and then we lost power for sixteen hours

There's nothing better than a good evening thunderstorm to put me to sleep - or to keep me up all night fascinated by the lightning. Our family has been through hurricanes in Mississippi, countless agonizing tornado scares in Texas and Nebraska - but Wisconsin is where you can ignore 'severe' thunderstorm warnings without even a second thought. Er, so I thought.

As usual, this thunderstorm caused the radio alarm to rankle our eardrums from its constant blaring of "severe thunderstorm" by the guy with the computer voice. I seated myself in a rocking chair and watched the lightning and the pitch-black clouds out my bedroom window. That's when I heard the screams coming from the bathroom.

Scared you didn't I? They were the screams of my flustered little sister who wanted mommy to get her out of the bathtub, not Hannah. I went in and ended the screams (since sometimes my youngest sister will allow me in place of my mother) by promptly relieving Hannah and getting Caroline out myself. In the three minutes that passed (my mother did eventually come up due to the 'case of the forgotten pajamas') my twin came running up the stairs in a huff and stated that Dad wanted us in the basement....now.

It was a tornado warning - not a severe thunderstorm warning. Never trust weather alarms, I always say. It was then that I realized the alarms were going off outside and the wind (which had been nonexistant five minutes before) was whipping the trees furiously. Our excited family trooped down to the basement while Dad, always prepared, gathered flashlights and the TV remote to watch the weather channel. Just when we got to the station, the power (which had been flickering) completely sizzled, leaving us in darkness except for flashlights.

In OUR family - power outages are not a big deal. Normally they last for a few hours (excepting the case of Mississippi where it lasted a whole week) and they're pretty rare. Everyone was kinda excited to be witnessing an almost tornado right out the basement window as we played Uno Attack in the light of a battery-operated lantern. The storm was over as soon as it started and all that was left was a miserable patter of rain drizzling from the sky. As it turns out, trees were knocked down, the basketball hoop had skidded across the driveway, our corn crop was reduced to nothing but flattened stalks, and a few of the tomato plants hit the dust.

Unfortunately, the power didn't come on as soon as we expected. We enviously glared across the river at the city folk who's electricity was hunky-dory as we stumbled around our house in darkness searching for more flashlights. By the way, we didn't have any water either - very inconvenient for brushing teeth at night or if your dying of thirst. Makes you use that nasty bottled fake water. Ugh.

Anyway - cutting the sob story short. We lived a whole sixteen hours without electricity and water and watched miserably as the freezer gave way to a puddle of water (we resorted to storing milk in a cooler). I was getting ready for an interview without electricity, thus devising a crude "light" out of my flashlight in our windowless bathroom and trying to do my hair in a somewhat presentable style.

But we got power. I went to my job interview (they had power - it was amazing) and pretty soon the power came back on a few hours later, ending our family drama. The damage in the city was pretty nasty - trees squashing the cemetery and people's houses and cars...the storm had mercy on us (minus the electricity -- and our poor cat who suffered outside during it)

But I admit - it was pretty great. And I never realized how much we use electricity!

1 comment

  1. lol:) Love how you wrote this!

    Glad ya'll are okay - though I certainly don't envy how you must've had to clean up the freezer. *blech* :/

    We didn't have any damage at all - just the much-needed rain and a thunderstorm. :D


© Everyday Memoirs
Maira Gall