Always Crazy, Always Fun, Always Love

Ray Romano once compared life with twins to living in a frat house. As he put it, "no one sleeps, there is a lot of noise and a lot of throwing up." I find this very true with 4 young children, including twins. However, though things are always crazy, we always try to have fun and, most certainly, always love each other.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

"We survived the 'Wind Storm of '08'!!"

Last Sunday, September 14th, was much like any Sunday. Except, a wind storm struck in the afternoon. Driving home from church was actually kind of comical as the dried corn stalks flew across the freeway like snow and tauno covers were ripped off trucks right before our eyes. I have seen strong wind bursts before, but not for such a sustained time as last Sunday. What was weird is there was no other storm- no rain, no thunder- it was even partly sunny at times- just so windy. They said the winds were hurricane force- meaning 75+ mph. It was, in fact, remnants of Hurricane Ike, which struck Texas in the days before. Indiana and Michigan got the rain, we just got the wind. It was surreal, really. Then, around 4:30, power went out in most homes in the area. One number said more than 400,000 homes in this area were without power- 2.6 million statewide! Later that night, as we listened to our battery powered radio, they were talking about the wide spread power outages and referred to the occurrence as "wind storm '08'." I thought, "Are they kidding me, why are they naming it?" But as the aftermath unfolded, it became more appropriate. Power went out Sunday and did not return until Thursday evening (we are among the lucky- a few- about 4,000 still don't have power right now). Cable (meaning TV, phone and internet) just returned a few hours ago (had to get on!!). Trees were uprooted and branches fell all over the place. Check out the following picture- not sure if it does it justice, but if you look close you can see 4 piles of branches in front of different houses. This is looking down the road from the end of my driveway.
Of course, there was a lot of things about the week that was just no fun, but it would be stating the obvious to list them. I came up with a list of things that were good about this past week with no power/cable. Either things that were a clear benefit, or at least making it easier to deal. Here goes, in no particular order:

1) The weather was beautiful- we would have had windows open anyway. Not a single day had a temperature over 75 degrees. No rain the whole week- just clear blue skies.

2) When the power had been out just about 24 hours and I was trying to decide what to do with the contents of my freezer, my brother-in-law, Kris, showed up- surprising us- with a spare generator!!! It belonged to his office and they didn't need it so he thought of us and brought it to us. We hooked up our fridge and freezer to it, so we lost no food. One night, we even plugged in the laptop and watched a movie! Thanks Kris!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

3) We have a gas water heater, so we had plenty of hot water.

4) We didn't have to suffer through a SINGLE political add commercial!!!

5) No irritating phone calls. The only working phone was our cell and anyone who has that number are people we actually want to talk to!

6) We grilled out for dinner every day! Can't beat a grill in the summer!

7) We got to chat with our neighbors more.

8) I got to hang out with my sister while I did laundry at her house. Thanks, Em!

9) We played outside a lot!

10) It gave me something to blog about!

11) Certainly helped me gain more appreciation for those who lived before all these modern wonders and makes me not take them for granted anymore.

12) Bathing kids by candle cool!

13) No electric or cable bill for a week!

14) Anything is better than the "Ice Storm of '04'" where power was out just as long (not as many people, but a lot still- including us) and we lost all of the food in our fridge and freezer and temps were sub zero and it was during Christmas. Thank you to my Mother in law who took us all in and let us stay with her the whole week it was out!

So, there it is- my positive spin on it all. The weird part is, that more than half of the schools in our district were out of power. There was no school for 4 days!!! The schools only get 5 calamity days a year (for things like this, power outages, excessive snow, etc). Who would have ever thought we would use them up in September?!?! I don't doubt we will be making them up at the end of the year...

We did do some fun things during the week. Such as:

Kenny played soccer. His team won (and scored...) for the first time all season!
We ate yummy treats and hung out outside!
We played at friend's houses- these pictures are at Amy's house:

Then, on Friday, when the boys finally went to school, Aaron was home, so we drove out to visit his dad, stepmom, sister (and her baby) and enjoyed a wonderful lunch with them!
I know this has been a long post, but I must talk about one other thing. I have decided that Ohio is full of a bunch of whiners. In a way it makes sense- we don't have much adverse weather here. Tornados are nasty horrible destructive things, and sometimes it snows a lot, but otherwise, it really isn't so bad. No hurricanes, land slides, earthquakes, volcanos, or other such things to worry about. Some people acted like this was the worst that could happen. Whining about how long their power was out, forgetting that down in Texas, some didn't even have a home anymore because of the same storm. Stories in the paper told of people who were so angry at AEP (the power company-as if it was THEIR fault so many lost power and it took so long to get it back up...) that they were going to deduct the amount of the lost food in their freezers from their next electric bill (can't wait to hear about the collections calls on that...) . So many complained that it took so long- that the power company wasn't doing enough. Here are some interesting stats. On any one day, AEP has 300 people repairing lines across the state. Last week, they had more than 3000 every day- other companies were called in from out of state to help. They worked 16 hour days- sleeping less than 6 hours and getting right back out there. The feeling of seeing these trucks in our neighborhood was a glorious thing:

These were some of the out of state volunteers. Aaron works for AEP in a desk job. He had to report to work dressed and prepared to go out and help the line workers if needed! Not actually repairing lines, of course, but helping as needed. They never called Aaron out, but a few others went. Some people who lost power went to shelters to eat and sleep (are you kidding me? Have you ever heard of a sandwich?).The exceptions are those who lost water because of no power- I really feel for them- I would leave my home too- what would you do if you had no water? I can't imagine! Local fast food restaurants (the few that had power) were running out of food! Finding ice for coolers was a challenge as everyone was sold out. I think this should be a sign to us all (us included) that, instead of finding someone to blame, maybe we all need to work on our preparedness a little. If we are prepared, it is much easier to be patient and deal with things without panicking.


Lauri said...

Amazing! I didn't realize how wide-spread the destruction was until I read it in yesterday's paper. I don't think I've ever been without electricity for more than a few hours. That would be a real eye opener. Love your positive attitude and the list of good things that happened during the week. I need people like you in my life to help me see more good.

Suzanne said...

It was a crazy week and more for you than us since we were only out for 24 hours. Not fun either way but I agree, this was a great wake up call to getting more prepared. That is great you had connections to a generator. What a blessing!

The Cochran Family said...

Wow, this was very well said, I love that you can put a positive spin on everything! You make it sound like a fun adventure! I still can't beleive that my freinds and family in OHIO had more hurricane than we did! Way to go Kenny on his game!

Autumn said...

What a great positive outlook on this!! I LOVE it. It is such a good reminder to me of how much more we have to do to be prepared!!

Katie said...

I really, really, really loved your take on this. I hadn't read much of anything positive about that whole situation. We had no power for 5 days that one winter and it was miserable. Good for you for finding the good.