Before the Storm
It was another typical Monday. There was nothing out of the ordinary to foreshadow the storm ahead. I woke up, took a shower, attended a daily morning meeting for work, and mentally prepared myself for another long work day and week working from home. After a quick bite to eat, I dove right into work making slow but steady progress.
About three and a half hours in, I hear the city’s emergency siren going off outside. It’s only then that I looked up from my computer and noticed the sky looked a bit dark. However, it was still nothing out of the ordinary.
I turned on the TV to the local news to get some intel on the siren while the following questions spiraled in my head at a constant loop: What’s the emergency? Is it a severe thunderstorm? A tornado? Why wasn’t it mentioned in the forecast?
As predicted, the meteorologist was discussing the current weather situation. But most of the air time wasn’t spent telling viewers what the storm was. Instead, it was centered around one primary message: Get to a basement or sheltered location NOW.
I look out the window again and realize that in a very short span of time, the place had gotten unusually dark. I curiously and unwisely poked my head outside and felt a heavy gust of wind unlike anything I’ve ever felt before.
During the Storm
There’s no TV in the basement. So, I turned the one upstairs up a few more notches that way my dad and I could still hear the weather report. With my laptop in hand, I found a place to sit and continue working while we observed the turmoil outside from the basement windows.
About five minutes in, the T.V. suddenly went off.
We had lost power; and with it, the internet and all connection to the outside world.
I could not have anticipated this would happen during my long, extended visit home.
After the Storm
I will later come to find out that the storm is called a derecho. A hurricane like storm with straight-line winds that can reach over 100 mph.
Following the storm, there were down power lines, trees uprooted from the ground lying on top of people’s lawns, streets, and parked vehicles, and some homes and buildings severely damaged. Besides the physical damages, there was also widespread loss of electricity, internet, and phone service. As a result, there wasn’t a square footage or household in the city that was not impacted.
Trying to keep up with my work deadlines in the midst of all this is another story that will make this post longer than it already is. Let’s just say, my stress level has been at an eleven out of ten, and I drove many miles to find a Covid-safe place with power and wifi to get my work done on time.
Seven days later, we still don’t have power. However, the the wifi started working again yesterday—at least while the generator we purchased a couple days ago is running; which is how I’m able to write this post.
This literal storm revealed a few lessons on the proverbial “storms” of life. It revealed that the storms of life are typically…
- Unexpected: Sometimes there’s no way to forecast a disaster let alone prepare for it.
- Not our fault: There’s nothing any of us could have done to change the weather.
- Alleviated by friends, family, and kind strangers: The people around us helped us pick up the pieces–literally and figuratively.
- A moment to count our blessings: It could be worse is always a true statement.
- A moment to realize what matters: Most material things are either replaceable or don’t really matter in the grand scheme of things.