I was going to post this picture a couple of days ago. I picked my first blue hydrangea of the season. The timing is just about right. The peonies have finished and now the hydrangeas are stepping in to fill my vases. This little vase also holds an Our Lady of Guadalupe rose and some stems of penstemon, also known as beard tongue.
So why the delay in posting? Around 3:00 PM on Wednesday we had a horrific storm sweep through the area. I have never seen such a powerful storm develop so quickly. It seemed like only a matter of seconds that we went from partly cloudy skies to dark menacing clouds, driving rain, and 70 mph wind gusts. Of course we lost power and we weren’t alone in our powerlessness. Close to 300,000 households were affected. I was busy lighting candles and not just for illumination. As the storm swept through my older son was driving home, my youngest son was at his piano lesson, and my husband was at work. I was sending up a lot of prayers since we were so scattered. My older son made it home safely and once the worst of it passed through I used his car to go retrieve my youngest from his piano teacher. Believe me when I say the prayers continued. The entire area was without power, many roads were closed due to fallen trees and power lines, and most of the traffic lights were not functioning. When I say they were not functioning, I do not mean they were flashing red or yellow. I mean they were dark. Driving in the DC metro area with functioning traffic lights can be a challenge. Navigating without traffic lights was a nightmare. I am certain the guardian angels were on high alert to get us home in one piece. My husband made it home after the first storm and before the second band of severe storms passed through. We hunkered down for the night.
Nights like this remind me of the absolute joy of family time and make me resolve to push for it more often. With no electricity there was no email, IM, Facebook, or internet games. Even our cell phone service was hampered by the storm so the text messaging was curtailed. My college aged son, my high school senior, and my middle schooler all sat around and played Sorry! by candlelight. My husband and I just relaxed and enjoyed their happy conversation.
The power returned after we went to bed. We are the lucky ones. Many are still without electric power and we are expecting dangerously high temperatures this weekend. Please keep all those affected by these storms in your prayers.
I am praying for all those who are still dealing with the aftermath of these storms. I am offering prayers of gratitude that we came through unscathed. I am also offering thanks for the reminders this storm provided. Our joy does not depend on the electricity flowing through the power lines and all the technology that it fuels. The inconveniences of the electric power outage are insignificant compared to the happy times generated by the power of a loving family.