This event happened a few years ago. I wrote this story in my journal, but never published it. I was recently looking back at some of these old stories I wrote and thought it was about time to share this one. It was a doozy of a 24 hours.
It has been a crazy 24 hours!
Yesterday we had a thunderstorm that brought some much needed rain, but knocked out the power to the homestead. No power means no water, no flushing toilets, no lights, no digital technologies (TV, Wii, Computers, Internet, etc), no stove to cook on, and generally no happy kids! Oh they are happy for a bit, if you distract them with games and snacks, but they are not so happy without their favorite meals and modern conveniences.
We had just finished the main part of our day and our school work when a major thunderstorm hit. I called my husband and asked him to drive carefully coming home as the storm was producing high winds and lots of lightening. He got home safely and we had supper, and we were cleaning up just as the thunderstorm knocked out the power. We did not prepare for being without power and the repercussions. I had a few individual bottles of water on hand in the pantry, but otherwise I did not have enough water that would last for more than a few sips for 8 people. We contacted the power company who said the power was expected to be back on by 10 pm. That was good news as I thought we could survive for a few hours and would have water and power by the time we were headed to bed.
We went outside to play for a bit and get some energy out. The kids played tag, rode bikes, and played Frisbee until dark. Dad and I sat on the porch and enjoyed sitting together and watching them play.
At dark, there was no moon to speak of, and soon the mosquitoes became horrendous! They were biting viciously and eventually we couldn’t take the pain anymore and we had to go inside. The house was stifling hot and humid, but at least it stopped the sting of mosquitoes.
We lit some candles. I didn’t have very many candles though. At this point, I really missed my Amish style lanterns I used to have. They operated by using oil and a wick. They would be perfect on a night like this. But they broke in the last move, and I haven’t been able to replace them yet.
Thankfully we had these few scented candles to get us by and they lit up the rooms just enough. They actually gave off a surprising amount of light and we were able to read, draw, and play games by candlelight. Eventually, one by one, daddy and kids dropped out of the games to fall asleep on the couch. I think daddy might have fell asleep first though.
After the younger kids were asleep, my oldest challenged me to a game of Chess. Oh boy. I love playing with him, but I am no good at Chess, and HE KNOWS IT! He didn’t take advantage of my lack of skills though and just wanted to play with me and that was really special. 10 pm came and went. No electricity returned. 11 pm came and went, and still no electricity. Finally even the two of us couldn’t hold our eyes open any longer and we also went to sleep.
The house was so hot and humid. I could not hardly stand it. I was drifting in and out of a sleep wake state and eventually gave up waiting for the power to come back on and went to bed.
But in the heat of the night, I could not sleep well. I drifted in and out of a miserable unrestful dreamy state. 2 am came and went. 3 am came and went. Each time I woke back up, I would pray “Please God, help me to go to sleep and stay asleep”. Finally, at 4 am the power came back on and my body relaxed from exhaustion and I drifted off to sleep to the soothing sound of a fan blowing hot humid air around the room. I was so greatful!
I don’t know when the dreams came in the night, but at some point I had two different dreams. I dreamed of a tornado headed my way. In my dream the kids came to get me and told me there were “twisters” outside. I was not sure why they said “twisters” until I had looked out the window and seen 10 tornadoes spinning right next to my house and family. Amazingly, the twisters never caused damage. They just spinned nearby. The sky was completely dark, except for these tornado twisters that stood spinning. Then in a second dream, I thought I was a secret agent, (maybe for the FBI agent or something) taking down a drug cartel. I have never dreamed anything like that before in my life.
I didn’t get to sleep for long though. My husband woke me at 4:30 am. He needed to get ready for work, as he usually leaves the house by 5:30 am, and he couldn’t get ready today because though we finally had power, we still had no water. We are on a well and live in the country, and something must have happened to the well when the lightning storm took out the power yesterday. I told him about my dreams as they were so vivid and seemed so real.
My husband wanted to wait until it was light outside to figure out the well problem, because he didn’t want to trek through the yard in the dark at 4:30 am and climb down into a dark damp dingy well house to figure out what was wrong. We didn’t have the money to hire a plumber for an emergency call either. Their emergency rates are outrageous! So he decided to wait until daylight to try and figure out the problem. We didn’t have much choice, and it wasn’t safe to try to solve it in the dark, and he couldn’t go to work until the problem was solved.
All I wanted to do was go back to bed. But that wasn’t going to happen. My head was pounding from a lack of sleep. Then the youngins started waking, up and needing their needs met. By now, I felt desperate for water. Even though it was dark, we needed to get some water from the stream to try and flush the toilet before one more person added their gift to it this morning. With 8 people using the toilet the night before, and it sitting over night, the room next to the bathroom was not smelling to good this morning. I was so grateful that there was a stream of water from all the rain from the storm. I didn’t mind getting it even in the dark. My husband actually got the water while I (had the easy job) held a flashlight for him to see, and held the door for him to carry the water in. We made two trips of five gallons of dirty stream water at 5 am. What a blessing it was to get the toilet to wash down the contents and rid the room of the smell. It was time to light another candle!
Next we did a bible study, and waited for it to get light outside.
We studied James 2 and the verses that really spoke to my heart this morning were verses 1-17
My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality.
For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in fine apparel, and there should also come in a poor man in filthy clothes,
and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him,
“You sit here in a good place,” and say to the poor man, “You stand there,” or, “Sit here at my footstool,” have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?
Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? But you have dishonored the poor man.
Do not the rich oppress you and drag you into the courts? Do they not blaspheme that noble name by which you are called?
If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you do well; but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors.
For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. For He who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.”
Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.
So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty.
For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?
If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?
Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
Soon it started getting light outside. It is amazing how it can go from complete darkness, to a dimly lit sky, and then to a sun rise where you can clearly see all around. With renewed hope and determination, my husband and I went to the well house. He removed everything in the little house/shed (his tools and various items stored in there), and then lifted the trap door in the floor. My job was then to hold the flashlight for him. There is a hidden room down there under the ground that houses the well pump. While I pointed the flash light for him, he was able to climb down in the dark and damp little room and work on the pressure switch that had shorted out during the power outage, and he finally got the well running again. Then he had to come in the house and prime all the faucets and flush air out of the lines. Finally after 10 hours of no power, and 13 hours of no water, we finally had water again! Yeah!
Now to really start the day. My husband quickly got his shower and headed off to work. The kids and I had breakfast, and began our schoolwork. I was really glad our electrical power was restored so the rest of our day could return to normal.
I was looking forward to an easier day now that the crisis was over: normal meals, normal baths, normal toilet flushes, and just a normal day of our schoolwork because some of the homeschool curriculum the older kids have is on the computer, so electricity was a necessity today if we were going to make progress. I also caught a few minutes of the news and learned there were tornado sightings during the storm last night. Wow, so my dream about “twisters” actually happened.
About 11:30 we took a break and headed outside to play while I prepared lunch. I was so happy about this break. I desperately needed a break. The stress of the storm, power outage, water outage, and lack of sleep was really catching up to me. I couldn’t get my headache to go away, I just needed a few minutes of peace and quiet and to get lunch made.
Within minutes of playing outside, the children were running to me that a police officer was coming up the driveway. It is a really long driveway and we are up on a hill so you can see from the yard when a car pulls onto the drive. I ran outside to see what was going on. My heart began too pound so fast, I couldn’t imagine why a police car would be coming up the driveway to my house. I actually felt faint after all of the stress we had just had. Things certainly were not turning out normal today. I hoped it wasn’t anything to do with my husband traveling to work and I couldn’t imagine anything else it could be.
The officer pulled up the long driveway and got out of his car. The kids were excited, but I wasn’t. He carefully came up to the kids and I in the yard, then stuck out his hand for a handshake and introduced himself to us as a state trooper all while he glanced around. I thought this was very odd, but it soon became apparent why. He informed me that there was a fugitive on the loose. He was with the drug task force and they were in the middle of taking down a drug ring and while making arrests one man had got away and ran through the woods and fields and they expected him to be near by our farm. The police officer asked if the children and I would go inside, and stay inside and lock the doors until the police had him apprehended and let us know it was safe.
I could not believe all this was happening. I was exhausted and had no energy for another crisis. I gathered all the kids back inside, locked the windows and doors. After several hours went by, and watching several police cars come and go as they tracked the drug fugitive, I realized that my second dream had come to pass. So I called my husband at work and said “You are not going to believe…”
It was the craziest 24 hours ever!