Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Surviving Sandy

We spent all of yesterday just waiting to lose power.  Every time I turned on a light, cooked something, or watched TV I thought, "This could be the last time I do this for a while."  We pulled two bowls of soups out of the deep freezer in the mid-afternoon and decided to put them on low and get them heated up so we could have a hot (warm) dinner if the power went out when the winds were supposed to get really bad.  We ate an early dinner at 5pm and then gathered around the TV to watch the local news coverage.  At 6:30, still having power but listening to the wind rage outside, I turned on a DVRed Groundhog Day for the kids and I.  (Piper passed out on my lap just after dinner.)  They had never seen it and I knew they'd like it.  Each heavy gust of wind had me wondering if it was almost time to lose our power.  Nope.  We made it through the movie and since I knew the kids weren't going to go to sleep at their normal time, I left them watch two episodes of Full House.  Yes, Full House.  Have mercy, they love it!  When they were over at 9:30, we marched them upstairs and they all passed out quickly (the goal of letting them stay up late!).  They kept saying the worst was still coming so I prepared to wake up to no power.  I slept like a LOG and couldn't believe it when I rolled over after 7:30 to see my clock looking at me.  Power, precious power.

Aside from power, which I was so grateful for, we had no issues with our basement and no roof leaks.  Even with keeping power, several homes in our neighborhood did not fare so well.  I can say now that after 3 hurricanes that our basement is graded very well and is quite flood resistant.  (At least under only somewhat stressful conditions.)  Jason didn't even hear the sump pump run yesterday and if it did, it was only once or twice.  Whew.

We were so super prepared for this storm.  Generator, gas, 48 lbs of ice, the right amount of food, things to do, glow sticks......maybe that's why we didn't lose power.  I was prepared in my head to lose it and thinking about how that last warm shower I took yesterday morning might be it at home for a while since we really have to limit water usage if we lose power because the grinder pump isn't powered and can back up into the house.  But we didn't have to test it.

My IL's and Kelly/Jesse lost power and thankfully my FIL's new generator came in handy.  But as of this afternoon, Kelly and Jesse's power was restored.  I am not surprised they lost power though because they are all up in Harford County and at one point 50% of people in Harford had lost power as opposed to less than 15% in Baltimore County.  My parents and siblings all kept power on too.

My thinking is that the reason we fared so well is that our power company did a LOT of tree cutting back after Irene and the derecho.  In fact, it was after Irene that they cut back all the trees where the power lines are leading to our house where we always lost power before that makes me confident why we didn't lose power in that derecho either.  You know what they say about an ounce of prevention....

I keep seeing the photos of NYC and how hard they are hit by the storm surge and realizing that that it could be us if the storm had hit lower on the east coast than it did (like Isabel).  My neighbor posted a photo of our community pier and I was surprised how high the water came.  We live a half mile from it so we would likely have been okay if there had been a mild surge but still, it's scary to think.

Needless to say that having the house make it through for selling purposes is a weight off my mind too.  But it has been nice the past two days not to have to make beds and have the house ready for showings.  I have some work tonight though...

As for tomorrow, I am betting there will be school (and work) for all of us.  I kind of wish the kids didn't have school so the festivities would be cancelled and purely for selfish reasons.  Since I've been off the past two days, I'm thinking I probably cannot leave early tomorrow as I had planned.  Usually, I am able to go and help in the classrooms, but I guess not this year.  Sigh.  I had also planned on either taking off or a half day on Friday since I am going to a retirement dinner late on Thursday evening and won't see the kids.  Again, sigh.

It really has been a nice two days with the kids.  We've played games, talked, laughed and just enjoyed the time together.  Caroline and Piper can now officially play Barbies together!  That might not sound like much, but it is.  They played for 2 hours today!!  No fighting.  Seriously, bliss.  And now we just did a kid swap with our neighbors (girls went to their house, their son came to play with Bryce) and everyone is happy.  So I guess I should thank Sandy for this extra time with my family and for sparing our power and home.

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