Everyone is talking about Hurricane Ike. Normally, I would be watching the news and finding out how the people living in the Gulf Regions are doing. However, something interesting happened on Sunday. Hurricane Ike came to Kentucky.
We knew the remnants of Hurricane Ike would be in Kentucky and the news was reporting 30-40 mph winds. However, their predictions were incorrect. We ended up with 50 mph sustained winds with gusts up to 80 mph. On Sunday we got hit hard. There is tons of tree damage. We haven't had electricity since Sunday afternoon and they are saying it could be up to 14 days before all the electricity coverage is restored. There were over 300,000 homes without electricity in the Louisville area on Sunday and hundreds of poles and power lines were down. There are still about 152,000 homes without electricity (mine included). I'm writing this post at work during my lunch break because I can't do anything at home except stare at the candles while the food in my refrigerator spoils. I had to throw away just about everything in my fridge last night despite my best efforts to keep ice on everything.
The damage was widespread. A neighbor's tree broke and fell in my back yard. (Once my electricity is restored at home, I will post photos of the damage.) It bent my chain link fence but it didn't hit my house or garage, which is good. However, my cousin wasn't so lucky. A tree fell on her car and caved in the roof, busted out a window, and buckled the frame so she can't open the passenger-side door. It's a complete mess. There are power lines down everywhere.
Honestly, I can deal with living without electricity until I get hot. If it is too hot in the house, I can't sleep. It has to be 70 degrees or cooler in the house before I can sleep. Sunday night it was around 75 degrees in the house and I was absolutely miserable. I guess I've been spoiled by my air conditioning and ceiling fans for too long.
You never fully appreciate the little conveniences provided to you by electricity until you have to go without them. I forget that the electricity is out so I keep flipping on the light switch expecting something to happen. It's very tricky trying to shower, dress, and put make-up on by candle light. My co-workers were surprised to see that my hair is naturally curly since I couldn't use my hair dryer or flat iron. My cellular provider has been having problems since Sunday. Calls won't go through or get dropped even though your phone shows you have coverage.
You also notice sounds you usually tune out like crickets, cicadas, and dogs barking. You have a lot of time to think about things without the distraction of the television. A friend of mine whose elderly mother lives with her told me she has had more conversations with her mother since the electricity has been out than she ever has. And that is probably a good thing. Maybe we should all "unplug" for a week and discover a few things about our family, friends, and world around us.
I can definitely better understand the feelings of those whose lives have been completely derailed by Hurricanes like Katrina and Ike. I know the aggravation I am going through now is nothing compared to the struggles they have had and still have. We must always remember to keep others in our thoughts and prayers and help in any way we can. You never know how some small act of kindness can affect someone who is going through difficult times.
May the Lord bless all those who have been affected by natural disasters and give them comfort in their time of distress.