Friday, September 19, 2008

125 Hours Of Blessing

Well, to all of you who read my blog, I did not fall off the face of the earth. We had a hurricane! Yeah, check your maps folks, I live in SW Ohio...and we had a category 1 hurricane! Ike caused awful destruction in Texas and then came up to greet all of us who thought we were having a tornado. That is blessing #1-we did not have a tornado. And unlike all of those in Texas, we are so blessed to still have our houses! The storm, which was really just very scary up to 80 MPH winds, no rain or anything, started about 2:30 Sunday afternoon. We lost power at 3:00 pm.

So, here is part of our backyard after the storm. There are more and bigger branches in other parts of the backyard, but I think you get the picture. Here's another blessing-the swingset was bent a little, but nothing terrible!
The winds pulled parts of our gutters right out of the house. We were blessed though because our roof held up fine. Many neighbors lost shingles, some need whole new roofs, and one family actually has a 2 foot hole they can see out of in their kitchen!
More damage to our trees. This picture is actually taken during the storm. It was very eerie...very much like how the weather is here when we have tornadoes. We were blessed to have wonderful neighbors who took the boys and me in during the storm as #1 was at work and we had no power. The weather was scary and I was a big scardy cat.
Our front yard was also a mess, but we didn't have nearly the damage there as the backyard.
Big J was a big help. He is posing here with some little logs, but he lifted logs twice this big and even helped stack it. I was so surprised at how much he could do. He was thrilled with all of the activity. No electricity didn't bother James! This was another blessing! What a happy little boy.
Big J also helped me by filling up the trash can with small sticks and leaves. I burned five trash cans full of stuff.#1's friend M. let us borrow his pick up truck and we took 4 FULL truckfulls of limbs to a dump site. That was another blessing. We had a truck to borrow AND they took our brush for free. James also helped pull branches to the truck to load up. "Steeks" are some of Big J's favorite things...he usually doesn't get to play with them.
#1 went to Lowe's to get a chainsaw-now before you feel bad that we had to spend money on a chainsaw you must know #1 has just been waiting for the opportunity to get one. Here's another two blessings. We got one of the floor models, and one of the last chainsaws available in the state AND they gave us 10% off because it was a floor model! Very blessed. So #1 worked very very hard to get everything cut up, but he loves his new toy.

I set up camp in the backyard. Eventually I moved the camp stove and everything else in my makeshift kitchen to a board on sawhorses. We cooked/and or prepared 13 meals outside this week. (for those of you who are math sensative, 125 hours is a little over 5 days. We were so blessed to have our camping gear where we could easily find it. We were blessed to NOT run out of flashlight batteries because there are NONE in any store. We were blessed to have fuel for our campstove. We were blessed to have BEAUTIFUL weather!!! It hasn't been hot or cold or rainy.
We were also blessed to have a gas hot water heater so we could have hot showers and wash dishes. We didn't know that at first, so here's M. washing dishes with water we boiled...oops. But we are blessed with wonderful neighbors.
Speaking of wonderful neighbors, this is B.. B. is C.'s dad. Our frozen meat is in his freezer, he helped us clean up the trees, let me do a load of laundry, and we had a wonderful hot meal at his house one night. He had power and he shared it! Thanks so much! Our neighbors across the street had a generator and we got to keep cheese, eggs, and milk there.
This is C. pretending we had a tornado and she is injured. Actually she is just fine despite having to go to work with wet hair everyday. I think she looked fine. We shared many meals this week. We'd see what hadn't spoiled yet or what we had in the various fridges housing our food that made it, and then make a menu and share what we have!

Here are some signs in our neighborhood. I was just glad I don't pay $128.99 a month for cable! See! There is another blessing! I wasn't paying for something I wasn't using. I wasn't getting paid either...I missed 5 days of work because Shawnee didn't have school so the teachers didn't need a babysitter. The school used up all 5 calamity days and we havn't even had a frost yet...hope it isn't a bad winter or we'll go to school until July! Still trying to see how 5 days no paycheck and going to school all summer will be a blessing...sure I'll find out.
Um, this is a blessing I know eventually we'll be able to replace what we lost and some people lost quite a bit more. Still sad to throw away so much food. I guess I should feel blessed I had food at all. We had to use the Red Cross Shelter to charge my cell phone and there were many families there because they had nothing to eat. I at least had a fridge across the street I had acess to.
Baby J could care less about power outages. He has been very fussy due to clogged pipes, if you catch my drift, but other than that he has been practicing his very catchy smile!
90,000 people are still without power tonight. Our hearts are with them, it isn't easy. I know this because I am WATCHING the news...yep, on TV...with electricity! Goodbye cooking outside, goodbye lighting candles to see my way to the bathroom, goodbye power outages! Thank the Lord for all the blessings He gave us.

1 comment:

Megan said...

Wow I can't believe you guys got it so bad way up there! I am glad to hear you are alright and your house is fine. It sounds like you definitely had an adventure!