Tuesday, September 6, 2011

What Really Matters

I awoke to a driving rain pelting my bedroom window. It was early for this writer; it was not yet 10:00 AM. My internal alarm clock goes off at 10:30…almost every day. So, something was interrupting my beauty sleep.

I jumped out of bed and peeked through the window. The young trees in our neighbor’s backyard were bent at a 90-degree angle. For a moment I thought I must have woken up on the east coast and was experiencing the hurricane that had just whipped through. No, I was still in Wisconsin. Still in my own bed in my own bedroom experiencing weather rarely seen in this neck of the woods.

I jumped out of bed and just as I did, the power went out. The wind was fierce, making me think a tree branch would enter my private abode, uninvited. I looked out our other window. The patio table was rooted firmly in place and the trampoline seemed steadfast.

I quickly dressed then awoke the sick sleeping child in the room next to mine. I had not yet heard the warning sirens, but expectation caused me to err on the side of caution.

We snuggled on the couch and looked out our living room picture window at the angry, menacing sky. It took all of an hour for the worst of the storm to pass.

Giving my son some medicine, we headed upstairs where I could get him to snuggle back in and hopefully ditch his cold. I stopped to glance out the front door. Our trampoline was overturned and stood on its side up against a tree. I smiled and followed my son up the stairs.

He fell asleep in the relative safety of his mother’s arms.

A short time later, the phone rang. My husband decided to come home early to assess the damage and, even though he didn’t say so, to reassure himself that his family was safe.

After righting the trampoline, which has extensive damage, we decided to go for lunch. With the power out, cooking was not an option. I was thankful I had not yet grocery shopped. Less food to worry about spoiling.

After eating lunch with our daughter and son-in-law, we ran a few errands. One of which was a stop at a bookstore where we were delighted to see copies of my novel on the bookshelves.

We spoiled ourselves with a cup of coffee and then headed home.

It was a quiet evening. My husband, son and I played Sorry, Battleship and Aggravation, all by candlelight. Our son won all three games (after quite a few tears on the part of my son, I do admit to stacking the deck when I drew a sorry card and his was the only piece I could put back. I had already put him back several times and I just didn’t have the heart to do it again. That was the only cheating…promise!).

For the first time in months, we were all in bed by 10:30 PM. My husband and son were in our bed…and I was in the twin bed in my son’s room. He is used to sleeping with a nightlight. I am used to sleeping with a fan. There was nothing to drown out the noises of the night. Nor was there anything to soften the snores coming from my husband’s side of the bed.

(Three lit candles made our bathroom not so "scary!")

I stayed up reading by a little flashlight. I was reminded of my youth when I would hide under the covers, reading until the wee hours of the night. Not much as changed there. I still love to read.

Not only was there no fan, there was no air conditioning. It was getting hot. I moved to the couch on the main level. It was cooler there. I started in on my second book.

At 2:00 AM, the servicemen finally arrived. Chain saws and intercom voices carried in the still night. My flashlight shone on.

At 3:15, my eyes no longer battling the fatigue of my body, I headed for the comfort of the twin bed. Three minutes later our power roared to life. I turned out the bathroom light, turned on my son’s fan and curled up and went to sleep.

For the relatively low cost of a trampoline, my family turned off all electronics and spent an entire evening being in one another’s company. What started off as complaining on the part of our son because the playstation was unusable, turned into one the “best nights ever.” This evening, he even asked if we could do it again.

Thank you Lord for reminding us of what is important. Thank you for keeping us safe. Lord, I ask that you comfort every family who felt the impact of the hurricane. Lord, those who have lost loved ones, homes, belongings…Lord…be their peace. Be their strength. Be their joy. In the precious name of Your Son, Amen.


  1. Wow the trampoline! A great story of what really matters.

    We had a night like that last June (not that the fam and I don't hang out unless the power goes out, but...) It was a special time. I always remember loving it as a kid, when the storm would knock everything out. It was fun piling on the couch with candles!

  2. Wow! What a storm!

    Love the story. We had one of those night's last year. All the kids were home and a tornado went through the other side of town. We were spared but left with no power. We played games all night. It was pretty fun! The next day we went and helped some friends clean their yard from the debris. We brought them some KFC - they didn't get power for a week.

  3. Some friends of ours were without power for four days. We were blessed! We had a lot of fun. I cannot imagine what life must have been like a hundred years ago. Even without power, we still had running water among other conveniences. Ah...we are so spoiled!

  4. I gave you the Liebster Award! Congrats!

  5. The Liebster Award? Alrighty then...I'll look that up :)