Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Hurricane, Part Two

The hurricane pretty much shut everything down around here for several days. With no power, stores were closed or couldn't sell anything perishable. You know it is bad when Wawa, Dunkin' Donuts and H-Mart are closed for 4 days. After all, H-Marts sign proudly proclaims that they are open 365 days, 9am to 9pm. I talked to someone who worked at a Wawa that didn't lose power, and she said that on an average day, they sold 1000 cups of coffee. The day after the storm, they sold over 4000 cups and people were waiting in line for a hour just to get one. Crazy! If I was that desperate for coffee I would figure out how to make one at home. And worst of all, the library was closed til Friday. Oh, the horrors! We go a few times a week, and it was a sad state of affairs. :) In general, stores were sold out of the following: milk, bread, bottled water, generators, chain saws, chain saw oil, hot chocolate, ice, and all things perishable. Gas stations were closed because they had no power to run the pumps. And while all of this was an inconvenience, it was just that, an inconvenience. Lots of people had it much, much worse. The pictures of the Jersey shore are horrendous. I heard that the boardwalk we went to this summer was destroyed. A roller coaster from another beach town is sitting precariously out at sea. We were very fortunate. If we had had the rain they had forecasted (8-10 inches) the storm would have been disastrous for our area. As it was, there were trees down everywhere and there was a lot of wind damage. There was a church about 1/2 mile from us that had a large section of its stucco siding fly off. The forest on the farm where James and I go to work lost 60 percent of their trees. The forest looks like pick up sticks. Everywhere we drive, we see more trees down. It amazes me, however, how many trees fell and missed houses. After the storm, the power company called and said that this was the largest storm in their long history and that they had nearly 900,000 customers out of power. Outside companies ended up volunteering to travel to our area and help. The team that finally fixed our power was from New Orleans, LA. We were thanking them profusely and they said that we had helped them in Katrina and they wanted to return the favor. There were convoys of out of state power workers from all over. In fact, I still see them around and I think they are still trying to get things back in order. While our power was out, we tried to make the best of it. We bundled up and watched a DVD in Beyonce the Monster Truck. I knew that DVD player would come in handy! We built a fire in the backyard several nights, and cooked over it. Oddly enough, a month or two ago, our neighbor had stopped by and given us a box of 82 hot dogs and the buns to go with them. I never buy hot dogs, and I knew we would never eat that many. When I was trying to save the freezer, I decided those had to go. Jeff told me to put them in the fridge as 'ice' to keep it cool in there. Turns out, we ended up eating a lot of hot dogs before they thawed out and we had to throw them. That may or may not have contributed to the overall stench emanating from my clothes by day 3. Through an unfortunate series of events, I was down to one pair of pants. Here is the break down: 

Day One: Tyler the Iron Bladder had an accident during his nap. I don't think he realized it and he climbed into my lap. I realized it when I felt a nice big wet spot on my pants. 

Day Two: Repeat day one. Seriously!? Twice in a row? This is the kid that can hold it in forever. 

Day Three: Fresh pair of pants, no pee. Pants begin to smell like campfire, but no big deal.

Day Four: Campfire pants begin to smell fire-y. Starting to smell like truck stop Slim Jims. James asks what Slim Jims are. I told him it would be like if a hot dog and beef jerky had a kid. I got a blank stare. I should mention at this point that I haven't taken a shower in a while. 

Day Five: Would I rather smell like my kid's urine, or Slim Jims? That is the question. I decided Slim Jims are preferable. In a turn of good fortune, my parents' power comes back on. I begged the use of their washer, and was able to have clean clothes which smelled of neither urine or processed meat sticks. It's a Christmas miracle! Also, at some point in this timeline I was able to take a hot shower, thanks to the generator Jeff's coworker loaned us. 

Day Six: The power company shows up. Another miracle in and of itself! It took them a good part of the day and then the power came back on. Hallelujah! 

A few days later, they came to string up our phone line. What a crazy week and a half! We feel so fortunate to have such minor damage. Several people have told us since then that if anyone could survive no power, we could! One couple said they would take us with them if they had to survive on a desert island! :) I will say, we didn't have to eat out even once. I did briefly eye up the chickens, thinking they would make a pretty decent dinner should things get really ugly! 


Trish D said...

Airing next week on NBC: share the joy as big Cé spreads holiday cheer to the less fortunate vehicles in "Beyonce the Monster Truck"

And oh, the joys of pants that smell of neither urine nor processed meat -- the things I take for granted

Terry and Linda said...

I'll bet the chickens were rather glad the power came back on :)

I can't imagine what and how I would fare it this were me. And you will little tykes.

My hat is off to you and Jeff!