Details follow at the end of this post!!
Not a big fan of hurricanes. Been there, done that, messy business they are.
So, when I realized that Irene was charging up the coast and would be paying us a violent visit, I had a choice to make. I could panic – or I could act upon the faith the Lord instilled in me on my last hurricane encounter. That story is detailed in HERE.
Panic got crossed off the list of things to do almost immediately. Instead, after reviewing the faithfulness of the Lord, I prepared. Husband and daughter prepared. Doing what we knew to do while trusting God to make up what we could not do.
We cooked a good dinner Saturday evening as things were just getting started, and figured we’d lose power soon. Within a couple hours, darkness shielded any good views of wind and water other than the splatter of rain on the windows. No thunder or lightening. Nice!
Around 9:00pm, we were calmly sitting about reading books with all the power still on, and listening to our church’s radio station (shameless plug for THE VINE 107.7FM) which was broadcasting as an emergency station. Our station manager and his family were sticking out the evening at the church’s radio office to give live updates every 20 minutes. Daughter, Bethany, had her facebook page out on her laptop, and was in constant texting contact with friends. I looked up at my husband and suggested, “Maybe now is a good time to check the basement stairs.”
About four years ago, we had a virtual waterfall going down our stairs due to a freakish deluge of rain that was just too much for that particular side of the house. We cleaned up the waterfall and subsequent little river through the middle of the basement with a borrowed shop-vac and were glad there was no damage – just some sealing repair to the stairs. Whenever there has been a good deal of rain since – we always check the stairs.
Yep – some water had breached our repairs and was dripping and saturating the stairs. Didn’t look too bad – but a long night was ahead. Towels were dispatched.
The phone rang – my sister, who lives closer to the shore, had information of a tornado that was headed our way from their area. I looked at my daughter. “Get the crates – we need to secure the cats and move everything downstairs.” I said.
As though we had rehearsed it, Bethany and I swiftly – and calmly – moved two cats plus all vital survival and important papers, etc. to safety in the basement within twenty minutes. She set up “Storm Central” with her laptop plugged in – we STILL had power – and was texting all and sundry an update.
I captured our cozy hide-out on film . . .
. . . squeezed between the costume racks . . .
. . . including two stressed out cats . . .
They really hate those carriers. Emma – on the right – went into an interior retreat with a glazed look, settled and silent and sleepy. Copperfield, however, to the left, was panicking. He was crying and biting at the door and scratching to get out. Bethany remembered that these are two classic ways animals exhibit stress – from her homeschool stint helping at a local veterinarian and groomer many years ago. Grabbing a cloth, Copperfield’s cage was covered for the duration – and he eventually settled down for the night.
Poor husband, Ed, though.
By midnight, the water was really starting to get the better of him.
We had to contain it on the stairs or else we would have a HUGE problem.
My basement is filled with all the props and costumes I use for various programming – most secured in bins – but far too much is not. Remember that purging job from the summer and what it looked like? You can get that crazy story HERE! Boy! Are we ever glad we took care of that mess then! If not – there wouldn’t have been any place for us to stay – and my grandmother’s 1930’s white and black enamel/wrought iron stove would have been destroyed – prior to moving it, back in July into my new office/studio to hold crafting supplies – it was in pieces on the floor at the base of the stairs.
Well, around midnight, just as Bethany and I had dozed off, we were summoned to the stairs – each of us taking a station and empty plastic bin. Oh, Lord – give us strength in troubled times . . .
Strengthen us, He did. Fearlessly, we moved forward – doing what we knew to do and trusting Him to do the rest. For the next four hours, we wrung out towels into bins and dumped water down the kitchen sink. Wring . . . replace . . . dump . . . wring . . . replace . . . dump . . .
Still aching for the use of muscles I never knew I had. Sometime around four, it seemed to subside and we all crashed. Long naps through Sunday morning – church services were cancelled. No matter – we had church – to be sure – we LIVED His Word – and were blessed!
We never lost power at all except for a little BLIP off – then, back on again. So thankful that we didn’t have to wring towels by flashlight! All was well – dry basement – no trees down – checked in with extended family and friends – all secure.
The sun was shining by early afternoon and Bethany was off to her friend’s house, leaving Ed and I to regroup and wonder: What did God want us to gain from this experience?
A late afternoon walk around the neighborhood stretched out those tried muscles from a long night’s work, and gave us a chance to discuss and marvel at the work of God in Creation. Most of our neighbors sustained some struggle with water in basements – like us. Some had a worse time of it than others. Few trees were down in our immediate neighborhood – but many branches. The greens were so much greener – and blues so much blue-er – what a glorious post hurricane sky we walked under!
Ed remarked how the trial of the night really brought us together as a family unit in a way that we don’t often have the opportunity to function. True. I felt that same thing as I noticed how – no matter the strain – we kept going in support of each other – a family affair, hurricanes are.
And, I was reminded of the connection between trials and blessings. Clouds and silver linings. Rainstorms and rainbows. I first grasped the relevance of this concept after the birth of my son – I was a very new Christian at the time, and felt the blessing of seeing my baby’s face more keenly when knowing the trial I had endured to get to that point – and how the Lord kept me through it – from fear, and in strength . . . to endure to the rewarding finish.
Faith. Fear-free. Endurance. Reward. Not that we’ll not have the trial – but that God will empower us to endure in the midst of the trial. And, when we have been proved in our endurance – we are blessed!
Back to normal today in our household – and taking joy in the blessings of my Lord in stormy seasons.
Sharing our Sunday Storm Central adventure at Graceful’s “Hear It on Sunday – Use It on Monday”
CELEBRATION WEEK GIVE-AWAY!
This week is one with many changes in my life. One of the first posts I wrote at The Writer’s Reverie was about “Re-Arranging Furniture“. God has been preparing me mentally and spiritually for all the new “decor” in my career and activities. Blogging has played a big part in that preparation. Between last week and this week I am:
Of course – I must do my FIRST GIVE-AWAY – and here it is:
I’m giving new life to a sweet Staffordshire china teacup that I found all alone in a thrift store – and matched with a complimentary designed lone saucer.
Secured together, they are home to a photo holder rising up out of greenery and pink roses and a darling little bird, with a bunch of crystal grapes nestled on the handle while a butterfly flits carefree above. A special personalized greeting will accompany the gift, fashioned from one of the lovely vintage postcards available online.
I’ll post the winner later in the day on September 1 – sure hope it’s YOU!
Thank you to all the wonderful people I’ve grown to know and love here in our Blogworld of all good things and beauty! You are a blessing and inspiration to me!!