Goodbye, Irene!

Well, it has certainly been an interesting week.

The TV/Media was hyper but,  thankfully, things weren’t as bad as they predicted, but we still ended up with a pretty good mess.

Saturday, August 27th 

We prepped.  Made sure we had some supplies on hand.  The day before we bought water and filled our car with gas.  We thought we might end up leaving for PA when the roads cleared.  (it turned out that Marisa’s in-laws were also without power until Tuesday evening).

Worship services were cancelled because the worst winds were expected for mid-morning.

We slept downstairs with the kids.  Large trees in saturated earth falling on the house was the main fear.  We leaned an 8 x 4 foot plywood board against the window and slept.  We slept pretty well.  I woke up at 4 and Marisa woke up at 6 but the kids slept through the whole thing.

Sunday, August 28th

Power had gone out in the night.  We had cold coffee and bagels for breakfast.  The worst of the storm had already passed.  And for this we were very grateful.  We had sandwiches for lunch.  We had prepared some tea and had milk left.

That afternoon we realized our freezer food was in danger so we found church friends who had power and drove to their house in town, about 5 miles away.  It took 40 minutes.  We finally saw a lot of the damage.  Big trees down, most didn’t break off, they roots popped up with the base.  The railroad tracks run through our town with traffic going beneath.  We only found one that wasn’t flooded in a 2 mile stretch.  We finally arrived and it took a long time to get back.

Some in our town had power, others didn’t.  Some got it back in the afternoon, we didn’t.

By that evening the church building had power, so I was able to check email and get online for awhile.

We grilled out leftovers that night, and sang songs and told stories around the grill.  Made some hot chocolate and coffee as well.  The kids loved sleeping downstairs and loved the “campfire.”

Monday, August 29th

We went driving late morning for coffee and donuts.  After passing many closed Starbucks and DDs, we finally found one but it didn’t have donuts.  Saw a lot more destruction, especially flooding in Cranford.  That community, which borders us, had a lot of problems.

That afternoon, we discovered that we still had some hot water so we got showers.  That was wonderful.  We picked up a few limbs in the yard and let the kids watch cartoons at the church building.  That night we had a limited options and ate at Olive Garden.  They only had coke, diet coke and water to drink.  But it was nice to get out.

Tuesday, August 30th

At some point early Tuesday morning, our power came on.  We took showers, got online, the kids watched cartoons, we enjoyed coffee.

But around 2 pm that afternoon, it was out again.  Very annoying and discouraging.  Some reports were saying that it would take till the weekend to get power back.

Friends from church took us out for dinner that night, which was a nice break and good fellowship.

I could tell much the week was weighing on me by how my the kids were DRIVING ME COMPLETELY BAT-CRAZY INSANE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It’s strange.  This wasn’t one of the most difficult weeks of my life, probably not in the top 100.  But I just feel off.  Hard to focus and know what to do next with the uncertainty and inconvenience.  Concern for others.

Wednesday, August 31st

This morning, I brought the kids to the building to watch a cartoon while I prepped some things for bible class tonight and made some phone calls.  Still haven’t talked to everyone in the church but most are okay, most have power now, a couple had some bad basement damage.

We ate lunch at the church building using the microwave.  The wife went home and called to say power was back on at the house.  Yay!  Let’s just hope it’s not another evil trick.

I am still thinking and may blog more about our week, but it wasn’t really that bad.  Others in our community our worse.  Vermont seems to be in terrible shape.  And the worse Irene sufferer is doing a lot better than most people in the world on their average day.

Blessed,

brian

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Hurricane Irene Playlist #2

Aaaah, the Scorpions.  Great 80s rock and a great song.  I forgot how creepy and funny the video was and how much the lead singer looked like comedian Steven Wright. If you can stay until 3:45 when he holds the microphone in a weird upside down manner.

And this next song is our plan.  My wife, who grew up near New Orleans, says they never left town for Hurricanes.

Hurricane Irene Playlist #1

I enjoy being silly about our weather situation and the upcoming “rain incident” but we are taking it seriously and preparing according to state and local officials advice.  Got one car full of gas.  Bought a few gallons of water and plan to fill bathtubs to have water for flushing.  Got our flashlights gathered.  Should be interesting.  If the power goes out, I imagine the worst part will be dealing with two very bored children.

Enjoy the Music.  Scorpions and REO Speedwagon will be coming up later:

I love Dylan and his is one of my favorite songs.  Of course, it’s about racism and boxer Rubin Carter.  Denzel played him in the movie.

Another folk rocker,although Dylan transcends genre, I consider Neil a folk rocker through and through.  Great song.  I forget how much I like his music. I don’t own any at this point.

My Girl

My girl had a rough time after lunch.  They had saved up some dollars and since we were going to Panera for lunch, Mom said they could spend their money at 5 Below which is beside Panera.  We have made the mistake of going to Toys R  Us when they only had 5-10 dollars and that is pretty much torture.  But they both had that much this time so we knew they would be able to get something.

Except my daughter couldn’t decide.  Mom said we could go to Target, although I wasn’t expecting that and needed to get home.  But Mom took the boy to Petco since he had already got a couple of cheap things while I took the girl to Target.  She passed through all the aisles while I pointed out which toys were in her $8 price range.

She couldn’t decide.  I said it was time to go.  She began crying.  I told her she could save her money and spend it next time.  We walked through the aisles another time before I went and gathered 3-4 things she could afford and laid them out in front of her.  Still no decision.  We walked back to the car.  She had stopped crying but was pretty sad.

So, now you understand why I didn’t notice the Earthquake.

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Tonight she had locked the door to her room.  She does that occasionally but we really don’t like it.  (it is easy to open with a pocket knife).  30 minutes later she came out claiming she had a “surprise” for us.  I don’t know know who was the more scared, my wife or me.  But she had cleaned up, straightened up her room all by herself without anyone telling her to.  GASP!!!!

This was at the end of the same day when we had to send kids’ to their respective rooms before lunch and the aforementioned shopping anxiety breakdown.

Of course, by shower time she was dragging and so “tiiiiiiirrrrrrrreeeeddddd” and whiny.

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I mentioned a few months ago the my girl was going through her daddy phase.  Well, she moved on to a mommy phase in the last month or so.

She is fixated on being a mommy and being like her mom.  She has borrowed mom’s jewelry a lot. Her grandmother told her a story about my wife as a little girl when she had talked all through a long road trip.  Later, my daughter told me, “I am just like my mom because I talk a lot.”  Her mother outgrew that.  We will see about this new generation.

The main thing though is that she has chosen one baby doll as her child.  She has always played with her dolls but never this specific.

She finally named her Ella (after her friend she met in VA).  She takes her everywhere.  She has a night-time routine, which I haven’t seen all of but when I tell her it’s time for a shower, she replies, “I have to dry and comb baby’s hair”, which she does in our bathroom, just as her mom does to her.  The baby has two dresses, one for day time and the other for PJs.

She was telling us recently how Ella did sooo good to fall asleep without crying the night before.

In the car now, we not only have to wait for our two kids to buckle up, but for my daughter to buckle Ella.  She lost a toy bottle and kept telling us that Baby Ella was sick and she needed to find her bottle.  She was holding and feeding her at the table at lunch one day and we we caved and bought a new bottle.  Of course, we found the other one a week later.

She has a bag (diaper bag) she carries around and Ella goes with us most places.  Sometimes we are even asked to watch Ella while Eva goes to the bathroom or something else.  Ella sleeps in a wooden rocking cradle on the floor by her bed.

Baby Ella, buckled up