And Then There Were Four

We're creating this blog because it's the cool thing to do when people are having a baby. Just kidding, really we already have a hard enough time keeping up with everyone we want to, and our lives are about to get even more wonderfully busy. We can't wait - and we want you guys to be able to share in it too, so we both plan on reporting on it. Read at your own risk, and hopefully you'll enjoy it!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

When It Rains....It Hurricanes

I just re-read my post "Anticipation" about the calm conditions and almost excitement in the air before Hurricane Irene hit last week Saturday. Had I known what we were in for, I would have blogged "OH CRAP.....what the heck am I doing online instead of preparing for this thing??" Note to self in the future: When Mother Nature decides it's time to exude her power and give us all down here a little taste of her less than pleasant character, don't blow her off or she will kick your butt.

Most of Saturday wasn't so bad. We had the news on and were watching the reports as Irene rolled up the coast but other than some steady rain, we didn't have much to talk about. We bundled up "Hurricane Ben" and went to the neighbor's house for a hurricane potluck. Ben enjoyed the rain suit in his closet that was given to us by friend's from church. I wondered when we would ever use that thing but kept it in the closet just in case. Worked like a charm and he loved it.
We got home Saturday night and it was definitely raining hard and the wind was starting to pick up. We went to bed, knowing the worst of the storm would hit us in the middle of the night. We made sure the windows were closed, doors locked tight, gutters cleaned, drains cleared. Sometime around midnight the power went out. Since we were sleeping, we didn't realize it right away. While we were sawing z's upstairs dreaming of things like perfectly genotyped mice, playing a beautiful concert grand piano, and a day without cleaning up potty accidents, the water was seeping into our house at an astoundingly fast rate. By the time we got downstairs, about an hour and a half later, the basement was totally drenched because the sump pump went the way of the electricity. So we bailed. And bailed. And bailed. Trying desperately to keep up with the water pouring in our house felt useless. Poor hamsters. Now I know how it feels to keep going and keep going and never really get anywhere. Anyway- sometime around 5:00 a.m. the power mercifully went back on. The sump kicked in and we finally felt like we could stop hauling economy sized painters buckets of water back and forth from the sump pump to the utility sink. We stood up and stretched out the permanently damaged muscles and went upstairs to try and get some sleep before morning. We had humidifiers running and got the standing water out. We realized that's all we could do and it really would be better to get some kind of sleep rather than tackle it all in one exhausting night.

I woke up and went stumbling for the coffee pot and had it in my hand ready to fill it with water when the power went out again. So we went back to bailing. Luckily, the rain stopped in the late morning and we were only having to bail out the sump every 30 minutes towards the end. But we had a soaking wet basement and no power. Power went out on Sunday morning at 8.....we got it back on Wednesday morning around 11:00.

Things I learned:
- I need to clean my basement more often. More stuff= more opportunity for disaster. Less is more.

- It is possible to live simply without power. It's not easy but it's definitely possible.

- It is different experience throwing food out of the fridge that still has a valid expiration date. I'm dutch....waste is more painful than the stomach pains from eating bad food.

- Washing dishes by hand has value. They feel a lot cleaner when washed by hand. That being said, my dishwasher is running right now......

- Garbage disposals are really gross when they aren't run for 3 days

- When I can actually see my husband wearing his boxers inside out, I know it's time to take up my friend's offer to come over and do laundry.

- A 2 year old can survive almost 4 days without Thomas the Tank Engine, Bob the Builder and Jeopardy. It forces a parent to become creative and playact these favorite shows. Call me Alex Tribek.

-There is nothing romantic about candlelight when you get to a certain phase of life and you don't have power. It has lost its luster. Not romantic when you're bailing water, checking to see if the potty is full, attempting to find something in the dark fridge. Lost its romance.

Things I appreciate:

- FAMILY AND FRIENDS. Brian's dad drove all the way down and back from NY in one day to bring us a generator. Our neighbors who did have power let us run a line in their house so we could at least run the refrigerator and a dehumidifier before we got the generator. Another good friend brought baked treats and coffee and was willing to help with whatever we needed. We had so many offers from friends to come over for meals or to stay until power came back. So many I couldn't even respond to them all. Amazing outpouring of love and support.

- Brian. It's a good thing I married Brian and not somebody who gets as worked up as I do. Talk about chaos. Brian is so calm and able to get things done even under stress. I sometimes think he thrives under stress and is able to excel in spite of it.

- My steam cleaner. Do I really have to elaborate on that one?

- God's protection. It could have been so much worse. Yeh it was a bummer...but could have been so much worse. My house smells....but it's still standing. We all are tired and stressed....but we're alive. Weather is unpredictable and who knows what is coming next.....but "he's got the wind and the rain in his hands."

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