Sunday, August 28, 2011

Diary of a Hurricane Survivor

Thursday, 25 August, 1130--

I drop Josh off at work. He is flying out today, along with all of the jets on the base, to safety in Louisiana. I drive him so that we can keep his car safe in the garage.
Our first purchase as a married couple, the 2002 Toyota Corolla, must be protected from the hurricane.

Friday, 25 August, 1730--  (That would be 5:30pm for those who don't know and don't like to do simple math.)

I meet two other victims of Operation Abandon Family at the nearby Burger King. We know we'll be stuck inside tomorrow, so we're getting out while we can.
The food at this Burger King is singularly terrible, but it's right around the corner and the large play area is always empty.

Until we get there.

Friday, 25 August, 2000--

We've taken over the Burger King for two and a half hours now, and it's beginning to rain. Our children are happy and greasy.
I take Thing 1 and Thing 2 back home and give them washcloth baths.
Not because we don't have water and power, but because I am lazy.

It is already past bedtime, but I am Mother of the Year, and I let the kids finish watching Toy Story which we started earlier today. I put them down to bed, it is 9pm.

They are sleeping in my bedroom, because the hurricane is supposed to come in the night. Our bedroom does not have exterior windows; theirs do. Derek is on the floor and Alex is on Josh's side of the bed.

Friday, 25 August, 2130--

They are still up talking. I put on my grouchy face and threaten their very existence if they do not go immediately to sleep.

It works.

Saturday, 26 August, 0100--

I crawl into bed next to Alex.

I know, I know. I should have gone to bed before 1am, but I was reading a good book.

I try to snuggle up next to my little girl, but she is all knees and talons.
I roll over and fall asleep.

Saturday, 26 August, 0400--

Derek is making noises. He's calling for me.
He has lost his blanket and his aminals. I retrieve both and get back in bed.

Saturday, 26 August, 0600--

Derek is making noises. He's calling for me.
He has to go to the bathroom.

I take him across the house so that we don't wake Alex.
The wind is picking up; it's still raining.
Back to bed.

Saturday, 26 August, 0740--

Derek is making noises.
I am grouchy.
I am tired.
He should be tired; he stayed up late.

I see that windows do not appear to be in danger. I make him carry his blanket and aminals into his room.
I throw his mattress back onto his bed and point.
He gets my message.

I go back to bed.

Saturday, August 26, 0800--

Alex gets up.
Derek gets up.
I don't want to get up.

I put on a show and throw them some dry cereal. Tell them to wake me at their own risk.

Saturday, August 26, 0806--

The power has gone out.
I resign myself to the night being officially over.
I berate myself for not going to bed earlier.
I think about how nice some coffee would be; if we had power.

I remember that the hot water heater needs electricity to produce hot water, so I jump quickly into the shower. I can handle any emergency, as long as I am clean.

Saturday, August 26, 1200--

The hours are creeping by. It is very windy and very rainy. I refuse to open the fridge or freezer in hopes of not losing all the food inside.
We are having sunbutter sandwiches for lunch.
Thank goodness I have Oreos on hand.

Saturday, August 26, 1500--

This is the slowest moving storm. When shall it end? My little prepaid cell phone that can't text or make a call without dropping it a few times first is not working.

This is not shocking news.

But now I am cut off from civilzation.
 Is anyone out there?

Saturday, August 26, 1600--

The pantry is unappetizing. I consider opening the fridge, but resist.

I consider cannibalism, but feel that might be an overreaction. Besides, I have no way to cook.

My sanity is saved as the children watch 3/4 of a movie on the portable DVD player before the battery loses its charge.

Saturday, August 26, 1700--

The winds are abating, the rain is letting up.
My phone is still not working.
We are on hour 9 of no power.
The overcast sky makes the house start getting dark earlier than normal.
I set out the candles and flashlights

Lo, is that a knock on my door?

It is! It is a knock on my door!

It is Amy and all associated children.
They have gone crazy in their house down the street and have braved the  0.1 mile drive to my home.

We hug and cry.
(Okay, not really.)

But Amy has a smart phone!
Of course she does.
Who doesn't?

She has news and weather and information. 
Such as-- the roof of the mall collapsed.

No one was injured, so I feel it not too inappropriate to wonder if this means they might actually rebuild with stores at which people actually want to shop.

But no.
That might lead to progress.
And maybe eventually traffic lights that are timed so that you don't hit every red light on Berkeley Boulevard.

I think the city planners fear that will take away from the charm of this 'ol town, because I can't come up with any other reason they haven't already done this.

The kids play together. But they are getting grumpy, because it is nearing dinner time.

Amy has a rotisserie chicken in her slowly-warming fridge, so we grab the Oreos and head to her place. We drive around the neighborhood to see what kind of damage has been done. Downed branches, broken shutters, missing shingles. For the most part, nothing severe.

Saturday, August 26, 1655--

We are eating chicken in the dark while our husbands are watching Captain America in an air-conditioned movie theater in Louisiana.
But we are not bitter. If they were here, we'd have to share the chicken with them.

And the wine.

And then God said, LET THERE BE LIGHT.
And there was light.
And it was good.

We all do a happy dance! Air Conditioning! Lights! Internet! LIFE!
I got to the bathroom and turn on the light. I can now see that I have a huge red zit on the tip of my nose. But that's neither here nor there.

Saturday, August 26th 2030--

I am back home. The power is on, the kids are in bed. My cell gets service. I have 9 new messages. I snuggle up with my laptop and catch up with the latest news.
My husband should be back on Sunday night.
I go to bed, alone, at 11pm and sleep all night.

The End.



Brenda said...

Best post ever. I greatly enjoyed reading your hurricane experience!! :)

Anonymous said...

Anna from NC

YAY!!!! Irene is gone. Glad you survived......the kids, no power, no husband, etc.

and yes, it seemed to last forever.

Loved your hurricane diary!!!

Anonymous said...

If I could have I would have come to get you and protect you during this awful storm. Glad I brought you up tough, all those time I treated you like a boy have paid off.

I love you so much

Taylor said...

I would have totally attacked the fridge. I admire your strength and fortitude.

I hate sleeping with my kids. I always think it is going to be fun and snuggle-rrific. But, alas. It is not.

Sandy said...

wow...that was a pretty long post for you...are you feeling ok? I LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT!!! you are so funny...in a good way!

Joyce said...

I was prepared for a power outage and even had my hubs go buy ice for our cooler in case I needed to move my expensive frozen meat from a warm frig into a cold cooler. He was helpful. He bought the ice and put it in the garage freezer. Alas, he did not shut the freezer door all the way so while the power stayed on during the hurricane my freezer sat open for a questionable amount of time. Everything was just frosty and not defrosted so I slammed the door and said a prayer we don't get ecoli at some future date.

Glad you are safe and power-ful : )

Jennifer said...

I am so glad y'all made it through safe and sound!

Loved this post. Thanks for allowing us some giggles from your inconveniences!

Mindee@ourfrontdoor said...

I love this blow by blow recap. We only get tornadoes here which is not nearly as dramatic.

Anonymous said...

I live in Florida and have run from a few hurricanes (goldfish and a dog included) and sat, with my children, through others. Lots of initial fun, then nerves, replaced by sweating until the air got turned back on. Oh. The. Joy.

Glad everything turned out okay for you.

- jeana said...

i just stumbled upon your cute blog, and erin, you are incredibly funny! thank you for your hurricane post, for sharing cute moments with your family. glad to know that you are all good, safe, and clean =) thank you for sharing your humor!

trooppetrie said...

we did not lose power for more than a minute at a time. the last time we lost power for 2 days I was out of town. my husband hooked his laptop up to his boat battery so the kids could watch TV

Christina said...

Oh my goodness...this was awesome. I was on the edge of my seat (no, I really was. Mainly that's how I sit everywhere because of the germs. But your story was very powerful, too.).
Your dad is very funny.
I have friends in VA (and also my parents) who just got power today (after one week of no electricity/running water). My parents had to throw away all the food in the house fridge and in the garage freezer. Bummer.
I'm glad you guys were safe and all. And no one got eaten.