went with them to work on some other yards that needed help, and I went in search of an oven for the poor turkey. My friend Lynn across town still had electricity and agreed to take my turkey in for the afternoon. That night for dinner, we had an impromptu turkey-and-dressing dinner with Ted and Christina and Lynn and Tommy, since CARE group was canceled while everyone dealt with their storm problems.

Friends at church helped us find an electrician who came out first thing Monday morning to make repairs so the electric company could run the lines again. In the meantime, John worked out a deal with our neighbor to provide gas for his generator if he would hook us up too. So the past three days have been kind of like a glorified camping trip... or maybe like living in a third world country.

The generator ran for maybe three hours at a time during the day and again before bedtime, so we were able to hook up our refrigerator and freezer long enough to keep things cold. The weather has been absolutely fabulous- low 70's- and perfect for having the windows open. Since our water heater is gas, we still had hot water. All in all, this hasn't been such a terribly difficult experience, especially since I got out of cooking dinner for a few nights! Daddy D cooked for us after they got power back, the kids got to spend all afternoon at the library with GranMartha, and I got to read The Shack in almost one sitting!

John hooked my computer up to the generator on Monday night, and a queue was formed for school work. The older kids have assignments they have to send in throughout the week, and I do all my class prep on the computer too, so that was somewhat frantic, but we made it without too great a hardship. Even so, when the electric company showed up at 3:30 this morning (when they said they were working around the clock, they weren't kidding!) we were very happy to see them.

Tonight, the house is still covered in electrical cords and the debris of three days of "camping", but we feel very blessed by our wonderful family, friends and neighbors, and by the good Lord who kept our family and our home safe in the storm.


Sara said...

I'm glad you guys are back to normal...almost. Since the tree fell on our house last year, every storm brings a little more anxiety because that was not a fun experience!

It was the strangest storm I have ever been apart of!

E.T.'s Mom said...

Wow, that's an adventure. The gas water heater sounds like a life saver. I'm impressed all the schoolwork got done.