Monday, September 5, 2011

Irene vs Newman

Hurricane Irene was downgraded to a tropical storm by the time she hit CT.  Even so, LOTS of trees and power lines fell and we lost power for 7 days.  Thankfully there was no damage to our home.  Each day I took time to journal and here is the summary.  A big thank you to the neighbors and friends who helped us out!!

Sunday, Aug.28
Our power went out at 4:30am.  We were almost fully prepared.  We caught up on the laundry, brought in the lawn furniture and kids toys, got some extra food and bottled water, filled pots and jugs with water, did the dishes BUT left filling the bathtub til the morning.  Sadly the power went out well before the storm hit.  We missed filling our tubs by 1.5 hours!!   (Jay heard a rumor that our power company purposely turned the power off before the storm hit for safely reasons.)

We used my old ghetto blaster from the 90s (complete with shoulder strap) to listen to the radio.  Takes eight D batteries!  hahaha  But it was our only source of information from the outside world.  I love this beast!


We didn’t get much rain but it was gusty.  We had a few tree limbs down in our driveway but nothing major.
Lots of leaves in the driveway too.  NOTHING to complain about!

A tree cracked about 50 feet from our house but there was no damage to our property.  So thankful!

Sunday was spent watching the weather, Jay taught Vienna how to play chess, and we just relaxed all day.

Vienna and I worked on our Christmas cards.  (Making them this year!)

We started to get worried about our fridge and freezer food and flushing the toilets.  Our neighbor Ed came over and we swapped stories.  He doesn’t have a generator either.  But he has a pool and said we could use it to fill buckets for flushing the toilet if we needed to.  That was a better option than filling up our buckets at the rain gutter!!

Monday, day 2 without power.
Jay had to go to work.  I took the kids to our neighbor Ashley’s house.  They had a generator so lent us coolers and got us some ice when they went out.
We went to another neighbor, Mary’s house, to swap stories and the kids played a bit.
In the afternoon our neighbor Greta came over to say that they had their generator hooked up to their well and hot water!!  She offered to let us shower there.
Friends of ours, Michael and Dianne noticed that I hadn’t updated  FB for a couple days so he emailed Jay (who got email at work) to see if we needed anything and offered their generator since their power was back on.  They came over in the afternoon to get our fridge working.  We lost the little we had because I only put the kids’ milk in the coolers and we went 2 days before getting a generator. But now we can buy more food and keep it fresh.

Michael also brought us an old Lego stash so the kids had something new to do for hours!

We went to Greta’s to shower, cook our supper with them on the grill, and have smores.  It was a nice evening spent with two other families.

Tuesday, day 3.
So nice to have a fridge and give the kids milk with their breakfast.  After breakfast we went to Greta’s again to use their land line phone and check messages for the 1st time.  Neighbor Donna came over after hearing we didn’t have water and offered some and we swapped stories.  (I declined because we are ok for drinking water.  It’s dishwater and water for the toilet that we really need.)
Kids played well today and I made a few cards.
Late afternoon we went to Jay’s work so I could shower and check email.  I updated Facebook and checked my email accounts.  We went to a grocery store there too.  On our way there and back, we saw many trees leaning on power lines.

And telephone poles were knocked over:

I can see why this clean up is taking a long time.  And I was just seeing what was on my route, never mind all the side roads.  Funny how some friends on FB were just back to normal living and I’m stressed out because all my bathrooms smell like outhouses and we’re flushing with pool water.

Wed, day 4.
Woke this morning to another day without power and water.  We went to Greta’s to use the phone again.  Vienna’s 1st day of school was suppose to be tomorrow but was rescheduled to Tuesday.  And Lance had a doc appt scheduled for tomorrow but the office lost their power too so it was canceled.
Came home to lunch, tidy up the yard and for Colin to nap.
Having a bad day today.
Hate not having a phone at home.
Left new deli meat in the van overnight and didn’t notice til lunchtime!!!
I hurt my arm starting the generator.
Tipped over the gas can and spilled it in the garage.
AND in an attempt to flush the toilet, the handle on the kids’ pail I was using broke sending the bucket to the floor where it shuttered, dumping a gallon of water all over.  Took 4 towels and a mop to get it all.  I was moody!
Until today the temps have been cooler but the humidity was sneaking back up.
Then angels arrived.  Mid afternoon, Dianne and Michael came over to set up the generator to our water pump!!!  Running water is GLORIOUS!
We left to meet Vienna’s teacher and see the classroom. After that the kids and I went to McDs for supper and to use their wifi so I could check messages and update Facebook.  Came home and cleaned my toilets, sinks and dishes.  I love running water!

Thurs, day 5.
I had a bad night last night.  Jay worked late and didn’t get home til 11pm.  I don’t like the dark and had major anxiety.  I went to bed early so I didn’t have to deal with it or the shadows but I woke up hearing a man’s voice.  I thought for sure Jay was home but he wasn’t.  Gotta love the ole imagination.  I stayed awake all tense til he got home.
This morning I packed the kids up early and left for my friend Tami’s house.  They live 35min away and have power.  I showered.  The kids’ bathed for the first time since the outage.  And I did a load of laundry.  In the afternoon we just played at home while Colin napped.  Another early night.

Fri, day 6.
Jay had today off so today was much better!  Makes a big difference when he is around.  Overall a good day but I got stung by a hornet.  I haven’t been stung since I was 9 years old and today of all bad weeks in my life, I get stung by a hornet!  This afternoon we spent cleaning the yard and house.  My friend Tami gave me the brilliant idea to heat water with my electric kettle.  I hadn’t even thought of that!  Takes no time and we just unplug the fridge same as we do to run the Keurig machine for coffee.  I was able to do some dishes.  Yay!  Jay grilled chicken and rice for supper.  As we ate I said that today was a good day.  Almost getting used to living this way.  Plus I felt better with a clean yard and house.  We definitely don’t miss the TV.  Planning to cancel extended cable after this.

Sat, Day 7.  While Colin and Lance had afternoons naps, the power came on at 2:30pm!!  Sadly, it was short lived.  As we were getting the kids ready for bed, it went back out around 7:15pm.  What a tease!  At least I managed to give Colin a bath, do a load of laundry and vacuum the kids’ rooms in and around supper and bedtime.  I just didn‘t get a chance to shower before bed.

Sun, Day 8.  Power was restored last night after we were in bed.  It came on around 11:30pm and woke us up - not a complaint!  haha.  We got our cable, internet and phone today around lunch time.  Life is back to normal as we play catch up from the week!

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So we survived and now that we are back online, I am seeing the devastation in the news from Irene.  The flooding and loss of homes and life is horrible.  I certainly had NOTHING to complain about after seeing the news.  But I am not going to edit my journal because gotta keep it real.  In the end we are VERY blessed by the community around us and the resources available.  And most of all, great friends.

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