Friday, July 6, 2012


I Wasn't On Vacation:

I've been MIA this past week, but it wasn't a vacation.  I wish it would have been. 

Late in the day last Friday, June 29th, Ohio, especially NW Ohio, took a big hit from a major storm.  I was prepared for some of it since I was watching the local weather on television.  But not to this extent.  A lot of people weren't prepared at all.  It hit with such force that a nice sunny day was suddenly, and I mean suddenly, hit with 85 mph winds and rain and hail.  Golf ball size hail was reported just south of Findlay.  But it wasn't the hail or the rain that did us in.  It was the winds.

I was transfixed.  Being a storm lover, I couldn't seen to pull myself away from the window.  Now I'm not completely stupid, I knew that was dangerous.  But the window I trusted was a thick, permanent, never-meant-to-be-opened of those decorative things.  My daughter was on the phone with me and trying to get me to go to the basement but I just had to watch. 

The wind was so strong that the rain was blowing sideways down my street and with such force I couldn't see any houses across the street.  It was a thick wall of rain separating us.  

First the TV went out...then the power.  I watched a neighbor's tree, a small decorative one, topple over and the top half of another one blow away. 

And 20 minutes was over.  In and out, just like a tornado.    

And Findlay was declared a "state of emergency".   Over 600,000 people in the state of Ohio were without power.  And about 2/3 of Findlay's 40,000 people were too.  And all this during one of the hottest weeks on record for June.  Temperatures reached into the high 90's with a heat index of 102.  And no power.

I had a small battery-operated lantern and I read in the dark that first night.  And slept on the couch cause the upstairs was a furnace.  The next day we all got busy. 

At first we, in the neighborhood, smiled, compared stories, and cleaned up our messy, limb-strewn yards.  We carted it all to our curbs for the city to pick up.  I got out  my cooler and drove around town trying to find ice.  Every intersection was a stop-and-go.  No traffic lights were working.  Some roads were closed due to whole trees laying across them.  I took my frozen food to my son's, who lives 15 minutes away and missed the storm.  They treated me to a cook-out.  Then I went home and spent my 2nd night in the dark. 

Sunday I read magazines, wrote, worked crossword puzzles, visited with the neighbors, got more ice, took a lukewarm shower, ate fast food and spent my 3rd night in the dark. 

Not much else to do for these men  :)

On Monday one daughter got power, then another.  My 3rd daughter, Michelle and Dion, were in the worse shape.  Living in the country, they had no water without power.  Her 2 acres was a disaster of limbs, trees and power lines.  She showered at work, he went to his daughter's house to shower.  They filled gallon milk jugs with water at my house to flush the toilet.  And we spent the 4th night in the dark. 

How does a tree this size
get completely uprooted?

Tuesday I was able to borrow a generator from a friend who had her power come back on.  Now I had my little window air conditioner and my refrigerator running...and a lamp at night.  No more dark nights...yea!  And my house was growling like all the others in the neighborhood.  But gas is expensive.  Every day I filled my large gas can...$17 per day to keep the generator going.  And now I'm only showering every other day.  Cold showers suck!  And I spent the 5th night with a little power.  Feeling a bit testy.

God bless these guys!
On Wednesday Michelle and Dion got their power back on.  I got my frozen food back, was treated to a wonderful breakfast and my son gave me a gas grill to cook on.  Then I started my 6th night with little power.  But I could cook and was cool in the living room and had a lamp and cold food.  But now testy has turned to bitchy.

On Thursday, I pulled out an old cast iron skillet and fixed bacon and eggs over the grill and felt like I was camping.  Feeling better but still want power  :(  Lights across the street came on.  They had power.  Maybe we were next on our side of the street.  Waited all day.  Nothing.  Street crews took away our limbs.  At 7 pm I filled my gas can again and refilled the generator, set for the 7th night without power.  And bitchy has turned into wanting to cry.   

Then at 7:30 pm my lights came on!!!!  And the TV, and the Internet, and my land line.  And life in the neighborhood went back to normal.  Good timing too.  Today is going to reach 102 again. 

And, as I posted on Facebook, never again will I take for granted the things we count on every day...the things that make our life easier.  Things like hot water and lights on a dark night and a cold refrigerator.  Thank God I finally have power.  Doing a happy dance!

Quotes of the Day:
When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about. ~  Haruki Murakami 

And God said, 'Let there be light' and there was light, but the Electricity Board said He would have to wait until Thursday to be connected. ~ Spike Milligan  

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