The rain and wind continued through the night. Unfortunately
the window in my hotel room overlooked the adjacent unit (which was apparently
empty) and the sound of the a\c essentially drowned out any outside noise, so I
was able to forget all about the storm for the night.
I woke up at 7am with the noisy kids in the room behind my
headboard. I showered, got dressed and just as I was heading downstairs the
phone rang. “All church services were cancelled – I could go back to bed.”
Now she tells me, now that I’m all ready for…nothing.
She suggested I go downstairs for breakfast as lunch
probably wouldn’t be until sometime after noon. There was maybe one table left
in the hotel’s tiny breakfast area, and the line was long enough that if I knew
if I went up for seconds the seat would be gone. Fortunately, that wasn’t a
problem as their bland, dried out buffet food was barely worth firsts.
The christening was cancelled (or at least postponed), but
the after service get-together was still going on as scheduled. Someone had to
eat all the food they’d bought, the cake they’d ordered and those baby gifts in
the trunk were definitely not going back with us.
Said food consisted of small sandwiches, chips\salsa, a
crock pot full of ground beef for sloppy joes (not the same batch from my other
brother’s party), and of course the aforementioned cake…now utterly
My older brother arrived around 1:30pm (when most of the
food was gone) with my other nieces – and Luke – in tow. They weren’t
particularly hungry when they got there, but Luke enjoyed sneaking away chips
when his mom wasn’t looking. Eventually, Lilly’s dad pulled an old Matchbox
playset out of the closet and the kids spent the next hour or so racing with
them until they were chased to another part of the house (as their initial play
area was directly below the room where Lilly was sleeping).
Finally around 3pm, we left. The rain had stopped, the winds
had subsided, and the sun was trying to peek out. Shepard Smith was STILL
hosting live coverage of the storm, but he now sounded weary and tired,
mustering as much enthusiasm as a cashier at a fast food restaurant.
It was a long, but relatively quiet, ride back to the coal region.
The few signs of damage dried up the further away from the city we drove until
the only lingering indication of a storm was an occasional puddle along the
side of the road.