July 26, 2013

White Dog jumped up not next to me up into my arms and whispered in my ear, "I know I am supposed to be the leader and set an example of being brave, but is it OK that I am scared, too?"

Michael had just been blown back into the house after taking Quinn and Oso for necessary breaks before the the storm hit...and he just barely met the goal. All of the White Dog Army was restless and nervous; YoYoMa who is frightened by regular storms, was near frenzying as he tried to climb under me as I tightly secured his Thundershirt and stroked his ears.

It was only five but it was pitch black and the winds were howling with such force that I feared for the stately shade trees in our front yard. The mailbox slot banged crazily. Later we learned the winds had been clocked at over 80 miles per hour.

The winds lashing everything unsecured into the street to hurriedly roll away made way for amazing flashes of blinding lightning. The bolts were intense and we could feel the electricity as the storm moved closer to our neighborhood. For the first time in the life of the White Dog Army (and one of only a handful of times since we moved here 18 years ago) our lights dimmed and flickered several times as though we were about to lose power. (In fact, the traffic lights all along the main street just a block away WERE out). We shut off all unnecessary equipment and gathered a few candles onto the coffee table.

Life suddenly felt very threatening to everyone; even Michael came up from his room to be with us. The noise was bone shaking as thunder announced the arrival of torrents of rain. There was no gentle prelude of raindrops; the skies just opened to send buckets of water and deep rumbling bellows pounding to the Earth.

In no time the street was a raging river... later we heard that underpasses had flooded up to van window height. It was like a scene from a Wagner opera as the storm yelled and pounded and scratched and twisted and tried to slam its angry energy into our sanctuary.

Michael curled up on the floor cradling Quinn and Oso laid against his back. White Dog was pressed as one against my side on the chair; YoYo cowered wrapped in my legs; and Puff tightly held my ankle as she laid on my feet. Only Nuka, dear sweet deaf Nuka, slept serenely laying against the length of her sister.

Photo by Inhabitants of Burque
For nearly three hours we jumped at the BOOMS and averted our eyes from the bright explosions. I worried that we would lose power and be left with only candle light and that the sealed up house would become hot. I talked softly and reassuringly as we touched and connected. I sang each of the Army's theme songs, a comfort trigger for each of them. I sang any happy upbeat and soothing lullaby song I could think of to offset the noise from the storm. Steve (who was teaching and experiencing the storm from another perspective) called to make sure all were safe; the WDA was very nervous he was not with us.

Then, slowly, the insanity withdrew and the storm moved south. When Steve got home later (he had dismissed class early) he told of streets closed by flooding and cars stranded...of trees uprooted and branches down...and traffic signals out all over the city. We heard a new song, the non-stop chorus of emergency vehicles. He and the WDA went out in the remaining drizzle to discover our damage was limited to a downed sun cloth and deck furniture blown around the yard.

We were lucky compared to many; some are still without power. Our zoo is closed today, Saturday, because of flooding and damage done. We pray the animals are all safe and dry. What a wild night here in the desert.


Rachael Miller said...

Wow, sounds like such a bad storm! Glad everything was OK in the end an we are hoping that all the animals at the zoo are safe. Storms can be really scary. Wind really scares me as it's so destructive. At least you're all safe and sound.

Love from Rach & Del x

Random Felines said...

wow - that sounds fierce. glad Steve made it home safe and that you all made it through.....

bbes tribe said...

Wow sounds like a really fierce storm. Glad to see you came thru ok. We do not really like those thunder boomers either.

Tweedles -- that's me said...

The sky must have been so noisy!

Brian said...

YIKES! I am glad y'all are okay but I'd still be under the bed!

meowmeowmans said...

That sounds so very scary. We are glad you are all okay, but send purrs prayers and protective energy to all of those who were not so lucky.

Hugs and love to you all, dear WDA pals.

Kari in Alaska said...

Wow what a storm!

Stop on by for a visit