YOW-ZA!! Last night we had a mongo storm that culminated in the loss of power in our neighborhood for roughly four hours. Having just finished our basement and nestled our son down in his new bedroom, our immediate fear was that a disabled sump-pump would lead to a river of discharge water flowing over our new carpet.
My husband flew down the stairs and came up wide-eyed and blinking, announcing with some alarm that, yes indeed, the pump’s resevoir area had filled to the brim and we’d need to bail water. In the dark. In our junk “storage” room, next to scratchy rolls of extra carpet, dusty suitcases and the eliptical machine that only gets used when it’s snowing. Or when we need to dry clothes indoors. Did I mention it was completely dark?
We retrieved a Rubbermaid container from a forgotten corner in our junk “garage” and went back into the bowels of our home. With mason jar in hand, we scooped about 20 gallons of water from the sump area and into the bin. We soon realized that this plan, while ambitious and MacGyver-esque in nature, was not a long-term solution. A quick phone call (thank God for cell phones!) to our brother-in-law delivered the answer we needed: a generator.
While Brandon left in the typhoon to get the generator, literally dodging felled-trees, lightning-to-ground strikes, and water over the roads, I began to get phone calls from our neighbors. We soon ended up with extra friends in our living room, playing Chutes and Ladders under candlelight, eating Skittles and jumping at the sound of thunder so big and cracking you can only marvel at its power. Another neighbor returned home early from a weekend away and found three inches of water creeping through their basement. Running around like boys in a rainstorm, three men splashed through puddles to connect all three homes to two generators, helping eachother with flashlights and batteries and buckets.
Even as the flashes across the sky grew fewer and fewer, the rain continued to pound, and the voices of friendship stayed close to our home, heard through open windows and absorbed into thankful hearts. Men in the street at midnight, women comforting children and dogs. Kids up late in the darkness and mystery of storms.
Today it all seems like a dream: we’re basking in sunshine and enjoying life with electricity that enters our homes without so much as a thought from us. The tree we just planted in our backyard will have to be resurrected from its new 45 degree angle, but other than that, we emerge unscathed and blessed to have our family safe and intact. And blessed to know that in sunshine or in storm, we’re surrounded by the love of the family we choose: our friends.