Saturday, January 05, 2008

Sturm und drang: a damage report

Oh, where to begin? How about just some bullets today?

  • When I left the house on Friday morning, a tree at the end of our driveway had fallen across the cul de sac, nearly sealing us into said cul de sac and narrowly missing one of our cars.
  • When I left the house on Friday morning, we had electricity. (Do you see where this is going?)
  • On my way into work, I encountered two intersections where the stoplights were completely dead--no flashing red lights, nothing.
  • When Mr. Trillwing arrived at daycare at 7:30 in a distant corner of town, the daycare provider had no electricity.
  • Power flickered all day at work.
  • Mr. Trillwing called at 10:15 to say he had no electricity.
  • Near noon, Mr. Trillwing went to pick up Lucas: "If this is the end of the world, I want to be surrounded by my family."
  • Mr. Trillwing calls occasionally to check in with damage reports: our large butterfly bush has fallen and is partly blocking our sliding glass doors to the backyard.
  • Another damage report: Mr. Trillwing has been outside hacking with his father's WWII machete at the neighbor's tree that fell into our yard, knocking down the fence and resting its branches on our roof.
  • Yet more damage: another portion of our fence is blown over.
  • At about 2:30, Mr. Trillwing brought Lucas to my office to enjoy electricity, heat, and wireless Internet.
  • We all bundled up and went home near 5 p.m. Still no power, though it wasn't raining much, either. Yay for that.
  • At 5 p.m., it was getting too dark to see in the house, so we located our flashlights and lit candles around the living room.
  • We decide around 5:30 that we need to try to find someplace to eat, since we can't cook (electric oven and stove--we rent, so we didn't have much of a choice) and since it's getting very cold in the house--probably too cold for Lucas.
  • Almost everything is dark on our drive; there are a few isolated blocks with electricity, and those people have their Christmas lights on. I'm not sure whether to consider them assholes for showing off, or to be grateful that they're providing some light on the very dark and slick roads.
  • We find a supermarket with a generator, and it's mobbed with people looking for D batteries (sold out), Duraflame logs, water, and any food that doesn't need to be cooked. People look pretty grim. I try to order a deli sandwich, but they're out of basics, so I opt for a dinner of chips and salsa.
  • Lucas refuses to eat his no-cook dinner, a peanut butter sandwich (I forgot to buy jam), milk, raisins, and orange wedges. He eats a couple cups of single-serve applesauce.
  • We spend a very cold night at home, Lucas and me in the master bedroom and Mr. Trillwing on the couch. (He can't sleep in the same bed as Lucas.)
  • When we wake up in the morning, the temperature inside is 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit and dropping. Yay. The good news: we may not have heat, but we have hot water.
  • We drive downtown and find the university and downtown grid have power. We have a warm breakfast in a warm restaurant. Lucas takes forever to eat, which is frustrating us because by this time other powerless suburbanite refugees are crowding the restaurant, looking for tables.
  • The morning paper has a photo of house sliced in two by a giant elm, as well as a picture of some guy surfing under the Golden Gate Bridge. Also, wind speed at a nearby regional airport: 69 mph. At the Golden Gate Bridge, it was 70 mph, just 4 mph shy of hurricane status.
  • We call a motel in the next town over and get a room. They let us check in immediately, including the dog. (For those keeping track, this is the same place we stayed when we were refugees from the heat a year and a half ago, when the air conditioner for our apartment crapped out at 113 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • I call my parents to alert them to our new location. My mom tells me she had to physically restrain my father from driving 400 miles, up into the storm, to bring us a camp stove. Then they tell us they'll pay for the motel room. I tell them that given the choice between hosting visitors and accepting their charity, we'll take Door #2. Small blessings.
  • Lucas's best friend (age: 28) calls to let us know she's OK but is without any power, including hot water. She cooked for a neighbor in her apartment building on her camp stove. She's a grad student and can't afford a motel room.
  • We have a psychologically miserable lunch in this small town at a bakery that offers panini sandwiches. Mr. Trillwing is upset that we didn't go to a "real restaurant," meaning IHOP or Denny's. Much tension and grumbling (and apologizing) ensues.
  • We get back to the motel room. Lucas will not go down for a nap.
  • The next wave of the storm hits. During a lull, Mr. T runs back to our house to check on it while Lucas and I (finally!) nap.
  • I wake up from the nap before Lucas, and anxiously await Mr. T's report. That's where I am now.


susan said...

Wow--I hope things continue to be reasonably OK for you all. That's a lot of stress!

Innisfree said...

I'm glad that you didn't stay at your house. I called my dad this afternoon and their house was still without power. I thought, "Oh no, poor Trillwing and family!"

Dr. Brazen Hussy said...

I sure hope this story has a happy ending. Good luck!

skookumchick said...

oh my god - I hope you all stay okay, if not civil - a small price to pay for heat and food. so so sorry you're enduring all this.... stay safe :-S

Anonymous said...

glad you're OK. Hang in there.

Karen said...

Oh my! My thoughts and good karma thoughts are with you all!!

Annie's Mom said...

Thinking about you and your family as you weather the storm. All the best for a speedy and peaceful resolution.

Phantom Scribbler said...

I hope y'all are OK today.

Anonymous said...

From the news, it looks bad out where you are. But your report was much more informative about what's really happening.

Stay safe, and let us know what's new. Lisa and I are thinking about you.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad that the Storm of '08 is behind us. Now you will always remember the beginning of this fabulous year.

I'm "blogging" in the Blogger Lounge at MacWorld.