We joined the ranks of those without power for the weekend.
The storm that raged through here Friday night was auditioning for the starring role of tornado. It earned understudy as a "derecho" but was just as convincing an actor. This fierce wall of winds took everyone by surprise, we hadn't even heard one thunderclap or saw one zag of lightning.
By 10:00pm the insane winds pushing through our streets sounded like an oncoming train which had Andy and me peering out windows to monitor heavy dips of neighboring tree limbs.
In silent agreement, we decided to lift sleeping babies to bring them downstairs, away from our roof and windows. Thankfully, they slept through the entire thing. Sadie's tail curled sky high and her nose was a'twitch with excitement for all the camping we were about to do. She knew. They can smell a power outage a mile away.
Sadie was right, soon all lights went out and by midnight we were rounding up water jugs with flashlights.
The next day was Andy's birthday. He woke up to large hunks of trees and branches in both front and backyard.. Not exactly breakfast in bed. He and Grayson made the best of it though and gathered wood while Abby swept 8 leaves with her miniature broom and brush. In the buff. Our neighbors are not going to miss us when we move.
I tried to salvage the birthday by driving Andy to his scheduled massage appointment (leftover from Father's Day before you give me credit where credit isn't due). Driving there without street lights and downed trees was a little like pioneering through the wild west in a Conestoga wagon. It took us over an hour to go four miles. But we made it and Andy got his shoulder blades worked on which put a smile on his little serious face.
To add insult to injury, we got the call from the animal hospital that Tillie's remains were ready to be picked up. We both just wanted to bring her home as soon as possible. So, on Andy's birthday we had a mini tornado and took turns weeping silently over losing Tillie all over again. I should totally be a party planner.
Just as I thought we were relegated to a miserable day around our sweltering house, a dear friend invited us over for the night. She let us enjoy their company, air conditioning, and (even Sadie!) swim in their pool to cool off. It was paradise amidst Armageddon. To top off her kindness, my friend even got Andy a Carvel ice cream cake to surprise him for his birthday. She had no idea this was going to bring tears to his dairy-lovin'-crunch coat-covetin' eyes. The man's favorite thing on earth is ice cream cake. How she knew I have no idea but I am so very grateful. Then we had pizza and tucked everyone in before it got too late. The day was not as hopeless as it felt in the morning. Our friends rescued us from ourselves and brightened our spirits dimmed by, once again, events out of our control.
Our power came on last night about 7pm. The kids cheered as they sprinted toward the couch in celebration of their beloved TV being turned back on. I was almost sad as this meant Andy and I were no longer running our unplugged Little House on the Prairie/DC Suburb. He was going to have to return to work in his uniform while I did mom things in my ponytail instead of both of us chasing ice trucks through town to keep our children cool and our chicken edible.
So no, being without power isn't exactly convenient or fun. But I have come to appreciate being powerless can and does bring about a closeness not otherwise shared when (we think) we have so much control.
Thank you all for your love surrounding Tillie's passing whether through emails, comments, texts or good wishes. We are looking for the blessings of having her in lieu of blaming ourselves which I guess is progress. I haven't vacuumed the because the floor is where I can still go to visit with her beautiful black fur to tell her how very much we ache for her and wish she could still be here with us, in a house that still feels so strange without her.