Then I dozed off into a warm slumber, forgetting about the reality of the last 2 hours, which had not actually been filled with prayer or an I love you battle, but three crying kids, militant scripture memorization for tests the following day, and a vicious cycle of pre-sleep crying that kept both girls awake (Amelle couldn't sleep because Amaya was crying, which made Amelle cry, which then kept Amaya up - crying). It was brutal, and Dirt and I to had to get out of bed no fewer than 6 times to try to soothe all the crying.
Around midnight I heard Amaya cry out from her bed. The electricity had gone out, which meant no nightlights. She decided that safety was with mom and dad and made a mad dash from her room to ours - screaming the entire way. Her bravery makes me smile. Her reward was snuggling in between us, absorbing our body heat, and getting her back rubbed as she fell asleep.
Dirt and I woke up all night long. I'm not sure if it was the chilly room, the ice pellets bouncing off the house, the crackling sound of falling trees outside, or the bony elbows of the three year old between us, but by 4am, we dubbed it "the longest night of our lives" and looked forward to sunrise.
But sunrise came late. At 7am, we were functioning by candlelight. The prognosis was: no water, no heat, no electricity, no school.
The kids were elated not to have school (where scripture memory tests awaited). Dirt lit the wood stove in our mudroom and I made the kids some hot cocoa (pioneer style - by boiling bottled water on top of the wood stove). We bundled up and waited patiently for the electricity to pop back on.
The kids invented ways to keep themselves occupied. This was one game: drag each other around the house. There were several variations of this game, some included Amaya riding along on top. The speed version did not include a rider. There was also a scream version of this game.
Amaya under the hair", or maybe it was "Dora Memory Game", either way, it kept Dirt and Amaya quietly occupied while Avery and Amelle engaged in a game of...
The day also gave way to some phenomenal fort creations. I wanted to move into this one-bedroom loft myself, but I couldn't fit through the threshold without compromising the entire structure. Plus, I'd never be able to have anyone over for tea and cookies, and what fun would that be?
By nightfall, it was beginning to look like we would be without power all night. We had even heard reports that power may not return to many areas until Monday or Tuesday. We decided (I convinced Dirt) to seek refuge at a hotel. There were no rooms in Portsmouth, so we went north to Portland and snagged "the last room" at the Holiday Inn By the Bay.
We went to bed praying that our electricity would be restored and that our pipes wouldn't freeze (the overnight temperatures were expected to be in the low teens).
...to be continued...