Sunday, September 21, 2008

We Had a Visitor

A week ago today we had a visitor from someone named Ike. He blew in, without the fierceness of a hurricane, but as a remnant with 75 mph winds. It was not pretty. He left behind plenty of serious damage throughout the state of Kentucky. It's been reported that over half a million people were without power at some point Sunday. Our damage is displayed proudly by the missing shingles on our roof (upwards of 20), the fallen limbs out if our tree (which is now almost completely cut down thanks to Hubby) and the loss of electricity, telephone and internet.

I was beside myself.

It really wasn't as bad as I make it sound. We lost power about 9am Sunday morning. I dropped Hubby off at his truck so that he could get a head start out in the winds as he headed north. When the kids and I returned, I found two sets of lines down across one end of our road (both are still across the street as of this afternoon). Phone calls from the emergency system started coming in telling us to stay in our homes to avoid downed limbs, trees and power lines. Eventually we received calls from the same system that schools were canceled county wide the next day. One less thing to worry about (especially since i hadn't washed all the clothes yet and would have a hard time dressing them). We spent the day without power, trying to entertain the kids while my neighbor and I attempted to not go crazy. She spent the afternoon with us watching the winds die down, hoping (with us) that the power came back on soon.

No such luck.

There was areas of town that was up and running. Stores. By Sunday afternoon, Wal-mart and many of the restaurants all had power because the city had fewer outages than the county. So for supper on Sunday night, neighbor sprung for Wal-mart deli chicken, cabbage for slaw (before the salad dressing spoiled in the fridge) and chips. After dinner, as the darkness set in, I lit every candle that I could find as well as my oil lamp. A total of eight candles glowed across my mantel. We had flashlights to run to the bathrooms and to find anything that was needed outside the living room. Oh and have I mentioned that Bryce is scared of the dark. Deathly. As in he worried me to death about how he was going to sleep. All. Afternoon. At bedtime, I laid a pallet out in the living room floor, blew out all of the candles and left the oil lamp burning as I put the kids to bed. Brady was out in under 10 minutes. A short time later, I told Bryce and Belle to hush and go to sleep. They were out in under 10 minutes, too. Unfortunately Bryce woke me up every few hours.

By Monday morning, my phone was out. We were up with the sun (at least I was) as the dogs started to bark and the early bedtime kicked in. All of the kids were up by 7:30. Cell phone service was sporadic on Sunday, signals bouncing, and often calls just blatantly failing. Monday it had improved so I did have access to a phone when I needed it. I went to Wal-Mart first thing to get non-perishable breakfast stuff as well as lunch. I had running water (we're on city) and hot water (thankful for my natural gas water heater that we considered changing to electric) so I washed dishes and cleaned up my kitchen. The kids played outside most of the day. For supper, my neighbor joined us for pizza (from the local Papa Johns). It had been announced earlier in the day that school was being held the next day so the kids took their showers and dressed for bed so that they would be able to get up on Tuesday. I was lighting candles when something behind me flickered. My neighbor asked if I had seen it. Then it kicked in. We had power just in time for bed. I turned on my computer, excited at the prospect to look at the local news headlines only to find that my modem was not receiving a signal. I took that as a sign and washed clothes so that the kids had something presentable to wear to school the next morning.

Tuesday, I called about the internet and found that the tower we receive our signal from did not have power yet. I had internet for 15 minutes on Wednesday morning, long enough to check an email account and find the phone number to our telephone provider. As fast as the internet appeared, it disappeared. I called the phone provider to find that a fiber optic line was down and that Bellsouth was promising to have it repaired by Monday. Yep, Monday the 22nd. Thursday morning, I got up to find that I had a strong internet signal and 150 email messages. Life was returning to somewhat normal. My phone was returned to working order last night.

While the week has been an inconvenience, we were lucky. We didn't have any major damage (such as a tree falling on our house like the one down the street). The weather cooled off enough on Sunday that it was comfortable for most of the time the power was down as long as the windows were open. We were lucky enough to have power restored after 36 hours while many were without power for 3, 4 and 5 days. We didn't have to worry about losing water and had hot water which was way more than most. The kids played outside more in those two days than they did. All. Summer. Long. It was a long week, but it could've been much, much worse.

No comments: