Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A post for April weather in Tornado Alley

We had some storm damage last night.

Actually, a lot of storm damage.


As in, I'm typing this in my mother-in-law's den wearing some clothes I pulled out of her laundry basket this morning.  She picked us up last night because our car was blocked in by downed limbs.

Our stuff is crammed into my parents' house, Dicy's house, vehicles for Mom, Dad, and Levi....and a trailer on generous loan from our old church.

And a lot of it's been thrown out.


We have to go back tomorrow to pick up the rest of it, but we (mostly other people--I had to make trips back to Dicy's house to nurse Evelyn and I'd take breaks when I did) worked from 8:30 until this afternoon to sort through our possessions, call our insurance agent, and fake calmness.


I was in the kitchen, talking to Cody while he made dinner last night when I moved to shut the kitchen door because the wind was picking up and the spray from the rain was cold on my feet.  The wind really seemed to shake the door and I deadbolted it, heard a noise, and ran to the hallway while holding Evelyn.  I also tried to drag Cody with me and I uttered some choice words.  I'm glad we didn't die because I wouldn't want those to be my last words.


Sidenote: I like to hope my last words will be ones that are encouraging or an expression of gratitude.  Or at least funny.  I'm pretty sure, though, that my parting message as I leave this mortal coil will be "Oh!  Apostrophe error."

I heard breaking glass in the dining room and then the lights went out.  Cody felt his way into the kitchen and turned off the stove and got shoes for us.  I requested my rubber boots.  I tried to pick up Evelyn's diaper bag, but it was covered in insulation.  Water was dripping through parts of the ceiling and I picked my way through the living room just so I could get my phone.  Cody grabbed a blanket for Evelyn and we stood on our across-the-street neighbors' porch.  The fire department came and someone grabbed Evelyn's diaper bag.  Other than that, they told us we couldn't into the house because of downed power lines.  So we called Cody's mom, and I texted with Alana about storm updates in Romance because I couldn't reach my mom (she was on the phone with Dad).  Cody tried to move our car, but couldn't.  He grabbed Evelyn's carseat, though. 

Several neighbors walked by to survey the damage.  They all exclaimed over how pretty Evelyn was, and how long her hair was, and how we'd tell her this story over and over years from now.


Dicy picked us up and we rode home with our crying baby.  Naturally, she was calm through the whole ordeal until she realized it was around 9 and she wasn't being fed.  We'd dropped laundry off at Dicy's earlier in the day, so I wore my own pajama pants to bed that night.  Cody wore Casey's pajamas.  Evelyn had clothes in her diaper bag.  Spencer picked up diapers and toothbrushes and we were set for the evening.


Mom called family members to organize helpers for us.  Dicy rescheduled work things.  I nursed Evelyn because that's what I do at night.  Cody made us ham sandwiches and we made plans for the rest of the week or so.  I talked to Sara on the phone.  We went to sleep in Dicy's bed and I nursed Evelyn and held her on my chest while she slept.


We couldn't believe how well everything worked out.  This could have been so much worse.


Cody's normally at work.
I'm normally in the living room.
We could have been separated.


We have renter's insurance.
We have family in the area.
We are safe.
We'll be fine.

I woke up with Evelyn around 6 this morning and couldn't fall back asleep.  So I drank coffee with Dicy and played with my baby.  I woke up Cody and we went to our house.  We could go in, so we did and I called people to come help us.  Dad was already on his way, and Mom and Levi were antsy to get to us.  Spencer helped until he had to go to work, and then Jeff came.  Then Brian, the youth minister from our old church, came with a trailer.

There are still some things in the house, but our important papers and most of our clothes are safe.  The pictures are safe.  The books are out.

I'm grimy and coughing from all of the insulation and dust in the house.  I have laundry to wash and a mother-in-law's washing machine (and a dryer!  Thank God!) to use.  I have to see which of Evelyn's books are the most water-damaged.  Yes, our books were fine and Evelyn's weren't.  I lost it when I realized that all of her books were wet and curling up.  I had two different showers where every single person brought a book for a nameless baby.  I keep telling myself this is only slightly worse than the damage she'll wreak when she chews on books and drops them in the toilet.  Mom is going to salvage my old Easter basket for Evelyn to keep using. 

As gripey and stressed as I've been today, I'm still so grateful. 

Dicy stayed home to watch Evelyn and she gave Cody the day off.  Laine and Sara were good sisters and loaded up our parents with boxes and luggage for us to use.  Levi and Spencer were box-hauling fools.  Dad came home from work early and he and Mom ignored whatever storm damage they may have at home.  Brian brought us a whole stinking trailer that we can store our large furniture in and told Mom the church offered to pay for a month's storage rental for our stuff--and I don't even go there!  Jeff took time off from work and physically exerted himself, and he hates that.

I'm so grateful.  We're fine.  Aside from bumping my head on the branch in the dining room, we're completely and totally untouched.  Most of our stuff, as unimportant as it is, is fine.  Our precious little girl is fine and is physically attaching herself to her Dicy.

We're fine.
We'll find another apartment.
We'll eventually replace the TV and the breadmaker.
We'll find a new place for our flourishing container garden.
We'll adjust, and we'll have plenty of help doing it.
We're having pizza tonight.

As bad as this is, it's absolutely wonderful.

And I'm so grateful.


Jessica said...

Jen and Cody, If there is ANYTHING I can do to help you please let me know. I am here for you.
I will help you move, I will paint your new place, I will be your handy woman, I will Evelynsit, tons of etc...

You're in my prayers. Much love.

Laine said...

I've read this at least three times, clicked on every picture to make it bigger at least twice, and I am so, so, SO glad y'all are okay.

We can all buy Evelyn new books, promise.

Anonymous said...

Crap. And wow. When I saw on fb that you were looking for a new apartment, I didn't connect that with the storm. I am so thankful that you are all okay, and even more thankful for your good spirits. What can I do?

Jen said...

Thanks, people. We're doing okay: our clothes, dishes, and baby gear were all fine (if Evelyn's swing had stopped working I would have stormed our insurance agency, demanding immediate cash). Nearly all of our sentimental stuff is fine, too. Just a little dirty. We're going to try to look at some new places this afternoon after we finish packing up the bedroom and kitchen.

All the books in Evelyn's toy chest are okay! All of the wet ones are drying out in Dicy's living room....and Spencer said that one room smells like our house. Makes sense.

Thanks for being so nice, but we're fine for now. But I completely plan on taking advantage of all offers of help in the next few weeks!

Terri said...

SOOOOO glad you are ok Jen! Scary stuff hu? Last night we did a devotional about rebuilding after a storm. I knew people we knew would somehow be effected by these storms.We are praying for you.

Erin said...

Oh girl. So glad y'all are ok. If you need anything we'll be in LR Saturday. We have baby stuff we can loan ya if needed until you get insurance stuff settled...please don't hesitate to ask...

Amber said...

So glad you were OK. And together. I cried when I read this. Mostly because family and friends and church are beautiful never more apparent than when the sky falls.