Monday, August 29, 2011

Irene & Isabel

Watch out for those hurricanes that are female by description and start with an 'I'. Irene rolled through the East Coast and she caused some drama. The winds picked up, the power went out and trees went down all over town. We're thankful for favor through the storm. Our neighbor has a generator and came over to offer us the opportunity to plug up our refrigerator and few other smaller voltage items. It was a great relief to be able to save our food and have light on when needed. Big props and 'thank yous' to Westbury Pharmacy for braving the early hours of the storm to deliver Mireya's medication. Phone service was very sketchy, but I managed a few phone calls and text messages, but really enjoyed catching up on my Nook books. We listened to the radio for updates and coverage of the storm, but switched it up and got the nightly dance par-tay in. We had a variety of things to keep us entertained. The kids enjoyed board games, play dough and good ole' educational fun on the Leapsters for the mad sum of 12 AA batteries.

Jalen has become fascinated again with dinosaurs after a two year hiatus. You will often find him running around on all fours as if he's velociraptor or gallimimus or any of those other fast moving dinosaurs, and he is quite fast at doing it. Daddy and Jalen had what I'll dub a i-ran-ta-sauras race. Daddy had to show him that he 'could' do that too if he wanted to. It was hilarious and caught on tape!! We have a gas stove so cooking was not a major issue. Noodles, spagettios (Mireya's new favorite) and hot dogs were favorites for the day. The night ended with a big sleepover between the bed and futon. Overnight, I heard a tree drop close by, but it was so dark it was hard to figure out exactly where it fell.

Hearing that tree fall took me back to several years ago when Isabel came to Richmond. We were living in a different part of town at the time. She was a much more fierce storm than her home girl Irene. Isabel wrecked shop. Not only did she shut down power for days, but she shut down highways, byways and most any other way you wanted to go through. I'll never forget the sound of trees falling all around us. It was very frightening and unnerving to see trees snapping in half or coming up at the root. After a day or so the neighborhood had several block parties. Neighbors were firing up their grills and cooking out for anyone and everyone that was interested in stopping by for a meal. Clean up from that storm took quite a bit of time. It was big business and very lucrative for companies that did tree work or were equipped to help with the debris or damage from Isabel.

We woke up to chain saws buzzing all around us. I even saw a young man riding his bike with a chainsaw in hand looking to 'help' and 'earn' some cash at the same time. 85% of the city lost power and many are still without it. It's so easy to take the simplest necessities for granted. Irene came in swiftly and then left us with a beautiful day of sunshine. Sunday morning reminded me of time spent at my Godmother's house as a child. Blueberry pancakes and bacon for breakfast. No television, no hustle and bustle, just a quiet stillness accompanied by a soft, gentle (and much needed) breeze.

We took the opportunity during the daylight hours to do some tasks that were made for days that you had nothing but time on your hands. We were able to get some things accomplished and organized as we waited for our electricity to be restored. It is estimated that our power will be back on by Wednesday afternoon. Prayerfully it will be on before then. We are so thankful for God's hand of protection over us through and during this storm and we continue to pray for everyone's safety.

Psalm 4:8 I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.

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