Wednesday, May 4, 2011

6 days in the dark

Day 1: The storms
Wednesday morning O went to school on a two hour delay due to a Tornado warning early in the morning..  A's school was on schedule.  I had a few errands to run, so I sent both of them off, with a plan to keep an eye on the weather and an ear on the radio. I finished the things I needed to do, and went to eat with my mother in law.  It was sunny and warm when we were seated.  By the time our food came, the storms were back.  We ended up getting stuck in the restaurant for over a hour, waiting for the rain to let up so we could leave to pick up the kids.  Got home, found out that a tornado had just missed MIL's house by about a mile.

MIL calls to tell me that they don't have power.  I invite them over for dinner.  The storms start again.  I quickly finish dinner, afraid that our power might go out.  Set the table, tornado sirens go off, turn on the tv and see that it is indeed for our area.  All 7 of us head to the bathroom- where the power goes out, and, consequently, the sirens stop at the same time.

We finish eating, send off MIL and FIL, and try to get the troops ready for bed.  Another tornado is heading our way (which we know because of the radio.  sirens still aren't working.) and we get back into the bathroom.  Finally head to bed.  O isn't having any of that.  She has anxiety attacks all night, constantly asking us questions every 15 minutes.  I am pretty confident she didn't sleep until well past 3 am. 

Day 2: The day after
We hear on the radio that a tornado hit TVA itself. Initial report is that power may not be restored for 2-4 days.  We thought about traveling to MI to stay with my parents, but decided that 2-4 days wasn't worth the drive.  Plus, gas is expensive.

We head to Lowe's to get stuff to do E's projects around the house, and see this just around the corner:

We hang out around our house.  We play with the neighbors.  We hear about the crazy lines to get gas and food in Athens (which has power and is about 15 minutes from us.)  We have an impromptu get together with the neighbors to grill all of the meat that is going to go bad before tomorrow.  The weather is beautiful!

E and I play several rounds of Yahtzee.  Unfortunately, O still has issues going to sleep.  Still has anxiety induced nightmares.

Day 3:  We're running out of food. 
We have peanut butter bread again.  The stuff in our fridge has been moved to our freezer in efforts to keep it cold.  We decide to head to Athens to try to find something to eat for lunch, and find some gas for the IL's generator. 

On the way there, the normal "route" we take to get there is full of traffic.  We go a back way.  We are shocked at the amount of damage to houses and fences.  Not to mention a field that was completely full of Derbies.  Amazing. 

Almost all of the gas stations have super long lines, so we eat at McD's first, then try to find gas.  We get lucky and find a gas station that we only had to wait at for 10 minutes.

We head home the normal route, and see this: 
Complete devastation.  Feeling blessed and a lot less "inconvenienced". 

Weather is still beautiful.  We have dinner with our neighbors, who kindly let us use their gas stove top to cook some noodles and sauce.

E and I play Yahtzee again.  Its been quite fun spending evenings with him like this.

Day 4: We're out of here!
We head to Nashville for the day.  Going to use our last day of our zoo membership, and hopefully visit some friends. On the way there, we stop to go to the bathroom.  O is washing her hands and she says "Mommy!  Mommy!  They have HOT water here!!!"  Yep.  Its a novelty now.

The weather is beautiful again, and we have a wonderful time at the zoo.  We find some where to have a HOT meal.  Then, we head to Franklin, TN.

Franklin is having a festival, so we hang out there for a bit.  However, the festival was too crowded to be fun, so we then headed to my friend Raechel's house for a visit, and a hot shower.
We have a wonderful visit, and I have a wonderfully hot shower.  The kids got to make new friends and ride in a super cool bike.

We had to leave, in my opinion, too soon.  I always love visiting with these folks, but we had to get back before curfew. (Which was dusk to dawn for our community)

E and I play Pay Day.  We both commented how we haven't played that game in years.  Very fun. 

O finally sleeps well and only wakes up once.  I, however, am still not sleeping well.  I miss my sound machine to drown out the sleep noises of dear E, barking dogs, etc.

Day 5: More feelings of gratitude
We head to McDonald's again- this time for breakfast.  Everyone is pretty sick of peanut butter bread.  Especially me.  We decide to go past a friend's old subdivision (they moved to AK a few years ago) on our way.

I've never seen anything like this.  Ever.  Only a few houses are left standing.  Houses very similar to ours.  This tornado hit only 4 miles from our house. 

(I know its hard to see, but this rubble used to be houses!)

We start to run out of undies and socks.  So, I wash a load of laundry in the bath tub.  Since that went so well, I decided to do one more load that we could hang outside to dry. 

Its also the day that I clean out the fridge and freezer.  We had a few things survive in my IL's deep freezer, but we lost everything else.  But, in comparison to losing a house, I'll be happy to replace these things.  They're just that: things. 

In a positive light: my fridge and freezer haven't been this clean since we moved into our house 3 years ago.

We go out to eat with the IL's for dinner.  Mexican.  Yum!

E decides to go to work in a temporary set up office they have there.  He leaves around 7.  A starts throwing up around 8.  Not really the most fun thing to do/clean up in the dark.

Day 6: The power comes on
We heard that Costco had power, so we head there.  No samples, of course, but we get out of the house, and even get a cookie in the process.  While we are there, my OB calls to ask if I want to come in for my appointment (they were closed on my original appointment day because of the power issue, too.) Since we are near there, we bring the whole crew.

While I'm back in the office, E takes the kids to the park.  The nurse can't find Baby Bitt's heart beat with the Doppler.  I tell her my last scan showed my placenta in the front.  She goes to get my dr., who, on the way in, has to run to the hospital for a delivery.  So, she calls in a NP.  The NP tries for over 15 minutes to find the heart beat with no success.  (I'm not scared, or worried.  With time, and much effort, I can find it at home.)  They whisk me off to an ultrasound.

At this point, I'm super excited!  I'm hoping they can maybe peek at the gender.  Well, I find out we're having a baby............. 

Seriously, though, the ultrasound tech isn't the sweetest person ever.  She has the wand on my belly for a minute-tops.  Didn't even try to get a good picture for me. (though, You can see the skull.  Thus the name, Skeletor!)  I keep peaking at the picture, wondering if those three lines down at the end of the abdomen are parts or leg bones. Still neat to see my baby again.

We get home and put Zeke to bed.  I'm putting the dishes away when A notices that the lamp is on.  Hurrah!  We have power! 

I's light is on in his room, so we turn that off.  The first thing I do is take a nap.  With my sound machine.  Ahhh...  Pure bliss.

Feeling extremely thankful for electricity, and, more importantly, a house that went undamaged.  (Thank you, God, for keeping up safe!)


Sarah said...

Oh my gosh! Glad you guys are ok, and your stuff too! What an adventure/nightmare!

d e v a n said...

We were on the same page. I blogged about it too. lol
It really is sobering to see the damage. :(
Baby Skeletor looks adorable, and I still think it's a girl. :)

Paulina said...

I'm glad you are fine and your house still stands! Blessings to your family!

Dawn said...

Glad you're all ok. Crazy week you all had!

Photogrl said...


So glad to hear that you and your family are ok and unscathed. And that the power is back on!

Erin said...

What an experience! So glad you all are OK! P.S. my vote is that it's a girl ;)