On Wednesday we had the most intense storm of the summer. The skies darkened - quietly - always a cause for notice if not alarm. We live on the crest of a hill and our old trees were blowing sideways and dark clouds above the house were starting to circle.
I took some comfort in the fact that the poultry and wild birds were still going about their business as if nothing was wrong. Living without TV and without my mother (she called with all necessary weather updates: bad storms, frost threats, tornado warnings) I have pretty much no clue what is going on until we look out the window. Which is fine on some level; I like surprises as much as the next person but we have two children now and when we saw the circling clouds things got serious. We have had tornadoes here that have wiped out entire neighboring towns and I am old enough to remember this happening. Then our power cut out and we realized that my husband's phone was about dead and mine had a 4% battery charge. We don't have a land line. Well, damn it, talk about feeling stupid and unprepared. Holding the baby I alternated between pacing and looking out the window all while maintaining a cheerful face for the oldest.
Then the rain started to come down in buckets. I've always heard that the tornado threat has passed once rain starts to fall. Not sure if I want to be corrected if I'm wrong.
Life is nothing if not pure adventure. Obviously we need to secure some sort of battery powered phone charger for the future but this time we were pretty well off to face an extended power outage if need be; easy prep food, water stored in the basement, a couple of beers in the fridge (joking, not joking) and I had learned some things from the last storm. The lanterns all had batteries and when there was a small break in the rain I ran out to the camper to retrieve the Coleman stove, a small container of propane and a fresh lantern. Just in case we were in this for the long-haul. Dinner was supposed to be pizzas from scratch but ended up being canned soup and Spaghetti-o's cooked on a camp stove by the light of a Coleman lantern.
Some times surprises turn out to be the best of our days. It's such a joy and a gift to experience something completely unexpected. After dinner we sat on the front porch as a family because the house doesn't have much natural light and was really dark inside. The oldest played with a dump truck, the baby napped and my husband and I talked about our favorite books when we were young. It really ended up being a lovely night.