Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Turn Out The Lights, The Party's Over

Well that was a heck of a storm! Here in the open plains we get some doozies, but last night took the cake.

We had some thunderstorms in the morning and then is was hot, humid and cloudy the rest of the day. We all went about normal life with normal weather. I dropped Eldest Weasel off at the movies with her friends and had a ride home set up for her. Mr. Weasel was going out with friends after work, which he rarely does and the rest of us had Chocolate chip pancakes for dinner. All was well. We just sat down for a movie night of our own in the living room when a vicious thunderstorm moved in. I myself enjoy watching a good storm but the younger Weasels, not so much. The rain and wind were whipping spectacularly for about 3 minutes before the power went out.

It was only about 7 p.m., but it made things dark enough to pull out the flashlights and candles. The younger Weasels were upset about the storm, the older Weasels were upset my loss of cable and Internet. So we sat around and told silly jokes and stories while watching the storm through the windows. Middle Weasel had been paranoid about tornadoes since the morning storms. I kept reassuring her that all was fine, this is just a good storm. Meanwhile, as I watch the sky turning evil, I am getting concerned about the the force of the storm and its green hue.

Boy Weasel says as loud as he can "Hey Mom, the sky is green. That means there could be a tornado! " Middle Weasel and Monkey Weasel start freaking out, which has a domino effect on Smallest Weasel. So I do what any good mother would do, I lie to them. "No, that's not green. It's just the cloud cover reflecting of the pond! Don't be silly, everything is fine." I want to take them to the basement but know that would only cause panic (they know that's what you do if a tornado is coming, the same tornado I said wouldn't happen). I hadn't seen any weather reports, so I could only use my best judgment (obviously very poor in quality) and kept them in the living room to keep them calm and tried to make things fun.

We were doing okay, their minds were distracted with word games when the biggest, closest clap of thunder made us all jump out of our seats. The screaming and crying hysterics came on with as much force as the storm. It was another 20 minutes before I could get the house back to normal decibel levels again.

I called Mr. Weasel to let him know the state of things and ask when he could get a train home, but the storm was moving that way and the trains service had stopped. So the poor guy was forced to stay at the bar and drink with some friends who would call to say HI! to me in their feel good state. One guy had taken his moped to work and later to the bar that night and actually tried to go home as the storm hit. He wound up stranded back at the bar too. The poor guys, what an awful place to be stranded during a storm (Insert sarcasm here).

Mr. Weasel called back to tell me to take the kids to the basement and put on the national weather service. "I would if we had power and could watch the T.V.!" I said, but I was thinking "Dufus! Were you not listening when I said the power is out?". "Oh Yeah, well your in a tornado warning right now!". Great, I go to move downstairs and another call comes in from a friend with power still on to let me know the tornado watch is over and moved passed us. Thunderstorms would continue, but the worst was over. I stayed in the living room with the kids, candles and flashlights and waited for Eldest Weasel to return home.

The kids asked about and elderly neighbor and friend who has been in poor health. I told them that she was okay, she had had a family member staying with her and had my cell phone number in case she needed anything. I called her daughter, but couldn't get through and assumed all was fine.

We spent the night without power. Mr. Weasel made it home around midnight and all the Weasels were camped in the living room sleeping.

Come morning, there was still no power. That was unusual for this area. The power company had a recorded message stating that the power in some areas could be out for days and no further details.

I decide to call and check on our neighbor again. Still no answer. Her son in law was already on the way and we met to go over there as I had the key. Her daughter was out of town on business and she had been alone and okay, that is until the power went out on her oxygen machine. She couldn't get to the phone and had been trying to conserve energy by just lying still. That was a smart move. She was in bed when we arrived there and had been without oxygen supply for more than 12 hours, her color was pale and her lips white. I stayed with her while her son in law went to get an emergency oxygen tank locally. She was a lot calmer than I. Within 10 more minutes, by the grace of God, the power came back on. We hooked her back up and immediately her color came back. We made arrangements for an emergency supply to be delivered and made sure her cell phone was within arms reach. I will go back and check on her today.

The reports today are that 2 tornadoes touched down in our area. We were lucky. The only damage we suffered is a cable box that was fried when we lost power. In the future I will take the kids to the basement, even if it means panic to them and I will always check on my friend even if I think she is already cared for.

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Manic Mom said...

Wow!!! That's so scary, I tell you I don't miss the bad weather we used to get in Florida. Here in CA we never even get rain in the summer. And in the Winter we only have a few months when the weather is soggy. Thank God your family is safe. Recovering Hugs to you!!!!

nukedad said...

Scary. My Dad was on oxygen for the last 7 years of his life. Having the extra tank around for just these types of emergencies was, fortunately, one of the things the oxygen provider insisted upon. Glad to hear you are all OK.

Weaselmomma said...

Manic, hate the weather 3/4 of the year here in IL. But will take this over cold and snow any day.

ND, I'm glad is was okay in the end. She is fresh out out the rehabilitation center and we were still trying to get here new oxygen set up straight and she slipped through the cracks. They are taking care of it today though.

Tom said...

I was hoping you all were okay; I'd heard about the storms out in that area. Glad you were able to get to your neighbor. Goofy that they didn't already have emergency oxygen handy for her.

wornoutwoman said...

I'm soooo glad everyone is okay. Especially your neighbor...how scary is that? God was watching over her!

Glad at least your husband had a good time! LOL.

I'm here in OK, tornado alley, so I can totally sympathize with ya on this post. Glad it's all over.

Half-Past Kissin' Time said...

Glad to hear it all worked out. I love it when the power goes out, as everything (fridge, computer, tv, etc.) goes absolutely silent. I almost hate that we got a generator, as I appreciated the calm and candlelight. However, a stalled sump pump is NOT a good thing, so we fire up the generator :)

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