We had a MOPs event scheduled for 10am on Thursday morning. I emailed the two other leaders, who live on Base. One of them has a husband who is an amateur meteoroligist. She checked wind speeds and told me that it looked like just a normal day on the island.
I told her that in Porto Martins, where we live, which is about 10 minutes from the Base, the wind was definitely worse than I had ever seen it.
When my in-laws were here, they kept suggesting I skip events for the weather. On this island, you just don't do that. You don't do it because you'd never get to go anywhere. Wind and rain are just part of the life here and you push through it or never leave your house.
But yesterday was not a "par for the course" day on the island. Apparently there was a huge windstorm barreling through. I should have been more aware of how serious it was when my housekeeper Hita came in and started going off in English/Portuguese about the terrible winds. The Portuguese don't ever act like anything weather-wise is that bad. They complain about the wind and rain, but they don't ever worry about storms.
What I don't get is how, in America, a day where wind gusts were going to hit 100mph, there would be some incredible warnings. People would be prepping for the storm. Schools would be cancelled. Buses wouldn't be running. People would be hunkered down in front of their TV's.
Here, school was in session. Buses were running. There were no warnings. Everything must just be the way it always is. Normal wind and rain on Terceira island. And so I packed my four kiddos into the van, and we headed off to the Youth Center for a playdate. Hita, my housekeeper told me I shouldn't go. Again, I should have heeded her warning.
Getting into the gym was a problem. Rebekah and I were trying to push our strollers, and they were nearly knocked over numerous times. It was nearly impossible to get the gym door open. Stuff was flying everywhere. I got hit by something on my ear, and it hurt! And once in the gym, the noise was nearly deafening. Stuff was being thrown into the sides of the gym walls. Then the power went out.
We heard through the grapevine that they may be shutting down the Base for the day. I'm not sure I had ever heard of them doing that. I decided to go up to the Clinic and see if that meant JB could come home. Why I didn't leave the kids in the van, I have no idea, because we got up to the main door and it was bolted shut. Someone had literally put 2x4's and bolts to keep the door shut. A sign said, "Due to extreme wind conditions, please use door on opposite side of building." At this point would I put my kids back in the van? You'd think.
We decided to try to walk around the side of the building. Abigail started sobbing, but I couldn't hold her because I was trying to push the stroller which nearly toppled over on its side three times. I asked the boys to hold each of her hands, but she was still quite unnerved. Finally, JB emerged from the building. Just as he did, Abigail started getting blown forward so fast. Luckily she had the wherewithal to sit down when the wind threatened to take her down a huge slope!
JB was dismissed at noon as was the entire Base. They didn't have to report in until noon today. The wind was definitely less severe this morning, but there were about four different hail showers, and the temperature has dropped drastically.
Hoping the weather is better wherever you are today and that you are enjoying your Valentine's Day with beautiful skies!