Saturday, August 25, 2007

Adventures in the midwest

I had an interesting trip out to Illinois. Most of it was your average road trip, nothing terribly exciting. Just driving along, minding my own business, trying to stay awake. Then I got just over halfway through Indiana and I started hearing about a tornado. I looked around at the blue sky and sunshine and figured I wasn't anywhere near the storm. Then I saw a sign telling me I was entering the very county where a tornado had been spotted. Lovely, I thought, but it's still clear blue sky. Well, it wasn't long before the clear blue sky was gone, replaced by ominous black clouds. Then the wind and rain started. As it began, I hear on the radio of winds up to 60-80 mph. The radio announcers are telling people to seek shelter in a basement or other secure location and here I am on the freeway. All the cars around me slowed to about 10mph and even then it was difficult to see with the driving rain and almost impossible to control my car with the wind howling. I won't lie, I was scared! I kept driving figuring that couldn't be any better or worse than sitting on the side of the road. To my left, I could see the sky swirling in what I figured was the beginnings of a tornado. I kept praying that God would bring me through. I stopped at a rest area to use the bathroom and then decided to keep pushing through as I was eager to get to Illinois. The storm only lasted about 10-15 miles and then it was back to clear skies. Boy was I relieved. I figured I was in the clear. Little did I know what was up ahead.

Driving into Illinois, I began to hear once again about severe storms moving through the area. Drat! I thought I'd gotten through all that nonsense. Maybe 30 minutes from my destination, the sky was getting darker and darker. I saw some phenomenal lightning. I truly love big storms, but not so much when I have to drive in them. The rain began and while it was a big storm, it paled in comparison with what I'd been through in Indiana so I kept going and made it to the church I was going to. There were a lot of power outages along the way. Most of the stoplights in this area were out and the streets were dark. Thankfully I was able to play volleyball as the church still had power.

The friends I am staying with don't have power. I don't mind the darkness though I'm not too crazy about the heat. It's been hot and humid so being indoors without air conditioning is a might bit uncomfortable but you get used to it. They say it will be a few days before the power is restored. It looked terrible around here yesterday. Sarah & I went for a walk around her neighborhood. We took her baby, Elsa, with us and just enjoyed the morning. It was pretty crazy to see all the trees that had come down and the debris all over the place. We couldn't help but wonder if there had been a tornado or at least a mircoburst that went through.

Last night I met up with friends for dinner. We had a great time catching up. They haven't hung out much since I left due to summer busyness and the babies being born so it was a good time for all of us to catch up. We ate at Chili's, our favorite haunt in recent years. Then we hung out and played some dominos. Today I'm just taking it easy, chatting with Emily and enjoying the fact that she has power so I am able to see her pictures and post this note.

I sure hope my drive to Minnesota on Sunday is without adventure!

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