Thursday, November 1, 2012

If Ye Are Prepared, Ye Shall Not Fear

With Hurricane Sandy looming, we spent most of Monday in the comfort of our home. The kids were a little nervous as the wind gusted throughout the day, but we kept ourselves distracted by tackling a craft project that will become a Christmas gift for the Cummings cousin exchange. By evening, all the weather reports were suggesting that the worst of the storm would reach our area in the middle of the night. We didn't want to venture too far from home but did make it over to Gma and Gpa's house to keep our tradition of doing FHE together. We carved pumpkins together and had some missionaries on hand to help in the effort. 

Here is the end result. Spencer and Gpa did the one on the left; I traced the one in the middle but let the missionaries carve it; Emma came up with the design for the peace sign pumpkin, which I traced and then Adam helped her carve. John had a hand in scooping seeds out (and then putting them back in just for an added measure of fun). 

After our pumpkins were prepped for All Hallow's Eve, we headed back home to set up for a family campout in the basement. There are a good number of trees behind the house, some of which were already leaning. We knew that between that and the fact that the wind really whistles as it gusts 'round the corners of the house, we would all sleep more soundly if we were together and out of the reach of falling arboles. The kids took it on as an adventure, and it served to put at ease the concerns that had been mounting as the wind grew in intensity. While we got kids in pajamas and bedding downstairs, Adam had an ingenious family rule: each child had to be with a parent and a flashlight at all times. We took turns being runners, and our kids each took possession of their own little light source in case of a power outage. Armed with the knowledge that they wouldn't be left alone in the dark, they proved to be super helpful. Everyone was settled at a very reasonable hour; Spencer and Emma were asleep by 9; John was pleasant but awake for a LONG time, savoring the excitement of a change in sleeping quarters, but even he finally dozed off. I slept much better than I had the night before when I kept waking up wondering if the sump pump was still working or whether the kids were okay. I did abandon the air bed halfway through the night in favor of the couch. My 6.5 months of prego belly are too hard to maneuver at ground level.
  Other preparations we made that gave me peace of mind:
Extra blankets on hand in case the power/heat went out
Frozen food all piled in the garage freezer
Extra gallons of milk frozen to prevent spoilage and provide "ice" to the fridge or a cooler if necessary
Pitchers and bowls filled with drinking water
Bathtub full in a locked bathroom in case we needed extra water
All the laundry done and dried
Extra batteries, flashlights, and glow sticks
Generator test-started and extra gas on hand to run the sump pump if necessary

As it turned out, our area was not hit very hard by Hurricane Sandy. We still didn't have school on Tuesday because some parts of the county were without power and the gusts predicted in the forecast were to be formidable, but we spent the day visiting grandparents' homes, and I still taught some violin lessons.

Spencer and Adam ventured down to the nearby Goose Creek, which was measuring in at 8 feet ABOVE flood levels. Here's a photo of my little explorer. Hard to tell from this angle, but the water was well into the tree line. 

We feel very blessed to have weathered this storm, and our prayers go out to those whose lives and homes are still being pieced back together in the wake of a hurricane. 

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