My town looks like a tornado blew thru it. I've never seen anything like it, trees down EVERYWHERE. Downed power lines, huge branches and limbs and actual trees just lying dead on the side of the road. It's horrifying and fascinating and holy moly awful out there. And I'm so grateful to be back home in my little house, with my happy children and singing husband and know that we're safe and warm and everyone is back where they belong.
In the northeast, we're used to blizzards. We're even kind of happy about them, there's a sense of camaraderie and local pride about being able to weather the storms - but a noreaster in late October is ridiculous. Just ridiculous. And the trees agree with me, because they were ill prepared for the storm. In that they hadn't even HAD TIME TO CHANGE COLORS YET. So when all the snow fell, the poor trees were still still heavy with leaves and with the added weight of heavy wet snow - they all fell.
We lost power on Saturday night, late, after the kids were asleep. All day Saturday, we had been preparing for it. I did all the laundry, I made all the beds, vacuumed, made sure the dishwasher had run and been emptied and reloaded. We gathered all the candles, put batteries in the flashlights - and the lights didn't go out. The kids were practically breathless with anticipation - they had never experienced a power outage and were half excited and half terrified. But the power didn't go out until close to midnight, and at four thirty, Marc, Jessica and I were all up and looking out the window at all the trees that had already fallen. We're so lucky, none of them hit the house, but we lost big branches off of three of them, two in the backyard, and one in the front. The one in the front of the house is being held up by the electrical wires running from the street to the house. Which makes me feel super safe.
Sunday, we packed our stuff, some of it, and headed across town to our friends' house. Sara and Arlen, thank goodness for them, took in not only my family of five, but also our friends Joy, Skip and their two kids. Saturday night was kind of like a party - with thousands of kids running around and lots of noise. Needless to say, it was a rough nights sleep. Marc was downstairs, Jess was on the couch, and I was in the bedroom with a very little twin bed, two five year olds and a toddler. Jordyn abandoned me pretty quickly and ended up crawling into bed with her parents, so I slept on the twin with Julie on one side, Sam on the other, and as you can imagine, it didn't go well. The only time I regret being a co-sleeping mom is when we're at someone else's house and my life would be easier if they'd sleep alone on the floor. Instead, I moved with the two kids to the floor, nursed Julianna while Sam fell asleep and then crawled back up onto the bed with Julie and slept there. Kind of.
The next night was marginally easier, because we moved to Joy's house. I felt so guilty about imposing on everyone (even though both Sara and Joy were awesome about telling me not to worry about it) that I wanted to keep moving to a different house every night, so as to spread it out. We all slept in Harrison's room, and I was on the floor with Sam, while Jessie was in a nest over in the corner, and Marc slept with Julianna on the futon.
We still had no power, and no heat either, so we couldn't go home. And when in doubt - I go to my original home. Even though my mother isn't living in the house I grew up in - where she is, that's home to me. And when I finally got there, dragged in all my stuff, and dropped my kids in her living room, I felt so much better. Jessie was so stressed out, she wasn't eating - she ate on Monday afternoon and then didn't eat until Tuesday night at my mother's house. Sam had been so restless at night, neither one of us had gotten any good sleep since Saturday. And Julianna's schedule was totally off - she was barely napping sometimes, and taking huge long naps on other days.
I'm profoundly grateful for my friends, who were so warm and welcoming. And grateful for my mother and stepdad, because they got my little girl to eat finally, and stuffed my son full of candy and laughed at Julianna who was walking, not on her feet, but on her knees. But mostly - I'm grateful for us - for the team that Marc and I are, and how lovely it is to be home, with Julianna and Sam and Jessie in our already cluttered and messy living room. For a hot dinner of turkey bacon and eggs, and the prospect of curling up on the couch with everyone and watching The Middle in ten minutes.
I'm a lucky, lucky girl....