On Sunday, most of Lower Michigan was hit with tremendous wind storms that caused a lot of damaged and power outages across the state. I had been in Frankenmuth for the day with the kids, my mom, my brother, my sister-in-law and two of my nieces. If you have never been, Frankenmuth is a fun place to go and exactly the cure if you aren't in the holiday mood yet. But I'll spare you the details on that since I promised no Christmas posts until after Thanksgiving (this was my one exception to the no Christmas festivities only because I couldn't get time to go after Thanksgiving).
We were just getting ready to leave Bronner's at the end of a long day of walking around when the big storm hit. We debated waiting it out but then looking at the radar on our phones quickly showed us that there was no point in waiting - the whole state was engulfed in an obnoxious wave of green, yellows and red... I sucked it up and rain out to the truck while the wind whipped the rain completely horizontal (yes, I was drenched) and drove to the carport area so the rest of the gang could avoid the worst of it. After dodging a tree that had fallen at the edge of the freeway, a very long slow drive in the pitch dark pouring rain and winds gusting 50-70 mph, dodging another tree on my mom's road, and several smaller portions of trees on the backroads between our houses, I arrived to a dark house.
We decided to pack up the gang and head back to my mom's for the night. While we could have survived in the dark with our stash of candles and flashlights and the gas stove, the wind was very eerie and some of the fiercest wind I can remember in a long time. It was about 60 degrees out when the whole thing started and there were tornado warnings but it was pitch black. We ran upstairs to grab clothes and the howling of the wind made the hairs on my neck stand up as I ordered everyone back downstairs. We boogied out of there with tree branches falling around our driveway.
Two days later, many of us are still without power. We are really thankful at times like these for the family and friends around us. My parents and grandparents are on different power grids than we are so they were unaffected. My aunt is also down the road and was unaffected and offered use of their generator to keep our secondary freezer going (that valuable venison!). The kids are used to staying overnight with Grandma so it wasn't a huge deal to crash there on the basement couches.
When the power wasn't back yet last night, we cleared our fridge of meats and cheeses and took them to my mom's with us. Mom and I made pork chops and mashed potatoes for dinner last night and at the same time roasted a whole chicken and made a batch of scalloped potato for tonight's meal and now no one has to cook tonight. There was enough room in her freezer to throw the rest of the meat I had in there to keep. We'll use up the rest of the dairy products in the next couple of days to be safe.
And of course, heat and running water is sometimes invaluable. We had a load of clothes in the washer so we were able to bag those up and use the dryer at my mom's. And a shower at the end of days like these is pure bliss.
It was confirmed today that an EF-0 tornado touched down in a town to the east of us. Downed power lines and falling trees killed several a couple of people here in Michigan and in Illinois, the tornadoes produced were much more destructive. A couple shingles and a piece of siding to repair, a small tree down and some good-sized branches to clear up. But the gutters we replaced and repairs we made to the sump drain pipe resulted in a dry basement. We are blessed compared to others around us who have it much harder. Family companionship, warm showers, and a cup of hot tea keeps us sane.
Now as long as the hay keeps the horses and goat busy enough to keep them from testing out the electric fence (that currently has no electricity) we're golden...