Rattle and hum

So my day’s gone a little something like this …

At 12:31 a.m., I reached for my cell phone -- which I religiously keep at my bed side at night -- and looked at the clock. Seeing the time, I thought, Hmm, I wonder why my alarm didn’t go off. … Then I grabbed the clothes I set out for the day and headed to the bathroom to shower and get ready for work.

But I looked at my cell phone clock once more and realized the time read 12:31 … Not 2:31, the time that I actually had planned to get out of bed. My eyes had completely missed that first one.

So I returned to bed.

Still, at about that same time, there was some rumbling outside and lightning was flashing in the windows. The big thunderstorm weather forecasters had predicted for us was arriving right on time.

By the time my head hit the pillow again, the storm had fully arrived and mind-numbing thunder was crashing all around our house. Kates got up to use the bathroom about an hour later and discovered our power was out. Neither of us barely got a wink of sleep the rest of the night.

Phoebe, as usual, was out like a log.

At 2:15, my alarm did go off -- as it was supposed to -- and I started getting ready for work a second time … Interestingly, the lack of power in our house hardly deterred me. With the way our bathroom is designed, there was just enough light showing in our bathroom window and reflecting off our lightly-colored walls for me to take a shower -- the flashing lightning was a bonus. Then, I strapped on one of our headlamps to grab some breakfast (breakfast bars from the pantry, since we needed to keep the refrigerator cold and closed), put in my contacts and brush my teeth.

My only other challenge was manually opening and closing the garage door as I left the house.

By 3:15 a.m., I was on the clock and officially working … Why so early today? I was on a special assignment -- which I’ve racked up as another incredible experience -- but it was a classified operation that I can’t report for another few weeks.

At around 6 a.m., I was taking my seat in the office … only to find that our computer system was down. No doubt, there was much to report from the massive storm that had passed over us, but I couldn’t even start a document to do the writing, let alone post it to our Web site. So I made a wake-up call to our tech guy.

In the meantime, I started making the calls and learned firefighters had been working reports of lightning damage since 1:30, and they were still going steady. The electric company was trying to fix about 200 customers in the city -- 27,000 in the region -- who didn’t have power, with the epicenter -- get this -- on our street … Kates would tell me later that when she got up at one point she saw a lightning strike in front of our house and sparks flying from a fuse box.

Kates also was calling me with updates from home … The power at our house was restored around 8 o’clock -- just after she had loaded Phoebe in the car and taken a trip to the grocery store to buy her fresh milk for breakfast. And got a wicked blister on her finger as she closed the garage door.

Back in the office, our computer problems were fixed -- for the time being -- and I was leaving and beginning my weekend at about 10:40 this morning.

When I arrived home, the rain had resumed and skies were getting dark again. Kates had barely started giving Phoebe lunch when the tornado sirens started blaring, and down we moved to the basement. We set up Phoebe’s hi-chair over a flattened cardboard box so she could finish eating and not mess up our carpet.

We haven’t had any rain for a couple hours now. But here we sit. Kates reading. Phoebe playing and exploring. Me writing. And the music plays on.

The weathermen are predicting worse storms tonight. Stay tuned.

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