Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The night the lights went out

The big windstorm swept through on Thursday. It was not entirely unexpected. "Big storm coming!" people said. "Be prepared!" We were at the library that evening, and then went to I Love Bento for dinner. The storm was fitful, with gusts of wind and pounding rain that started and stopped suddenly. It didn't seem too bad at first. The power went out around 1:00 in the morning. Kate was a little distressed to be without her night light. We stayed in bed till it was light outside. I had a banana for breakfast.

Scott's power was still on (across town) so we spent a few hours over there. He had a nice warm shower, and a stove to warm up the keema matar leftovers from our fridge. When Kate got cranky we tried to take her for a walk outside, but it was just too cold and windy. She really wanted to leave--she went up to our car and patted it, and cried when we told her we couldn't go home right then. We thought maybe we'd go over to Borders (bookstore) and let her play there for a while, if they were open. While on the road, Doug said we should call Cousin Lonnie in Puyallup. First we had to call Doug's dad to get Lonnie's number. Then I called Lonnie (Doug was driving). "Do you have power?" I asked. "Yes!" he said. "Want to come over here tonight? Come over! We'll make dinner. How does Vietnamese noodle soup sound?" Wonderful. The first time we had pho was at Lonnie's house, when we first came out here. Cousin Robbie served a mission in California speaking Laotian, and introduced his family to many interesting foods on his return.

We didn't make it to Borders. We stopped by our place to pack up clothes and things--extra diapers, sleepers, a few stuffed animal friends for Kate. We didn't know how long we might be gone, so we packed for two days. It was getting dark outside again, so the packing was done with the aid of a single small maglight. We do have candles--there was one Christmas a few years ago where it seemed like we got nothing but candles--but, unfortunately, we do not seem to have any matches. Kate seemed simultaneously glad to be home and upset by the dark.

Lonnie and Martha's house was warm and welcoming, and Kate was just a happy little girl the whole time we were there. She ate lots of noodles from her bowl of pho, went to play for a few minutes, and then came back for some more. The meat was buffalo, pressure-cooked to perfection. We got a bed in the spare room. Getting Kate to sleep was the hard part--I kept laying her down and she kept popping back up again. We were tired; she was having too much fun.

In the morning we called our home phone and the answering maching picked up, so we figured the power was back on. We had a nice breakfast and took our time getting ready to go. Kate didn't want to leave.

Our power was out for a day. Probably less than twenty-four hours. Other people went several days without power. It was eerie, driving through town and seeing all the dark houses and streets. A couple of large sections of wooden fence by our apartment complex blew down. They're saying it was the Northwest's worst windstorm in recorded history. It made me realize how unprepared we are. We were glad to have somewhere to go, and friends and family that could help us out.


Anonymous said...

Hi Helena,

It sounds like you had quite a education, and some insights as to how to be more prepared. Matches would be a good thing! I'm glad it's over and that you are all OK.

Love, Mom

Jill said...

Glad you got your power back pretty quickly! Sounds like adventure enough!