In the Eye of the Storm

Austin, Michael and Matthew arrived home, ready to ride out the storm. After they arrived home, they noticed that the wind was definitely starting to pick up.

"Is this the hurricane already?" Matthew asked.

"It's the outer edge," said Austin. "The storm will get worse during the day and through the night."

Austin was right. As the hours went by, the wind started really whipping around and rain started to fall.

As the weather conditions started to deteriorate, Austin tried to keep everything normal for Michael and Matthew. He made spaghetti for dinner and for dessert he let them have all the ice cream they wanted.

"Why are you letting us have so much ice cream, Dad?" asked Michael.

"Well, if we lose power, the ice cream will go bad," Austin told him. "We can't let it go to waste."

Michael grinned and said, "I like this part of a hurricane."

Matthew looked scared, and Michael told him, "It's okay. Just pretend it's the Big Bad Wolf and we're all safe in our brick house."

"Okay," said Matthew.

Meanwhile, back at the hospital, Sam was getting worried about the rapidly deteriorating weather. Before going to sleep, she thought, Thank goodness Austin's at home with the boys. They're probably scared to death. I just hope Daddy's presence will be a comfort to them as the full force of the storm hits.

Back at the Ames house, Austin was explaining to the boys how hurricanes worked.

"In the center of the hurricane is an area of quiet and calm, called the eye. A lot of people mistakenly think the storm is over when the eye passes, but that's only the halfway point."

"Are we going to get the eye?" Michael asked.

"No, I think the eye will be further south of us," he told them. "But the storm will still be pretty bad through the night."

"I'm glad we haven't lost power yet," Michael added.

"We're not out of the woods yet, though. We may still lose it."

It was time for Matthew to go to sleep, so Austin put hm to bed. Then he told Michael, "I'm so proud of you. You've been a trooper. And you've been so good helping Matthew stay calm."

"Well, I'm his big brother. It's my job," Michael said.

Soon, the whole family was in bed, but they didn't get to sleep very long. During the night, the worst of the storm hit, waking them all up.

"Daddy!" Matthew called, running to Austin.

"It's okay, Matthew," Austin told him. "It's okay."

"I'm really scared."

"I know. It's just a big storm, okay, buddy? It's okay."

"Yeah, Matthew. It's okay," Michael added, walking in. "The storm will be over soon."

"Let's just all hang out in here for awhile," Austin told them, as they heard the wind blowing and the rain falling.

"Wait a second," said Michael. He ran out of the room.

"Michael, where are you going?" Austin called. "Michael?"

Michael soon rushed back in. He was carrying Tiger Lily.

"All right, Michael!" called Austin.

"We have to make sure she's safe, too," Michael explained, as he climbed up on the bed.

Just then, the lights went out.

"What just happened?" Matthew asked.

"The power's out. That means no lights in the house are working," Austin told him.

Matthew started crying.

"Matthew, it's okay. The workers will get it back as soon as they can," Michael told him. "Plus, it's exciting. This means we get to use flashlights!"

The three fell into a very uneasy sleep, and when they woke up, the storm was almost over. Matthew woke up and asked, "Is the hurricane over now?"

"Yes, I think it is," Austin told him. "We still don't have any power, though."

"What time is it?"

Austin checked his phone and said, "9:30."

"We slept kind of late," Michael said.

"Yes, we did. Let's go out and assess the damage."

Austin, Michael and Matthew went outside. They found that their welcome mat had blown away, and a big branch from a nearby tree had fallen and landed in the backyard, but that was about the worst of it.

"Oh, thank God," said Austin.

"Why?" asked Matthew.

"Because that big branch fell in the yard and not on the house," said Austin.

Just then, someone came up to them. "Hey, can we interview you?" she asked. 'I'm from The Weather Channel."

"Sure," said Austin.

After asking some questions, the newscaster said, "I'm here right now with local resident Austin Ames. Tell me about the damage that you've suffered."

"Thankfully, it wasn't too bad," Austin told her. "We lost our welcome mat and a big branch fell in the yard, but that's about it."

"Yeah. There was a whole lot of wind and rain," Michael added.

"It was scary," Matthew continued.

"I'm sure it was," the newscaster told them. "What's your name?" she asked them.

"I'm Michael. And that's my brother, Matthew."

"How old are you, Michael?"

"Eight. Matthew's three."

"And a half," Matthew finished.

"Have you two ever been on TV before?"

"No," said Michael.

"Well, you're on TV right now."

"Really? That's so cool! We need to get to the hospital to see Mommy and our new baby sister!"

"Well, this has certainly been an exciting last few hours for you," said the newscaster.

After the newscaster left, the three of them headed to the hospital. They managed to find a road that wasn't blocked.

"Mommy!" called Matthew, running into Sam's room.

"Hi, Matthew! Hi, Michael," Sam said. "Was it a rough night?"

"Well, we survived," said Austin. "How about you?"

"Same."

"We were on TV!" Michael told her.

"Yeah. The Weather Channel did an interview with us."

"Wow!"

Just then, another newscaster came in.

"Are we doing another interview?"

Sam asked, "What's this about?"

"We need to talk about our little hurricane baby. Do you have a minute?"

"Sure."

After a few minutes of asking questions, the newscaster said, "Making her debut, the same day that Sandy hit, is eight pound, one ounce Grace Kathryn Caroline Ames. What happened?"

"Well," said Sam, "yesterday was my due date, and I started to go into labor early yesterday morning, so we came over here. They quickly discovered the baby was breech and did a C-section shortly afterwards."

"So you delivered before the worst of the storm hit, right?"

"Yes, which I'm very glad about."

"And her name is...? Just to remind our viewers."

"Grace. Grace Kathryn Caroline Ames. One of my nurses said, 'You need to name her Sandy', but that was not happening. I guess we'll just call her Sandy when she's bad."

Everyone laughed.

When Austin and the boys left, Michael said, "That was crazy! Two TV interviews in one day!"

A few days later, the cleanup had started, and Sam and Grace came home from the hospital.

"This has been a crazy last few days," Austin said.

"It sure has," agreed Sam. "Grace was smart to get out before the worst of the hurricane hit."

"Our little hurricane baby," said Austin.

"It was a scary time, knowing what happened last time with Caroline," Sam continued. "But Grace is here and healthy. We got through that as a family. Just like we always have."

"And just like we always will," finished Michael.

"You're right. Just like we always will," said Austin.