The past two days have been quite the whirlwind, let me tell you...
While I went to work on Tuesday, my mom and our cousin made plans in preparation. Our cousin was going to bring her family to our house; since we live further West than they do, our house wouldn't be impacted quite as much. Her husband had to work through the storm, as he works with the water utilities, but the rest of the family would come to my house on Wednesday.
Sure enough, Wednesday I went to work and knew that by the time I got home, my house would be filled with people. I ended up leaving work early due to being sick (a huge part of my job is Guest interaction, which is kind of difficult when your throat is burning so much that you can barely speak), and got home shortly before bedtime for the kids. As they've done before, all four little girls slept in the twins' bedroom, while the boys slept in my brother's room. My sister volunteered to sleep in the playroom so our cousin could have her bed, which made the two of us roommates. Are you keeping count? Add in my parents, and that's seven kids and four adults.
But wait! Don't forget the animals! Our two little dogs, plus their two big dogs, plus their turtle... It's an absolute mad house here! And I'm not even finished yet...
Yesterday, we found out that we were going to be getting more of a direct hit than we thought we were. I had no choice but to call out of work (I still didn't feel the greatest, and there was no way that I was getting stuck an hour away from home if the storm hit early), and I had to help out with a lot around the house to prepare for the hurricane's arrival. My dad still isn't feeling 100% yet, which means that he can't drive, so I drove him all over town so that we could get last minute items that we needed before the hurricane hit. While we were out, my mom and our cousin were home preparing everything around the house. Anything in the lanai had to be moved away from the screen, things that are kept outside had to be brought into the garage, and our front door had to be taped shut at the bottom just in case it flooded. There was a lot to be done when my dad and I got home as well.
Since all of the kids' beds in our house are near windows, we ended up needing to camp out in the living room last night. Well, since my dad wasn't feeling the best after all of the work that he did during the day, he got to sleep in his bed still. Luckily he doesn't have a huge window next to his bed. But the rest of us slept in the living room. We lined up mattresses on the floor for the seven kids, and then my mom, cousin, and I slept awkwardly on the couch. Needless to say there was a lot of back pain when we all woke up this morning, but at least we made it through the night.
The hurricane ended up veering East ever so slightly, which is probably the sole reason that we didn't receive more damage. We had high winds, tons of rain, but no flooding, and everything was fine. Our fence is halfway down in the backyard, and the cover blew off of the bar-be-que out back, but other than that we didn't have any damage. We had the electricity flicker a few times but never actually lost power, which was absolutely a blessing. And what was even better is that we learned that our cousins' house didn't receive any major damage either! Their mailbox got ripped out, and they don't have power there, but they actually have a house to return to, and we were all really nervous that the worst was going to happen.
So now the worst is over for us. We'll have to get the fence fixed, and we have more water than we know what to do with, but everything should go back to normal by Monday. Our cousins will go home tomorrow to see how their neighborhood made out, and the kids are excited to be reunited with their dad. Everyone's exhausted and getting antsy about staying in the house for so long, but we made it through together. We're all so thankful that the storm went back out East a little bit, because I really think that we would have had so much more damage if it hadn't changed course. We're really lucky, and really glad that it wasn't worse.
We're thinking about all of the people who have to deal with worse damage than we do. I've only heard of one fatality from the storm, and my thoughts and prayers go out to her family. Here's to getting back to normal as quickly as possible.
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