Do you ever count your lucky stars or thank God for your blessings with regard to safety and health? I do, quite often actually and the other weekend was definitely one of those times. We realized that no matter who you are. No matter where you are. No matter how prepared you are, disaster happens.
If we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster! Dalai Lama
The other weekend we were together as a family at the cottage for our Victoria Day long weekend celebration. We were so excited to just relax and have fun. In the afternoon an emergency message came across the radio. Initially, we thought it was one of those ‘This is just a test’ messages, but it was not. We were being told to take cover. We looked over the lake and it was starting to get dark. We gathered up our belongings and heading into the cottage. The rain began and the power went out. It wasn’t long that we could hear a strange rumbling sound. Not quite a thunder sound, but just a different sound. Within minutes, we all headed below the cottage to be close to the cemented beams of our cottage structure.
Sidenote: We do not have a basement at the cottage, but getting lower and being close to beams cemented into the ground would act as safety for our family.
Peeking out the wooden door, we could suddenly no longer see the lake. A cloud of white was all we saw. This cloud of white was a wall of water. It didn’t last long, but I have to admit, it was a bit nerve racking.
After it calmed down, my husband went up to where he parked his car to check on it. I waited a while for his return, but he did not come back. I ventured up the hill to the car and saw him staring at many fallen down (large) trees. These trees were blocking our entrance (and exit) to the cottage. We were blocked in. Examining our own cottage property, we found no damage to the structure – thankfully – just many trees down. However, a few cottages over had trees on their roofs and one being punctured.
Luckily, my husband has a chainsaw and was equipped to help ‘cut’ us out. He and our son cut and sawed and lifted our way out (with the aid of 2 other cottagers armed with chainsaws and another local with a backhoe). Tree by tree, we worked our way through the roads to clear them. My daughter and I clearing the small branches off to the side. After some extremely hard work, we were able to get out.
This storm hit our area and a great portion of Ontario. Some left in devastation. Honestly, I have never seen a storm like this. We felt like we were in the movie Twister. We did not receive warning on our phones. We were, however, listening to the radio at the time prior to the storm hitting and the emergency signal went off telling people to take cover. We were blessed to have heard that.
Sidenote: I had heard that Environmental Canada had launched a new warning system that day specially for phones and it was said to be a success. I would disagree. Out of plenty of people we have talked to since the storm, only about a ¼ of them received the phone warning. I think they need to re-evaluate and test the system again.
Driving out of our cottage area, we witnessed plenty of fallen trees, many of which just leaning on hydro wires ready to snap at a moment’s notice. Many hydro poles and trees down along route caused us to detour our route a couple times. It all felt surreal. Arriving home, we were thankful that there was very minimal damage to our home. Only a few shingles had blown off and they were replaced immediately.
Sidenote: After some research, the storm that went through our area was called a Derecho – a widespread wall of wind made up of several thunderstorms and can blow across hundreds of miles in just hours. They are rare, but destructive. That wall of white we witnessed perfectly depicted the definition.
We were amazed at how a community can come together during a disaster. Neighbours helping neighbours (even if there may have been a spat between them previously), community arena’s opening up for charging stations (power in our town was out for 4 days – some are still waiting for power as I write this), snacks and water set out by our council members. Local restaurants BBQing burgers and hot dogs on the main street for those who have lost all their food. We, as a community, were helping and serving each other. It’s what God intended us to do. Be a servant for others.
But it should not be that way among you. Whoever wants to become great among you must serve the rest of you like a servant… Matthew 20:26
Going over the past week, I am ever so grateful and counting my lucky stars that no one was hurt and the worse thing about the week was losing power (thank goodness for the invention of generators, camping stoves for boiling water for coffee, BBQs for meals, and the closeness of family).
Fun Fact: Dis-aster actually means bad star.
So, in the midst of disaster – bad stars – the lucky star – God – shines through. I have no doubt that God was shining strong through Saturday’s disaster. Faith protected us.
How were you during the storm? Did it affect you? Were you shaken? Did you keep your faith that God would protect? I hope in whatever disaster, tragedy, or storm you encounter that you keep your faith strong. Remember that God will protect you and shine those lucky stars your way. Yes, disasters happen – God did not say life would be easy – but always know that if you keep your faith, you keep your hope.
If you recently went through a disaster or tragic event and have no one to talk to, click below if you want to chat. I’m here for you.