The tail end of hurricane Ike moved through these parts on Sunday and no one was prepared for it. The wind was unbelievable -- 55 mph sustained winds with gusts around 74 mph -- truly hurricane-force, and it lasted from about 10 in the morning until 6 p.m. The weird thing is that the sky was blue and the sun was out the whole time. As I was still not feeling well, I was on the couch most of the morning and early afternoon, watching the trees in the backyard double over on themselves. One giant limb came down, and by the time it was all over, our backyard looked like a bomb had hit it. We'll have to have some trees removed and it's going to take a while to clean everything up. (I would love to post some pictures but our computer is dead and the new one is en route from the fine folks at Dell, so can't do any downloading for a while).
The house is fine; we just lost a few shingles (I was actually hoping the whole roof would blow off; I'd really like a new roof with shake-style, dark brown shingles, as opposed to the orange -- yes, orange -- shingles that are on there now). The power was out from around 3 p.m. Sunday until exactly 12:39 a.m. last night. I know this because I was sleeping on the couch to avoid waking everyone up with my coughing (bronchitis confirmed; got some meds; should be better soon) and the power kicks on and the answering machine starts talking very loudly: "TO SET THE TIME AND DATE, PRESS MENU," which just about made me fall off the couch.
Anyway, we survived just fine, despite losing nearly everything from our fridge and freezer, not being able to find ice anywhere to keep the few things we saved cold for very long, and not being able to find an open gas station that didn't have a line of 100 cars waiting. The weather cooled off considerably from Sunday's 91 degrees, and so reading in bed by candlelight while listening to the crickets through the open windows was actually kind of nice. I realized how less stressed out I was without the TV on all evening, even though I think I'm "relaxing" when I watch it.