Our area was impacted by winter storm “Goliath”, but just as in the biblical story of David and Goliath, the Lord protected us from this giant which hurled not spears of brass, but of ice and sleet. We had had lovely, sunny, mild weather all week, so this change was a drastic one. Strong winds and heavy rain began on Saturday afternoon. This turned into sleet and ice by Sunday morning as the thermometer dipped 30 degrees colder. Our services were cancelled on Sunday, not only because of the slick conditions, but also because of the 50 mile per hour winds. This “blizzard force” wind lasted Saturday, all day Sunday, and Monday morning. By Sunday night, our power lines had taken all they could and gave way leaving us in the dark.
And let me tell you, our house is dark. I have made it through a few strong storms in Oklahoma (if you’ve lived here longer than a month, then you probably have, too) but this was the first time we lost power. When the power went off at 9 PM Sunday, the darkness was palpable. I felt my airway constrict like I was suffocating. I know! Isn’t that crazy? Thankfully, I got a grip and we found candles and used our phones for flashlights. Since it was bedtime, we all made our way to bed, beneath lots of blankets since the heat wouldn’t work without electricity. We were blessed not to have needed to eat, so we made sure the fridge and freezer doors stayed closed. The lights came on for about an hour between 2-3 AM, which gave me time to charge my phone to 100%. (Yes, I have my priorities right.) During the night, I could hear the sleet hit the windows, sounding like someone was throwing gravel against the glass. The wind whistled through the eaves and across the chimney pipe, creating a mournful sound in the darkness. I was thankful for strong walls and a good roof!
We all slept late Monday morning on purpose because, well, when you don’t have power, what can you do? We couldn’t do laundry, iron clothes, write blog posts, cook, vacuum, or even shower! The hot water heater has to have electricity, too. We tried to start a fire in the fireplace, but the wood wouldn’t light. The house was growing colder and colder, and we had no idea when the power would be restored, so we got dressed and made our way into town.
The damage from the winds wasn’t wide-spread, but it was noticeable. The awning over the gas pumps at a nearby gas station had fallen, balancing precariously across the pumps. The Subway restaurant sign had turned 180 degrees. Lots of dead tree limbs and trees were toppled, and some living trees were blown over at the roots! When we moved in almost three years ago, we had two dead trees in our backyard. Some sweet folks in our church helped us cut them down and haul the branches away, and we burned the wood for fuel that winter. I am so thankful that we got rid of them promptly, because had they not fallen before, I feel sure they would have in this recent storm. We were so blessed! We sustained no other damage than the loss of power.
Well, after driving around town for a while, eating lunch at one of the few places that were open, and dropping by the library to pick up a book that had come in, we checked the church to see if there was power there, and there was! We went back home and collected a few blankets and computers to take to church to try to pass the time. We also put our milk and a few other things in the snow to try to save them from being ruined, and turned on our porch light so we could see if the power was back by just driving by the house.
We were only at church for about an hour when a church member, who lives near us, said they had power at their house. They were kind enough to drive by our house to see if we had power (thank goodness for that porch light!) and we did!
We headed home and rejoiced at the sight of lights! We got the heat on and surveyed the damage to our perishable food, which wasn’t much, thanks to the snow and cold temps outside. It didn’t take long to clean up, start laundry and get a much needed shower.
It was a wonderful blessing to awaken today to a warm home, with light! I’m sorry to say that I often take for granted the blessings of electricity, but not today.