Yowza. Holy thunderstorm.
That’s about all I can say to describe the craziness that cut our Girls’ Lake Trip short over the weekend.
The girlies and I arrived Tuesday evening, joining Nani, Aunt EJ, Gigi, Swiper, Honey and Nate-dogg (nicknames for various family members). I’ve already detailed the less-than-desirable sleep schedules my girls adopted (oh, and that Miss Blair decided to retain for her at-home sleep repertoire). Other than that, massive amounts of fun were had by all!
The day started out terrific. Missy (Nan’s sister), her two girls Kat and Gabi and a friend had arrived the day before. Bostie had arrived the previous evening, and he is always terrific at getting the girls super-riled up (which is really fun when he decides he’s done, leaves to fiddle around somewhere, and we’re stuck with super-riled up girls).
Fun in the sun (the hot, hot, hot sun), playing in the sprinkler, drawing with chalk, various cousinly shenanigans (that somehow seem to include fighting and making up all at the same time?).
Then we put down two VERY tired babies for naps, and also Paige and Addison. Who, oddly, said they were “NOT TIRED!!! NOT TIRED AT ALL!!!” Huh. Weird, because they both seemed really tired and grouchy. We thought we’d give it a shot, and it’s crazy … they both fell fast asleep.
Things were quiet – Gracie and Natalie were watching a show on my laptop. EJ, Nan and I were chatting while my dad sat nearby and did some work on his iPad.
Then we noticed the sky was getting dark and the wind was picking up. We brought things inside in case it rained. Then we noticed the sky was getting REALLY dark and that the small waves on the lake now had whitecaps. Then we noticed the storm blowing in across the lake. It was INSANE. You literally could see the wall of rain coming at us (and, trust me, I hate misuse of that word, so I actually mean literally).
We quickly realized that things were going from rainy to really bad. Most of the rooms were almost entirely windows. The “moms” of the group made the decision to grab the kids and head to the basement (my dad wouldn’t have gone down if I’d offered him a million dollars. Why are dads like that?!?!?). We woke up all four kids and dragged everyone downstairs quickly. I may or may not have scared the bejezzus out of EJ’s girls, who wanted to round up a few things they thought they might need. I may or may not have yelled something along the lines of “I’m not kidding around here! Get downstairs now!!!”
Sidebar: I am terrified, absolutely TERRIFIED of thunderstorms. It’s without a doubt my number one fear. I have a Midland Weather Radio on my nightstand in case I should somehow sleep through the tornado sirens, or in case they don’t work (or, in my crazy brain, in case some really sneaky tornado should somehow slip past them. As if they are activated by motion detectors or something. Yes, thank you. I realize I’m irrational). I have an emergency kit in the basement that includes almost every item the American Red Cross suggests a kit should have. I’m not f-ing around.
Additional sidebar: I am HELLA calm in an emergency situation. Seriously. Ask my family (who, sadly, all have had emergency situations for which I’ve been present. We’re pretty accident-prone). I’m also a boy-scout trapped in a grown-woman’s body. Which, now that I type that, sounds very, very disturbing. But the point I’m trying to get across is that I’m always prepared. Ask me for something health or safety-related sometime. Chances are I either have it in my bag or can get it for you by running to my car.
So, when everyone made fun of me when I unpacked a flashlight earlier in the week, it was like water off a duck’s back. “Really, Bis? You need TWO picnic blankets?!?”, they mocked. Mock away, friends. No skin off my nose.
I was the last one in the basement, because I ran upstairs to grab a few things. I spread a large blanket on the cold concrete floor for the kids to sit on. We lost power. I switched on my flashlight. The kids were scared (little did they know I was actually shaking I was so scared, especially since the last time I talked to my husband he was about 10 minutes away, and had yet to arrive). I sang camp songs and told stories.
Derrick arrived. The storm passed. But the damage was done. Power lines were down all over town. No power meant no well, which meant the showers and toilets didn’t work. No power meant no air-conditioning, which meant we were out of there.
My husband and Nan’s other sister, PJ (who arrived about 15 minutes after the storm passed) spent their “lake vacation” helping with what I can only describe as the quickest packing job in history. It took us all about a week to prepare for this trip. It took us about 45 minutes to pack up everything and load it into our cars. Seriously impressive. The only things left behind were a movie stuck in the DVD player, some hair products and my iPhone charger (although, that’s probably just in a bag somewhere – it’s kind of how I roll when I “lose” things).
It really was a GREAT trip, illustrated by the fact that Paige cried the entire way home because she was so sad we had to leave. And she asks about 100 times a day “why we had to come home from that lake place,” which leads to a nice long discussion about losing power, storms, tornadoes and root beer floats (That’s actually not a random segue to root beer floats. I had promised to take the girls to the A&W drive-in prior to the storm blowing through).
Will I still be scared of storms? Hell yes, I will. Derrick’s pretty sure I would make everyone go down in the basement if a car alarm went off outside, just in case.
Will I ever change my ridiculous habit of packing things “no one will ever need”? You bet your ass I won’t. And you’d better not make fun of me, especially if you’re traveling with the Whitacres and Feldmanns. Chances are you’ll need my First-Aid Kit.