Alas, we were not to have an early night Friday, as i had hoped (and by early with my crew, i mean before 10pm). The emergency alarm stated we had to evacuate came at 9:45pm.
The first thing i did, before going downstairs to hang in the lobby with everyone else while the emergency crews checked the place, was to text Little Girl and ask her if #2 Son had anything to do with this, and did i need to bring bail money and talk to security.
Her first answer was "No Comment." Then she texted back to say he was actually not to blame, and that he and his friends were together when it happened. They went straight to security to ask what was going on, and were very upset that their poker tournament had been interrupted.
It turned out that one of the times when the lights flickered, the emergency back up system tried to cut in and the electricity didn't actually go of, it had just flickered. That overloaded the system and set it off. We had to stay down for better than an hour for them to figure this out. So i was really whooped by the time we got back upstairs and to bed.
Saturday dawned as Friday had, with the lightning out at sea, the slate green of the water blending into the slate gray of the sky.
When i went out anyway, to stand as close as i could, i watched the waves and sky and finally went out in the drizzle and looked up.
Amazingly and totally unexpectedly, i saw a tiny break in the lower gray clouds. The much higher white ones above had a hole right through them, with a glimpse into the bright blue above. The bright blue looked like the Hope at the bottom of the Pandora's box that was the lowering sky. It was so beautiful in that moment, and i decided to hold on to that hope on the way home.
Let me tell you, i needed it.
The rain began to pelt in earnest, driving me back into the building, and we started packing. By the time we were leaving the island, the parking lot of our building was flooding and lights were flickering. Little Girl and #2 Son got stuck in the elevator for a while. It was coming down so hard the roads were flooding and some were closed.
What should have been a 30 minute drive to get to the interstate, because of flooding and road closures, took almost two hours. We didn't stop at the Mall-Mart one last time as planned because its parking lot was a sea and we didn't want to get stuck, we wanted to get out. Then we got on the interstate, and the traffic stopped.
When i'm home and this happens, i know shortcuts. Since we only come down to this area once a year, i know the routes i take and few others, but i decided to try a few things anyway. My bid to get to Spanish Fort on the back roads did work, though it wasn't flawless by any means. We had left at just after 10am, and ended up in the Moe's Southwestern Grill in Spanish Fort at almost 2pm.
Mobile was easy, as i had always wondered which way hazardous cargo that's not allowed in the tunnels go through, and i followed the signs and found out. It's a back way that had almost no traffic. But all good things must come to an end, and once we got back on the interstate, it was still stopped.
Crossing the rest of Alabama was a nightmare. The area we had been, Escambia County, Florida, had received 6-14 inches of rain by noon, and 2-3 inches per hour was still falling and expected to continue for at least a few more hours. We had gotten out, and the traffic jams we were in were all the other tourists getting out, too. Because it was raining all the way along, though not as hard, the traffic was bad, there were accidents and breakdowns, and i have never been so happy to get out of Alabama and into the Mississippi Welcome Center in my life.
Normally we make this drive in about 5 hours and change, and that includes stopping for lunch. That's by the time we reach the store to buy groceries. We left just after 10am, as noted, and pulled into our home by 7pm. Nine hours, much of it in bumper to bumper traffic or rain or both, until we got almost home. My legs were cramping, and i was freezing as we have to keep the A/C on to make sure the windows don't fog up in this kind of weather.
Did it get better at home? No. #1 Son had not done much with the house, and it was a stinky wreck. Miss Lizzie had come back, let cats in my room where they had messed on the tarp on the bed, left items all over the house she hadn't claimed, stolen #1 Son's wallet and my coin collection (which we didn't realize at first), and she came back to pack a few things and stole a bag of items we had brought back with us. My brother's items that he had forgotten in the room that i had specially packed to return to him. After she left, we discovered the thefts.
Also, besides the mess and the items missing and the mayhem of taking Teresa home, #1 Son informed us he is moving to Kansas and getting married. We knew her when she lived here years ago, and didn't realize they had remained that close.
So almost 11pm saw me still cleaning, with Sunday School to teach the next day and a pool fundraiser to work.
If anybody needs me next week, i will be scheduling my nervous breakdown for then.
Abolition Day -- French Guiana
Abused Women And Children's Awareness Day
All Saints -- Orthodox Christian
Army Day -- Jordan
Ball Point Pen Day -- date, in 1943, Biro patented one of the early models of a ball point pen (it was as awful as the other early ones, though!)
Celtic Tree Month Duir (Oak) commences
Herbs & Spices Day
Holiday of the Wan Thing -- Fairy Calendar (the Wan Thing arrived in Fairyland this day and has sat there looking wan ever after, so the Fairies decided to give it its own holiday)
Iced Tea Day
Military Music Festival -- Tournai, Belgium (annual traditional cultural observance)
National Black Cow Day
National Day -- Portugal (Dia de Portugal e de Camoes)
National Iced Tea Day
Puerto Rican Day Parade -- NYC, NY, US (recognizing the many Puerto Ricans in the US, and especially in New York City)
Race Unity Day -- Baha'i sponsored observance promoting racial harmony
Reconciliation Day -- Republic of the Congo
St. Olivia's Day (Patron of music; Palermo, Italy)
Write to Your Fathers' Day -- a week before Father's Day, write him a letter and ask him things like what he finds most enjoyable or exciting or scary or satisfying; encouraging people to stay in touch with Dad on a deeper level than the commercial holidays
Joey Zimmerman, 1986
Tara Lipinski, 1982
Leelee Sobieski, 1982
Hoku Ho, 1981
Shane West, 1978
Elizabeth Hurley, 1965
Michael Burger, 1957
John Edwards, 1953
F. Lee Bailey, 1933
Maurice Sendak, 1928
Judy Garland, 1922
Saul Bellow, 1915
Frederick Loewe, 1904
Today in History:
Frederick Barbarossa drowns leading his troops across the Saleph River to attack Jerusalem in the Crusades, 1190
The first American log cabin is built, at Fort Christina in Wilmington, Delaware, 1639
Bridget Bishop becomes the first person hanged for witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts, 1692
Captain James Cook runs aground on the Great Barrier Reef, 1770
A landslide dam on the Dadu River created by an earthquake ten days earlier collapses, killing 100,000 in the Sichuan province of China, 1786
The Jardin des Plantes museum opens in Paris; a year later, it becomes the first public zoo, 1793
The first Boat Race between the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge takes place, 1829
Myall Creek Massacre in Australia: 28 Aboriginal Australians are murdered, 1838
The first class of the United States Naval Academy students graduate, 1854
Mount Tarawera in New Zealand erupts, killing 153 people and destroying the famous Pink and White Terraces, 1886
Americus Callahan of Chicago patents the window envelope, 1902
The inaugural service for the United Church of Canada, a union of Presbyterian, Methodist, and Congregationalist churches, is held in Toronto Arena, 1925
Dr. Robert Smith takes his last drink, and Alcoholics Anonymous is founded in Akron, Ohio, United States, by him and Bill Wilson, 1925
Six-Day War ends: Israel and Syria agree to a cease-fire, 1967
Apple ships its first Apple II personal computer, 1977
The Spirit Rover is launched, beginning NASA's Mars Exploration Rover mission, 2003