As most of you know Hurricane Sandy came to pay a visit this week. I started out on Saturday stressing about my friend who lives in Jamaica. I finally heard from him late Sunday evening. He and his family came through the storm okay. He wouldn't go in to any detail about damage or anything. But no loss of life and that was all that was important to him.
We started clearing our yard and porch on Saturday. On Sunday we finished putting away everything that might blow away. I debated all day about whether or not to put out the recycling. I finally decided to put it out in case they came by to pick it up. They usually come early in the morning and the storm was not expected until around noon. Bad mistake. I also spent a lot of time debating about whether or not to take my son to his class on Monday morning. His class is from ten until twelve. The storm was supposed to hit around noon so I thought we might go. Then late Sunday night we got an email that they were canceling the class. Good decision.
My husband borrowed a generator from work. He also borrowed an extra pump as he was expecting the basement to flood. We got up Monday morning to wind. Lots and lots of wind. But there was no rain. They kept saying we were going to get torrential rain on Monday. Fortunately that never happened. We spent the day looking out the windows to see what was happening. After all our preparation we wanted the storm to hit and be done with. The wind kept getting stronger and stronger. Finally our recycling bin went flying down the street leaving a trail of recycling behind it. Still no rain. We followed the progress of the storm on tv. Finally around 7:00 the power started to flicker a bit. By 7:30 it was out. We built a fire in the fireplace and lit candles. It was an early night to bed for all of us.
Tuesday morning we got up to a cold house. My husband got up before I did and wired the generator so it would run the furnace and the refrigerator and a couple of outlets. Oh and the kitchen stove. By the time I got up the house was warming up nicely. We tried the tv but it would kick out every time the generator kicked on. The internet was the same way. We would barely get it up and it would go out again. We finally gave up on both of them.
The refrigerator seemed to be working but it was getting warmer every time my husband checked it. All of the fancy electronics were working but the compressor was not kicking in. When the temperature got over 50 in the refrigerator we gave up on it. He disconnected it from the generator. At that point we could only hope that the power would return shortly. There was no place open where we could buy ice. Later that night the battery on my husband's computer fried. All of the recycling of power fried it so he could no longer use it. That left us with only cell phones to connect with the outside world. Cell phone reception was very sporatic. I have a friend who sent me a message at 7:00 in the evening. I got it at midnight.
My husband went out to get gas for the generator. He found a place not far from hom that only had premium gas. But he was only charging $4.00 per gallon. He tried to find coffee but nothing was open.
Wednesday morning we got up and went through the same routine. He started the generator and then I got up. We notice that after we turned off the refrigerature the computers were not cycling as often. So he decided to try the tv and internet again. It worked. Everything worked. We had no electricity but we had tv and internet. The phones were still pretty iffy. No calls could be made but some text messages were going through. Another homeschooling mom came over with her daughter to get warm and to charge batteries. Cell phone, dvd player, iPod, you know the important things. It was nice visiting with her. My husband decided he couldn't take all the girliness so he went out to find gas again. This time all he could find was a guy selling gas out of a tank on the back of a truck for $8.00 a gallon. While he was gone we heard on the news of a gas station not far away that had regular gas for $3.59 a gallon. They said people were waiting over an hour to get gas. When we told him about this he decided to go fill the gas tank on his truck. He waited 2.5 hours to fill his gas tank.
Thursday we had internet and tv still. Cell phone service was getting a little more stable. We even received a phone call on our home phone. I cleaned out all the food out of the refrigerator except for a few things that I thought might be okay, fresh fruit and some condiments. Everything else went. I wasn't able to clean out the freezer because the garbage cans are full. We have no idea when the garbage people will be coming again. I hope soon with all this rotting food. My son's computer fried this morning. I think we are going to have to replace it. We spent the evening watching tv and relaxing until time to turn off the generator for the night.
Did I ever tell you what a water bed feels like after four days of no heater? Let me tell you, it gets cold, very very cold. The kind of cold that sucks the warmth out of your bones. He is going to go out today and find an extension cord so he can plug the heater to the bed in. We are not going to be able to sleep on it another night.
So it is day five of the hurricane. We are still waiting for electricity. We are eating simple foods that do not have to be refrigerated. We are antsy to get out of the house. They are saying another week before we get power back. We are fortunate though. We have no damage to our house or cars. No one that we know was killed by this horrible storm. All we have lost is a bit of food and a computer that may not even have been storm related. We give thanks that we were protected during this event. We pray for those who were not so fortunate. May they find peace as they try to rebuild their lives. We pray for the 67 people in our area who lost their lives during this storm.
Hug your children a littler closer tonight.
We woke up on Saturday morning around 5:30. We could see the soft glow of the red numbers on the alarm clock. The power had returned. A few minutes later we heard a neighbor shouting Woo Hoo in the street. Apparently his power was also back on. Stores have not been able to replenish their stock. Many places are still without power. But life is beginning to return to normal for us. I continue to pray for those who will never have normal again.