Tired eyes -- that's what I saw tonight after Brian came home from the storm out on the Coast.
It's always amazing to me to hear the media reports of a storm, vs. the reality reports from people who have actually been there.
Last Monday afternoon, my husband Brian was called over to the Oregon Coast as a large storm slammed the Northwestern corner of Oregon and Southwestern Washington.
For the past week, he's spent 5 nights of it out on the Coast, sleeping in his truck most nights because he couldn't find a hotel room.
Most towns -- from Lincoln City to Astoria (and including Vernonia for those of you who followed CNN) were without power for days after the storm.
My husband works for a company who contracts with Sprint/Nextel to keep their cell phone towers running when the power goes out -- so when some people are leaving the area, my husband becomes a first responder, critical to restoring telecommunications in the area.
After what he described tonight as "the longest week of my life", Brian started telling me how tonight he was at a restaurant, and the waitress and the restaurant manager could tell by the look on his face that he had been without much sleep for days, and asked if he was helping out on the Coast to get things back up and running. When Brian said yes, he was thanked profusely.
Last night, at 1 a.m., he found the first Motel 6 where he could stay, and a cop pulled up to his truck as Brian went out to get his things. He hesitated, as like most people, he was a little guarded about what the police officer wanted, only to find out that the cop saw his Disaster Recovery credentials on the truck, and wanted to thank him as well for being there to help.
Brian logged somewhere near 100 hours of work this week to keep the telecommunications running. One of the top brass at Sprint called Brian personally and thanked him for (and I quote directly since I heard the voicemail myself)
"Thank you for saving our asses this week."
While news crews didn't venture past Vernonia, and most of the world was back to worrying about the NFL or whatever else was going on, Brian was in the thick of it, realizing that the portrayal of how things were was very different than how things REALLY were.
But a few people out there thanking him for his work helped make his day today.
And for THAT we are thankful.