Homeschooling by flashlight

This has been a surreal day so far.

It is normal to have tornado outbreaks across the Deep South as the seasons change, and I associate this time of year as being all rain, all the time. (Hey, at least it’s good for my gardens.) The storms from the last couple of weeks have been particularly intense though, with upwards of one hundred tornadoes over Easter weekend and more this past weekend. We were spared most of that here, however.

As far as I can tell, they do not have tornado sirens where we live now, but rely on new technology to alert people. Having lived in the South my entire adult life, that seems so strange and counterproductive to me. In Texas in particular, the sirens would drown out all other sounds when a tornado moved into the area. There was no missing them. But mostly everyone I know turns off notifications on their cell phones at night. It doesn’t seem like an effective way to wake people up.

We woke up this morning to a litany of tornado warnings, robocalls from the county emergency management system (which showed up as “Potential Spam” on our caller IDs) and text messages about the storm coming our way. I tried to wake up one of my friends here, but she had turned her phone off.

Most of the morning, it was still black as night outside with thunder rolling for minutes at a time. The worst of it passed just south of us, but a lightning bolt hit the main electrical line that passes behind our house with an absolutely deafening crash. And we were left without power for hours afterward.

Normally in this situation we would get into the car and head to a restaurant or coffeehouse, but they are all closed. Because we have a lanai on the back our house and large front porch to provide shade from the hot Florida sun on most days, the inside our house was pitch black. So we got to do our schoolwork by flashlight (and later going out to sit on the porch, once the sky had cleared). And no work could be done via computer. It was a mess.

I am just thankful they are still sending out utility guys amidst all this madness. I walked out onto the trail behind our property to thank the utility guys personally.

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