Friday, July 6, 2012

Say it with me, "Derecho"...

Last Friday night began like every other Friday night here in the fair shire of Potomac, which is to say it began with wine at the pool at 6pm. It was lovely. The children splashed about happily while the adults mused about the meaning of life while eating chips and sipping wine. After the pool we came home and sat on the lawn with the neighbors watching the fireflies flicker across the lawn and the kids scooter along in the dark.

In was in this near bliss that Brian, Lily's friend A's dad said, "Hey! There's a storm coming in! 70 mile an hour winds!" We could see the lightning in the distance. It was beautiful. The lights flashed, too far away to be a danger, but close enough to portend something big.

We chatted for a few more minutes, but as the storm drew closer we went inside. As I was putting batteries into the flashlight the power went out. And stayed out.

The storm hit. The rain fell sideways, though fell is not really accurate. It threw itself against the house while the wind tore down trees and the sky, no longer beautiful, appeared to be on fire. Being liberal arts majors with almost no good sense, we watched from the windows as the world ended outside.

Finally, the storm quieted but the power did not come back on. The temperature in the house was cool from the air conditioning which was a blessing, but with each hour that the power was out I could feel the temperature rising. We all slept badly that night. I slept with Lily in her room because she was scared and David had to sleep without his sleep apnea mask.

In the morning Lily and Rebecca decided that if the American Girl store in Virginia was open we should go there and I was too tired and bewildered by the storm to come up with a better plan. We piled into the car, charging our electronics as we went. The mall was opened and blissfully cool. We were not the only ones who thought to seek refuge at the mall. By the afternoon the mall was packed with storm refuges staking out outlets to charge phones, standing on long lines for food, and generally trying to make plans to get through something for which no one was prepared.


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