I need to start, well, in the beginning..
Lynn has always LOVED storms. The excitement she showed for something that most children were frightened of, was so fun!
Lynn wasn't yet two, (Ashley was still cookin' away in my oven..) and she woke us up one summer night, in the early morning hours really, running up and down the hall saying: "Funder and nigh-ning!!! Funder and nigh-ning!!"
It was funny that SHE was what woke us up, not the storm that was raging outside.
And this has been our life, with all of our little girls.. they all love a good storm.
So night before last, a little after 3:30 am, Merrill's phone began vibrating. It was the hotel. The power had gone out. It came back on in 2 of the 3 floors of the hotel, and the fire alarm was beeping, warning them that they only had a half hour back-up.
Merrill had to go down to get the situation all settled and figured out. Come to find out, the 3rd floor of the hotel is on a different grid than the rest of the hotel. It happens to be on the same grid as the rest of the buildings across the street with Pitcher's. He was there until 6 am, then he came home and slept "for 49 minutes", as he told me, woke up to take a shower, and was back down to work by quarter of 8. The power wasn't restored until after 9 am.
He spent the rest of his day, trying to get everything back on-line, and running smoothly.
Fast forward to yesterday evening.
The girls were all ready for bed, but watching the skies as the storm was rolling in. Because of our family's love of a good storm, we let them stay up.
It soon became a competition between the girls who could smell it more, who had seen more lightning flashes, who had heard the thunder louder.. and then, it really rolled in.
Wind, pelting rain, and thunder right on top of the lightning.
It was exciting.
It was more than exciting!
When ever there is a storm, you will more than likely find us out on our porch, watching.
Last night was no different. We were all out there, cheering on the storm and clapping when the lightning was really bold.
Ashley started to get really nervous when the frequency picked up, it was all because I told her the story of one of our ancestors who was struck by lightning in Nauvoo. She was given a priesthood blessing that she would live to see both of her sons grown. She did, and became excellent at embroidery as she couldn't walk anymore. But Ashley seems to believe that it will happen to us too.
As the storm got really intense, there was a flash of lightning timed right with the clap of thunder, and all power went out. Ashley lost it.
"This isn't fun anymore!!"
"It's just getting to be really fun!" said Merrill.
He then realized his phone wasn't on him, but in his suit pants instead, and ran inside to get it.
The guys down at the hotel were calling.
He needed to leave, to go sort it all out again. I rounded-up flashlights for us, and some for him to take with one of our camping lanterns, trying to calm Ashley all the while. She was begging Merrill to not leave. I had to hold the garage door open for him to back the car out, while Ashley wailed away inside. Peyton chimed in too, she was tired (it was past bedtime).
I got out the weather radio just in time to hear the end of the local newscast.
Ashley was still crying, worried for all of our welfare.
"Daddy's gonna get struck!"
"Daddy has a better chance of winning the lottery.."
She didn't get that one.
I suggested that we say our nighttime prayer and ask that dad be protected.
That did it.
We all knelt down in prayer, and I felt inspired to pray also, for those staying this night down at the hotel. Were there small children who were frightened and tired like my Ash and Pey? They needed the comfort just as my little ones did.
After the prayer, we all piled on Ashley's bed, and read a chapter of "Little House In The Big Woods", by the light of our little lantern.
I think that is why I love these storms so much.. we are all inside, without any distractions, drawn together. So fun! Yet so much like the world today.
The storms rage on outside, while we stay inside, together, protecting each other, calming each other, praying together.
I am so thankful for the counsel we have been getting for decades about being prepared. I repeatedly told Ash that we were safe. We had everything we needed in our home, and we were going to be just fine.
Having our storage is such a comfort to me. To just be able to deal with the situation, knowing we have all that we would possibly need, made everything that much calmer.
The littlest things, it seems, to have on hand, helped. Batteries are one of those. I am more stressed about having enough food, the treats that the kids enjoy, and sometimes disregard the other important things. But when I had to replace the batteries in a flashlight and a lantern that were both nearly dead (played with too long during one of our "fort days") I was thankful for all those checklists, to know we had everything! (I need to add matches to my list now though...)
While we still love those storms, while Lynn prayed that we would have another one of those tonight in her blessing over lunch, we really ought not to.. it makes too much work for dad. :)
*Merrill told me after he arrived home a little after 11, and after the power had turned back on and everything was settled, (once again) that when he had arrived at the hotel, everyone was gathered in the lobby, visiting and laughing together. Everyone was safe and having a good time. Heavenly Father answeres our prayers..