Light unexpectedly filled the dark room. As I softly blew out the candle flame, I was (almost) disappointed that the electricity had come back on.
Tuesday night, I was alone with the kids while Ed was out with some friends. I had just posted this on Facebook before I settled down with my book: “Kids are fast asleep, husband is gone for the evening, thunderstorms are rolling in…and I’m reading a novel about graveyards and ghosts.” I hadn’t been in my chair long when the phone rang.
“There’s a really bad storm headed your way,” my brother told me. “It’s supposed to hit your area in about 10 minutes.”
“Really?” I replied. I had just heard some thunder, but the wind didn’t seem to be too bad. No tornado sirens were going off. I debated with my brother about whether I should wake up the girls and take them to the basement.
“You might want to,” he said. “The winds that went through here were pretty powerful.
And then, the wind hit our house, and the house shook. “I’m getting the girls!” I told my brother. I heard a crash, the power went out and the phone went dead. I grabbed a flashlight and went upstairs. Lily was hard to wake up, but I just stood her up and she sleepily followed me to get Emmy from her bed. We headed down the stairs all the way to the basement, where I sat in the office chair with both girls on my lap and the flashlights on the desk.
The whole storm didn’t last long, but I stayed in the basement for a few minutes. I called my brother back on my cell phone, and he told me what the weather reports were saying. It seemed safe to take the girls back upstairs. The wind had died down, and so we sat in the living room waiting for Ed to come home. When he did pull into the driveway, his headlights illuminated all the tree branches littering the streets and front yards.
Light unexpectedly filled the dark room. As I softly blew out the candle flame, I was (almost) disappointed that the electricity had come back on. Just moments before, Ed and I had been sitting outside. We had spent the whole day without power, and Ed and I had been reading on the front porch until the sun finally went down. As we sat in the dark, (and it was dark, more dark than it ever gets around here) we drank wine and chatted with our neighbors walking by. Their kids were carrying glowsticks and having fun chasing each other in the dark. Earlier that afternoon, a neighbor we don’t know very well came over and offered us the use of her generator to keep our food cold.
A power outage like this brings neighborhoods together. We told each other that we were lucky; we were only cleaning up tree branches from our yards; no one’s house had been lifted away by tornadoes.
After 25 hours, our power did go back on. We were lucky; some neighborhoods didn’t get their power back for several days.
Every time this happens in our neighborhood, (and it has happened more than once!) we breathe a sigh of relief when the power floods our homes with light once more.
But the next night, I still lit the candles on the dining room table as we sat down to dinner. It was nice.