Huge storms have been moving through our area yesterday and today, violent, destructive storms. The first one was the worst: hail, several inches of rain, winds above 80 miles per hour...lots of damage. We only lost one storm window and a side rear view mirror on our van. No trees or limbs down in the yard, no damage to our property, other than lots and lots of leaves stripped off bushes and trees. And our power was out for almost 28 hours.
So, this whole day, my children have cleaned and read and just sat around, talking amiably to each other. Crazy. They even wanted to clean, because (they said) "there's nothing else to do!" Almost the entire house was spiffed up. And they were nice to each other. All day. Well, until dinner time, then we had all had about as much as we could take. Then, after eating, I loaded them all up in the van drove them around town so they could see how the storm affected our area.
It is bad. It has been a perfect year for crops, and it was going to be an amazing harvest. All of the corn fields and soybean fields have been beaten into the ground. Almost everyone has broken windows. Many, many houses with vinyl siding look like they were sprayed with machine gun fire all along the north side. Signs down, flags shredded, buildings under construction flattened.
Even though I was really grateful for the electricity to come back on, I was also grateful for the "power down"...to unplug and focus on other stuff. I am grateful no one died in the storms. I am grateful to live in a community that helps out. Three different people stopped by my home to check on us today, because our phones were down. I am grateful my water heater and my stove are gas, because I could still wash and cook. I am grateful that the only thing that went bad in the fridge was a gallon of milk. I am grateful for mild weather all day today (particularly in August!), so that opening the windows and existing without our a/c and fans was not torture. I am grateful for my brick house. I am grateful for my children, who come up with stuff to do when "there's nothing else to do!", and that it's constructive stuff like cleaning and reading and telling jokes to each other. I am grateful for perspective, and safety, and the obvious protecting hand of God in our lives. My heart aches for all the farm families and their crop fields. We pray for the people affected by these storms every day. I know He will help us all pull through.
What are you blessed with today?