Saturday, June 21, 2008

Long Road Home...The Final Chapter!

The man with the laptop watching the radar was keeping everyone calm saying it just looked like hail and maybe some straight line winds. This was very comforting to Em. She would stop her litany of "I'm not ready to die" to expel a deep breath as she repeated, "Oh, good, just hail I can handle that". But as the roaring became louder I began to question the strength of the storm outside. I felt amazingly calm, maybe I was just exhausted, or maybe I knew I was right where I was supposed to be.
Sometimes when you're married to a man who is so very smart and accomplished in many areas you begin to rely on him for things you could do yourself. Sometimes, you look to him for all the answers and solutions to any questions or problems that may arise. Sometimes, it takes an extraordinary series of events for you to look inward and realize you already know the answers and you have the strength to take care of things yourself. This all came to me as I sat under a flimsy wooden table in the dark. Amazing how that happens!
After what seemed like a very long time the roaring quieted and only rain and wind could be heard. I ventured out to the lobby with some others to look out the window. All that was visible was a wall of white rain. Every once and awhile you could see something fly by or a piece of hail hit the window. Eventually it all cleared up and could see the torrent of water flowing down the street outside. Sirens began to wail and a long line of emergency vehicles streamed in and out of town. One fallen tree just missed four cars in the parking lot and when we returned to our room we had a tree outside our window that wasn't there before. Soon maintenance told us the emergency lights would only last twenty more minutes and then it would be very dark so we better head to our rooms. My flashlight was in the car, which was in the shop, so I used my cell phone and laptop to light our room enough for us to get ready for bed.
I briefly spoke to WB who told me he got home safely. He was lamenting over all the plants that had died while we were gone. Surprisingly, I wasn't too disturbed by it. I might have been several hours earlier, but not now. He planned on going to work the next day, then getting a rental car to come get us at some point. He said he could come get us that night, but I told him it was still to dangerous. I think he was blissfully unaware of our tumultuous night. At first that angered me a little, but then I realized I needed to travel this road alone.
The next day they kicked us out of the hotel before check-out time. They still had no electricity and wanted to close the place down. So they packed us up and moved us to a hotel that was completely full, but had electricity. I began to wonder when this would all end, what craziness!! We left our stuff in the lobby and the girls swam in the pool. Em and Soph had a ball jumping around and playing. It was all such an adventure for them. WB arrived with a large rental car by noon and we headed over to check on the 'burb. There was so much damage, some buildings with no roofs. Light and power poles snapped in two, debris everywhere. I'd say we were lucky, but I know better. I know when God wraps his arms around you and protects you, that's a feeling you don't soon forget.
On the trip home I was happy to see all the frustration and anger that lined WB's face the day before was gone. He was rested and relaxed. The girls and I were so thrilled to see him and I think he enjoyed riding in to our rescue. I still love my knight in shining armor, even when I'm not a damsel in distress!!


Karen said...

Sheesh, what a night! Glad you made it through safely. Did you ever find out if it was a tornado or just straight line winds?

Pat's Place said...

Nice ending to your story--nice reflections and perspective. Definitely publishable!

The Fritz Facts said...

Such a night. Thank goodness you are safe, and that no one was injured.

Sasha @ Cherished Moments said...

What a trip! And interesting reflections too. I think you may be right - we learn to forget that we can handle things by ourselves sometimes.