I was never really a big fan of the movie, THE WIZARD OF OZ, but after the last week I was really feeling Dorothy's famous quote.
Last Thursday night we were hit with a giant icestorm. When I posted last Friday morning I didn't realize the gravity of the situation. But when the National Guard knocks on your door you realize pretty quickly that your blog post isn't really that important.
We knew that we were going to be getting some snow, just a couple of inches, and the newscasters were making such a HUGE deal out of it. I figured that it was just because it had been in the seventies at the beginning of the week and this was our first snow. And to be honest they've been wrong so many times in the past I don't really pay much attention to them anymore. My family had plans to travel to Rockford, which is about four hours away, on Saturday, so I, being the lazy housewife that I am, figured I would put off doing laundry until Friday. Ditto with the dishes.
Thursday night comes and to be honest with two toddlers running around I didn't even look outside. I went about my business getting everyone cozy in their jammies and had just sat down in my recliner with my laptop to get some work down. Wrong. The power went off before my tush hit the leather. My three year old came screaming out of his room and we scurried around seeking flashlights. We found several. Batteries were another story. Luckily, I had some candles. Then we started hearing the cracking. I couldn't figure out what it was at first. Then I went to our front window and watched a giant tree branch come crashing down on our neighbor's car. I don't like him so I laughed. But then they all started coming down. I bundled the kids up and closed off the house, gathering everyone in the living room.
My mom called and wanted to rent a hotel room. I figured that we would just plunk down $120 and then their power would go out and we would be screwed. So for the first night we stayed put. I figured the power would surely be back on tomorrow. I was SO wrong.
When my husband came home later that night he said that he could barely get into our village. So many trees and wires had fallen that half the streets were blocked off. He said that things were even worse in town. This was the moment when I started getting a little worried. In preparation of our trip I had been trying to use up all of the groceries. We were running low on everything. I had no clean underwear. The dishes were starting to smell. Needless to say, I couldn't have been more unprepared for this natural disaster.
By the next afternoon it was only 55 degrees in our house and I knew the kids couldn't stay here any longer, even though they were running around with no socks on insisting they weren't cold while I was wearing my husband's long underwear and like twenty blankets. We piled in my jeep and headed to my mom's house.
Don't get me wrong. I love my mommy. But most of the time we are the human equivalent of oil and water. We just don't mix. And if someone would have told me a week ago that I would be spending five whole days living with her, I would have smacked them across the face. I mean let's face it people, we move out for a reason.
But they had a generator, which means heat and TV, no Internet, but I guess a girl can't be too picky. So it was me, hubby, our 2 hopped up on sugar offspring, my mom, and step-dad. I know that some of you are probably thinking that this whole scenario sounds great. Break out the books and boardgames, right? Yeah, I wish. Please remember that I have a one year old and a three year old and limited diapers and groceries. It was like Infant Survivor.
But honestly, it wasn't that bad. There was absolutely no hair pulling, screaming, or other bad behavior, and the kids were good too. :) I am just thankful that I had family I could go to because those previously mentioned hotel rooms were completely booked for miles. Our village and the closest town have a population of about 80,000 and at one time, 65,000 were without power.
So, the moral to my story is that I will try my best to always be prepared. And I hope you will be too. What natural disasters have you lived through?