Well, jeez-a-loo, there’s been some crap-tastic weather going across the country lately! My dad who lives in Illinois told me that he has to alert my mom to watch him from the window when he goes out to get the mail, because it’s so cold that if he was to trip and fall, he’d be dead in fifteen minutes. And my friend in Indiana says his dog refused to go outside in the -40 degree wind chill and opted instead to go fifty-two hours without pooping. We had been relatively unscathed by all the winter devastation out here in the balmy Pacific Northwest … until this last ice storm. It was actually quite lovely at first to see all the trees coated in glistening, icy splendor from the freezing rain.
Until this happened …
This is … uh … was the giant maple tree out in front of the house next door. When it buckled under the weight of the ice it succeeded in taking out a couple of our trees, a bunch of laurel bushes, our front gate, and the power lines, which cut the power to our house and left some live wires sizzling in the street . So, yeah, it was kind of a mess.
But we soon discovered that we were in the best possible neighborhood for such a circumstance, as about half-a-dozen neighbors showed up to help, each with their own chainsaw. It was great to have the extra help, seeing as how a big chunk of the mess came down across our driveway, in effect imprisoning us in our own place. Peter named the whole debacle “Snowmageddon.”
We took a quick inventory of the damage. There were some losses. The neighbor’s shed didn’t make it.
But, happily, Borodeer seemed fine.
We were without power for a few days, but we were able to turn that into a positive. It got the kids “unplugged” for a bit, and they were able to get back to enjoying some of their more …. analogue toys.
We did some family bonding at the ol’ pool table, which was actually the first time I had played since we moved in a year ago. We had the wood stove keeping us warm, so we really were doing okay without any electricity … for a while.
My lovely friend, Trina, called me up when she heard about our predicament and invited us all to come over to her still-functioning house for hot showers. (To read more about Trina and her concern for my appearance, click here.) I thought for sure that Peter would jump at the chance to scrub off, seeing as how he had been out in the rain for two days, performing heavy tree-chopping, branch-hauling manual labor, and was due to be back at work the next day. But when I told him about Trina’s invitation he just shrugged me off and said, “No thanks.” I was like, “What do you MEAN ‘no thanks’? Don’t you want to get yourself cleaned off for tomorrow?” But he just shook his head and confidently assured me, “I’m fine. I got it covered.” Then he handed me the solution he had already procured for himself: a travel pack of sixteen Huggies wet wipes. Stellar.
Peter actually is a pretty resourceful guy. He was downright miffed when Y2K didn’t yield any disasters. He was all set to load up the truck and head for the hills when the looting started. Coming home from our New Year’s revelries that year to find the power on and humanity in tact was a bit of a blow to the man who is always so prepared. I suppose offering him a hot, soapy bath in the middle of power outage would have been just plain insulting. After all, he was doing just fine taking care of us with all the gear he had on hand. He set up the camping stove in the sunroom and treated us to a pancake breakfast.
And the boys were just enchanted with eating by Coleman lantern light.
It was really precious to see the boys having a good time together without the aid of a Wii or television.
There was only one moment when I thought Sean might go all “Shining” on us, but it turned out okay. Redrum!
Our calico, Missy, sure seemed to appreciate all our bedding camped out by the woodstove, day in and day out. But I was ready to get back into my own bed …
… Mainly because my tiny air mattress kept getting taken over by multiple heavy, flailing snoozers.
Luckily for us, the power pole out front that was leaning over the road at a 45 degree angle put us on the upper half of the priority list for getting a utility crew out here. Power was back up in a few short days, but of course not until after I decided to “pioneer up” and wash nearly every dish in the house with pot after pot of water I had to heat up on the camp stove. Yeah, that was a lot of water. Perhaps I should have just used the wet wipes instead.