Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Wind Storm '08

I have electricity again!  Yay!  Thank you, Mr. Edison.  Thank you, eon.  Thank you, lineman guy who got up there and fixed our downed line and then waved to my 4 year old.

Having electricity again means I can finally blog about the whole thing!  We had a massive wind storm here in Louisville on Sunday, the effects of Hurricane Ike.  The winds were actually hurricane force, and, oddly enough, the structure here just isn't set up to handle that kind of wind power.  Go figure.  All our little trees in the front survived, but one is missing half its limbs because a huge branch from the neighbor's tree blew into it.  

Across the street, my favorite weeping willow was sheared off at ground level.  

Down the street the damage was incredible.  

And there are even more stupendous examples across the city.

Our power, and that of over 200,000 households/businesses in the city, went out on Sunday around noon.  Ours was restored around 12:35 this (Wednesday) afternoon.  Many, many people are still in the dark, and could be that way for 10 to 14 days.  Jefferson County Public Schools closed for the whole week, and Caleb's preschool was closed.

It wasn't too bad, though.  Everyone with power was asking us how we were making it, but it truly wasn't that big of a deal.  I joked that it almost felt like a vacation, since I didn't have any self induced pressure to do laundry or vacuum, and Andrew was doing all of the cooking on the grill.  I spent a lot of time working on my current crochet project, which continues to be awesome, and Caleb did some crafts (when he wasn't spiking a random 102.5 degree temp!).  Andrew, technorati genius that he is, rigged up a way for us to charge our cell phones and laptops through the car, and even powered the tv with it for a few minutes until it blew the fuse in the car.  We used the dial up connections so we had web access, and an old Walkman hooked to speakers and a battery operated amplifier gave us NPR.  We grilled hamburgers, hotdogs, corn and baked potatoes one night, then grilled the four packages of sausages from the deep freeze the next, along with boiling water on the grill for ravioli and a rice dish.  Don't worry, we shared all those sausages with our neighbors and with my dad, who had come to get the rest of the stuff from the deep freeze.  Andrew took the bulk of it to his mom's on Tuesday morning.  

Candles on the stove

Grocery shopping was interesting.  I bought a ton of packaged food because they said to prepare for a long outage.  I also got a cooler and some ice so we could keep some things from the fridge cold, along with beer, which (along with cupcakes) was absolutely essential in getting us through the crisis!  I almost cried when we had to clear out the fridge and upstairs freezer.  We lost so much!  Including SEVENTEEN OUNCES of pumped milk.  Which means I have to start drinking a ton of fenugreek tea and pumping constantly if I hope to go to Ben Folds with Andrew next month. This is what the fridge lookedlike after I cleared it out.  It had been totally full.

I think Andrew had the hardest time with the outage.  Caleb was sick for a day and a half and slept a lot, and I am almost always perfectly content to sit and read or crochet.  But poor Andrew was a little lost without constant wifi, his stereo, tv, or even the ability to work in the garage (no lights).  Wednesday probably didn't notice much difference, as her "napping" swing is battery operated.

Caleb enjoying a candlelit dinner, complete with shelf stable organic milk. Who knew they made THAT?

Now the lights are back on and things are mostly back to normal at our house.  The laundry is getting caught up, and we never even ran out of diapers (Andrew was vowing to go wash them at his mom's before he got disposables.  hippie.).  I am pleased to be able to blog, run the dishwasher, and close the windows on the neighbors yapping little beast.  Andrew has ensconced himself on the sofa to watch UofL football, and Wednesday still doesn't notice much difference.  Caleb's biggest thrill was getting a celebratory "The Power's Back On!" cupcake.

I am kind of freaked out by how much louder the house is with electricity, and how much more disconnected I feel from my neighborhood now that we all have our windows closed and aren't looking out for each other.  I met a couple of my neighbors in the storm, and mostly they are very nice.  Except for the people at the end of the block.  You know, where the big tree fell on the car?  I went down to offer our help, including the use of Andrew and his dad's chainsaw, and they ignored me.  To the four guys who were standing around, getting their 2 chainsaws stuck in that tree as they tried to clear it: screw you.  I know you didn't think you needed to listen to or acknowledge me because I am a woman and obviously, I'm of no use in this whole manly lumberjack (off) fantasy scenario you had going on, but I was offering help and you were assholes.  So, neighbor, next time I see trouble at your house, like say, a burglar breaking in while you are at work during the day, I might forget what it is to be neighborly and call the police.  Oh, and dude?  Take some advice from this "girl" and don't grab hold of your chainsaw with your bare hand to try and pull it free.  Especially when your other hand rests on the "on" button. 

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