Originally uploaded by surfinsandy23
between 4-5 pm Saturday we got power back! What a relief!
The only thing that could make our day any better than having the sun come out and shine was to see workers show up and reconnect us to the modern world. Our cable company actually got here before the power company did!
against a blue sky, the sun making the ice look more like glass. Already you can see where some has melted and fallen off this tree.
Saturday the sun came out and ice began melting and falling off of everything. The new danger of going outside was staying away from anything that could drop a chunk of ice. It was falling off tree branches, power lines, and roof tops.
It was too pretty out to stay inside. Photos were the excuse to go out. The warm sun was the reason to stay out.
The sun played peek-a-boo with the clouds for most of the morning. When it came out, it made the ice sparkle like jewels. It's so strange to think of something so destructive in such a way, but remember all the turmoil and pressure a diamond has to endure to become a priceless gem.
We hear that adversity builds character. If that's true then we will have some real characters walking in our midst around here! I know my story is not so dramatic or special, compared to that of others.
I mostly just wanted to blog this to make it easier to share with friends and family. I also hope that it might help someone realize how important is it to be prepared for emergencies. There may be some who read it who are simply curious about what it was like. That's fine. I am a curious person, and I believe curiosity leads to learning.
To be honest, I want to finish this. I want to post the photos I want to post, say the things I feel like saying and try to get this whole ordeal behind me and move on. And it was an ordeal, it was traumatic in it's own way. It made us put life on hold for a few days, it made us stop and think about things that we don't often think about.
I was glad I had the camera to not only document the event, but to capture some of the beauty in it's midst. I honestly know what to take pictures of now. That was quite a distraction from what has become ordinary and mundane.
One thing that a person must remember when going through something trying (I remember telling myself the same thing while in labor with each of my children)., "it won't last forever". Yes, it's more difficult when you don't know when it's going to end. But knowing it will end, is sometimes all the hope you get.
More signs of Hope.
I was walking the dog Saturday morning and looking at how the sun danced with the ice, when I saw several trucks roll up the street and turn up the street behind us. So Ollie and I walked up a bit to see where they were going. They were gathering behind the factory there, probably getting ready to put in another long day.
Saturday morning started out pretty much the same as the rest of the week. It was cold over night, the inside of the house was cooler than the night before, but we have camped in colder weather!
We still had to boil water in front of the fireplace to make coffee in the french press. At least I no longer had to grind my coffee beans in a pestle and mortar, we had bought ground coffee while at the store the other day. We were tired of cooking, so meals were consisting of coffee or cocoa and instant oatmeal for breakfast, cup ramen and pepsi for lunch. The night before it was canned chicken and noodle soup heated by the log for supper. The cats were happy with their cat food. My mother in law and her dog were able to go back home on Friday, so the animals seemed to be less edgy, but still cold.
Late Friday night, KU had stopped by the house but were not ready to turn us on yet. We fell asleep with the window blinds open hoping they would come back during the night to hook us up. Tarzan must have sensed something too, he was more restless Friday night. He kept going to the windows to look out.
By this time we could see the crews were getting closer to turning us on. A street light and a neighbor behind us were back on. It was exciting and depressing all at the same time. We had hopes of borrowing a generator for a couple hours just to get our freezer re-frozen. The food was holding up pretty well, but wasn't going to last much longer.
The forecast for the weekend was for a warm up. That was good news for the most part, but then we wondered if the garage would continue to stay cold enough for the milk, eggs a other items from the refrigerator to stay safe.
It's so hard not knowing.
Friday morning I walked around the neighborhood just a little bit for more photos. The sun was trying to come out from behind the clouds, making the ice everywhere sparkle like diamonds when it did peek out.
The weekend forecast was for much warmer temperatures which would most likely melt the ice and snow. So I wanted to get out and take a few more photos before it was all gone and before we got busy with cleaning up the mess.
I didn't take as many photos on Thursday than other days of the week. The whole ordeal was wearing me down, it was getting a bit depressing at times. Looking out of the windows on Thursday was much like looking out the window on Wednesday. We had to try to wash some dishes, make sure candles and oil lamps were ready before dark, and I tried to get a little quilting done.
Thursday came, and still no power. My mother in law's dog had been left at her house, and the nights were getting colder as the week wore on. We began making plans to go get the dog and go to the store for extra batteries, cat food and things to eat that were simple to prepare. We didn't know how long we would be without power, or how long we'd be under a boil water warning and wanted to be able to conserve butane.
We went to the garage where our camping gear is stored and found a rack we usually use over camp fires. We found that placing it beside the gas log put the water pots closer to the flame and would do a slow, yet good job of boiling the water. We were now able to heat and boil water without using up butane fuel.
The night before the storm hit, I discovered we were very low on cat food. There wasn't even enough for one more day. At the time I had hopes we'd be able to get to the store to get more the next day, but the next day proved more challenging than that.
We had plenty of dog food and figured if the cats were hungry enough, they'd eat it. I was wrong. Two of the cats were happy with canned food I kept in case of emergencies, but Tarzan was picky and wouldn't even eat that. I found some sliced turkey meat thawing in the kitchen freezer and he ate that. Another day he had some leftover hamburger that wasn't eaten at supper the night before. He likes milk, so he even had milk, which was now being stored in the garage because the garage was colder than the refrigerator.
Hubby needed a prescription filled and word on the radio was that the pharmacy was open again. He had extras in his camping gear, which got him through the week.
So we cleaned off the car and headed for Walmart. They were completely out of lamp oil, was restocking propane (which we didn't need), no sign of butane, and almost completely out of candles. It was a good thing we found a better way to heat water, and didn't really need the oil or candles.
We picked up hot cocoa mix, instant oatmeal and cup Ramen, plus a big bag of cat food, and a case of Pepsi. The water was nearly completely sold out, good thing we didn't need that either!
We saw several people we know, including someone we hadn't seen in many months! It was good to see folks and hear they were all doing well.
We finally got out of the store, and headed to Mom's house to get her dog. Her house was cold, but her freezer was still cold. So we got the dog and a sweater for mom and headed back for home. The poor little dog was scared and cold, but she was safe. Outside temperatures that night were predicted to be down to around 10 or less, not counting windchill factors. We felt much better getting her out of there.
I couldn't believe how much traffic there was on our street all week.
It seems the east end of our street suffered more damage than on our west end. To make matters worse, there is a trailer park on the east end. I can't imagine what it would be like living in a trailer through a storm like this.
I imagine most the traffic was people checking on others, taking some to shelters, or to the store for supplies.
During the night before I heard freight trains going through on the tracks west of town, and it didn't sound like they were even slowing down. I don't know how the storm didn't slow them down.
By Wednesday, when this photo was taken, we were making attempts to check on my mother in law.
My husband's brother lives closer to her than anyone else and he tried to get to her Tuesday night. He was not allowed on her street because of limbs and power lines down. He was told someone had been up and down her street to check on everyone and was told she was fine. Later, she told us no one had even come to her door.
She is a diabetic, living alone, and someone was trying to check on her. Why would they just lie like that?
So Wednesday, my husband tried to call officials to find out if the street had been cleared enough for him to go get her. We were pretty sure she was without power, because her phone was not being answered, (she has an cordless phone which needs power), which also meant she had no heat. He was given rude and short answers on the phone that were anything but helpful. So he called the radio station to see if someone listening who lived closer to her and could go check on her or tell him if the street was clear.
To make a long story short, he got through, people were listening and helping, and a good Samaritan picked her up and brought her to our house.
Our hometown radio station, was a life line for this community during this whole ordeal. They stopped all their regular broadcasting and turned into a communication hub. People could call in and ask for help or offer help for a wide variety of needs. Information about the water shortage, updates about the power companies, shelter information and much much more was being announced all day, every day. It was a vital tool for people in Boyle County and surrounding counties. At times they even operated by battery power, without lights, without heat, and surviving by volunteers taking them food, calling them and telling them what was going on outside their studio or trailer.
They are our home town heroes! Thanks Charlie Perry and everyone there who helped this community even though your own homes were needing power, trees cut and whatever else. I hope you know just how much you helped this community!