We went to bed that night, listening to the heavy winds, waiting for the rain to come and wondering what we were going to wake up to. Casey and I didn't sleep very well, I'm sure that doesn't surprise anyone. That evening and into the night the power kept flickering on and off (we could see our alarm clock flashing off and on) and we would lay there wondering when we would get the official "lights out". It came at 3:16 that night and we were both awake for it. We saw the sky turn bright green, saw 3 explosions, looked over at our clock and didn't see any numbers anymore. We knew we were officially without power. All night long I kept getting up out of bed to look out the window and make sure that these big trees in our neighbors yard were still standing. They were and that made me feel better. (Casey did help the neighbor move their things in their backyard, BTW). Finally I fell asleep. We woke up to heavy winds and rain still, which lasted until about 1:30 in the afternoon. We kept looking out all of our windows in order to get a good look at the neighborhood in every direction. It looked pretty good. No major trees down. Everyone's homes were still standing, fences were still in place. Our family was calling us to check in and we were telling them that nothing really happened in our area. Only debris from trees on the ground. Then Casey got a call from the Elder's Quorum president in our ward to go out and help someone. He came home in awe from what it REALLY looked like out there. There was much more to see than us just peeking out our windows. It was still heavily raining, so we waited until it stopped and then went on a drive around our neighborhood and the adjoining neighborhood.
Here is what we saw: This tree below is what Casey went out to help with. It was blocking the road so they cut it with a chainsaw and moved it to the side. The picture doesn't do justice. He said it was bigger than he could even wrap his arms around.
This is one of the MANY things for which we are counting our blessings for. This is the ONLY thing that happened at our house. One of my favorite trees in our front yard fell down. Casey has already replanted it and it should be just fine.
I am also counting our blessings that my family is safe and doing great. My kids weren't traumatized one bit. As soon as the rain stopped the boys put on their swim suits and headed out side. This is what they did while Casey helped the other neighbors sweep up the debris from the trees. We do have a couple of small leaks in our attic, but definitely nothing to complain about.
Yesterday was the longest day without power. Our cell phones wouldn't work. We had been using our land line for communication until this morning when we woke up and it didn't work either. The feeling of not being able to communicate with anyone besides those within walking distance was awful. All we had to keep us updated on what was going on around us was our little radio. We were prepared to be without power for a couple of days, but not a week+. That is what we've been hearing. Radio reports have varied about restoring power, saying anywhere from one week to four weeks. How can you prepare for that? We needed a generator and we didn't have one. This is likely the only thing we lacked in preparation. That and ASSUMING that we would be with out power for only a couple of days. I remember thinking about it before all of this happened and wondering how in the world we would last for 3 or 4 days without power. Now that seems like a piece of cake. I would welcome it! So, this afternoon we drove to Dallas to get out of Houston for a little bit and to see if we could get our hands on a generator. No. We were too late. They are all gone. We just got word tonight that school is canceled for Kaylee and Jake until Wednesday of this week. Possibly longer. We just have to wait for updates. I don't know if they will have access to a generator for school. No one really knows what is going on. We don't know how long we'll be here in Dallas, or when we'll get to go back home. We might be heading back for school even if we don't have power.
Tonight is the first night we have been able to see the devastation to the Houston area. We spent a lot of time listening to it all unfold on the radio, with pictures in our mind. But now that we can actually see it, I have so many more reasons to count my blessings. Thank you to all of you for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers. I know they helped. We, personally, have a long couple of weeks ahead of us, but we are the lucky ones. We are so grateful for that. Please keep all of the Houston area in your prayers. We need it! I probably won't be able to keep up with all of you very well for the next little bit, but know that I am thinking of you and I will blog again when I can! :)