Saturday, January 31, 2009

A Day in the Life during a Power Outage

When the weather forecast started calling for an ice storm on Monday, I didn't really believe it. Murray never gets any great winter weather. But Tuesday I did wake up to find a lot of ice covering things, then it just sleeted and iced all day and all night long. Tuesday night as we laid in bed, we just heard branch after branch falling in the yard. The ice was having its way with our eight pine trees in the back yard.

1 am - After the power went out at 1 am, Pup and I went into the living room and he started a fire in the fireplace. The breaking of branches was a lot quieter in the living room, but then one thudded against Norah's window. I fully expected to open Norah's bedroom door and find a branch in there. Thankfully it was just touching the window outside. Then Pup and I brought the kids into the living room because he thought a tree was leaning against another in the back yard and may fall onto the house. (I've been scared of those tall pine trees in storms for a long time now.)

4 am - We decided it may not be safe here and Pup went out to find a hotel room. That's when he found out that power was out all over Murray and hotels didn't have power either. We just huddled in the living room with the kids and prayed everything would be ok. Neither of us got much sleep that night.

10 am - Kim and Aaron came over to check on us and we all piled in our cars and headed for the only open store, Kroger. Inside the darkened grocery store there were many shoppers all needing the same things: water, snacks, and food that didn't need electricity to be cooked. We were some of the lucky ones who only waited about 45 min. in line. The cashier had to manually enter every bar code for every product.

12 pm - We packed up some essentials and headed over to Aaron and Kim's to hang out for the day. Grandma Poor was making soup for supper on her gas stove, so we planned on that for dinner.

2 pm - Kim, Norah, Luke and I napped while Aaron and Pup played Magic cards by the fire (romantic, huh?)

4 pm - My sister called and I thought she was just checking on me and the power outage. But through our fuzzy connection I heard her say, "You are going to be an aunt!" She had gotten a call from her lawyer that a birth mom had chosen them for her June baby. We had been waiting for this good news for a long time!!!

6 pm - We all went over to the Poors and let Grandma feed us. Their house was so warm! Daniel, Kayla, Miliaka, Cate, Aaron, Kim and the four of us enjoyed a hot meal and warm living room.

8 pm - Pup and I brought the kids home, set up mattresses in front of the fireplace and settled in for the night. It was cold, but tolerable. Nothing a little snuggling with the kids couldn't fix.

Day 2

8 am - We all woke up to a 46 degree house and Pup told me to pack up because we were heading to Mom and Dad's. We wanted to visit his mom, but she was out of power too!

10 am - We headed to Effingham with a quarter tank of gas. We'd heard that there was gas in Puryear but also long lines. So we said a prayer and set off for the promised land of warmth, electricity, and water. We stopped in Benton to find no gas, saw signs by the Paducah exits about no fuel, and headed on toward Vienna, IL. I was nervous the whole time that we'd run out and be stuck in the cold with the kids. I called Dad to see if he'd find out whether we could get gas in Illinois. He assured me that Marion, IL had food and fuel.

11:45 am - We arrived in Marion to find life as usual. People were filling up their gas tanks, lights were on, businesses open. We filled up on gas and McDonalds.

2 pm - We made it to my parents' house and I'm not sure it ever felt so good. It felt good to be safe and not have to think about how to be warm or what to eat.

I know people have been in a thousand times worse position than what Murray just went through but I think we got a taste of how your community comes together to help each other. And a glimpse of how thin that line is from helping each other to mob mentality. I can see how it gets scary when things are scarce. Again, I can't help but be grateful for my family that opens their doors to us and to our friends that take care of us too.

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