Thursday morning, driving home from the office at four a.m., the thermostat in my car read 84*. The air was thick with humidity. I was pretty sure I'd have to turn the AC on when I got home but Bro was up, getting ready for work, and had the Weather Channel on. The forecast called for rain, early, and after the showers passed the temps were supposed to drop drastically. I left the AC off and the windows open and went to bed.
That was a mistake.
The storm came through about seven, whipping up winds, darkening the sky to dusk. The clouds were a weird, mustard yellow color in the darkness. I have not seen this before, and I do not mind telling you it scared me. I was the only one home at that point, and when it first woke me I didn't understand what I was hearing. I thought something was wrong with Ernie, because I heard crashing noises in the kitchen. I thought she had stumbled into a chair or something, knocked it over maybe. But no: the noises I heard were things from my kitchen counter blowing onto the floor and into the wall. Dishes from the counter, a bowl of garden tomatoes, a canister that we use to collect pop tops for the kids to donate to the Ronald McDonald house. Blown across the room. I was stumbling around (no glasses) shutting windows, mopping up puddles, trying not to slip on the wet linoleum. The bedrooms were worse: soaked curtains, soaked bedding, soaked clothes in the kids' laundry basket. Three feet from the window, which was only open about three inches, everything was soaked. I grabbed towels and kept wiping. The whole time I'm making a mental list of what to grab if the tornado sirens went off and I had to go to the basement: Ernie, medication, shoes, cat food, cell phone, a blanket......
The wind got worse, and outside the windows I could see things blowing by: tree branches, garden plants, newspapers, garbage cans.....I heard a loud crack, and moments later I smelled the smoke. Across the street a tree had come down in some power lines and caught fire. I called Walker on his cell to tell him to stay at work, we were fine, it wasn't safe to drive in this, but he was already on his way. He was about a block from home when I got him, out in the storm clearing tree branches from the street so he could drive through.
When the windows were closed and the water was mopped up as much as it was going to be, I headed back to bed. I didn't sleep well, but I had to try, as I still had to work that night. The fire department got the tree cut off the power lines but we were without electricity until long after I left for work. I took a shower by candlelight but there wasn't much I could do with my wet hair. I didn't attempt make up, either. I probably should have taken it to work and put it on when I got there, but I didn't think of it. We ended up having McDonald's for dinner, and I shared my cheeseburger with Ernie. I know it's not good for her but she was pretty freaked out by the storm, the sirens, the smoke. When her belly was full, she fell right to sleep.
After all the drama, I still had a ten hour shift to work. Bro called me to tell me the power was back on, so I thought everything would be back to normal when I got home. Guess I forgot who my roommates are. The battery powered candles were still burning, the clocks have not been reset, the windows were still shut and it's hotter than Hades in the house. Ernie had not been fed since her McDonald's and she was pretty vocal about it. Sigh. Guess my work is still not done.
And how was your day, LOL?