An urban micro farm experiment. Adventures in trying to live a simple life.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The animals marched two by two....

"I don't have anything to do this weekend!"

That's what I told a co-worker on Thursday when we were talking about our plans for the next few days. Everytime I THINK that I am in the tiniest bit of control over my life, I get the big reminder that I have absolutely NO control over ANYTHING! I'm used to being in control and making plans!!

I don't know where to begin. Thursday night at approximately 5:15, the heavens opened up and rain came down in sheets. I had to roll up the awnings because I was afraid the rain would slice right through the canvas. That was just the beginning. I arranged myself on the couch with a good book next to me, switched the TV on and prepared to look for a recipe for peach preserves that I was hoping to make this weekend. Caboom! The lights went out and the TV screen was black.

I grabbed my cell phone and called the utility company to report the outage. Apparently, I was the first one to call because I was on the phone with a live person who stayed with me as I walked downstairs to check out the circuits. All was well down there. Later, as many as 36,000 people lost power due to the storm. When was the last time you got a REAL person on the phone when you called for help? I still consider this to be a dream. I called back later to report it again and got a recorded message. More like it!

Even though I was probably among the first reporters of an outage, it took 24 hours for me to get my power back. My brain started to scurry around trying to make a plan for my basement since this looked like what could be a serious water event. What to do, what to do? No sump pump, no fans, no dehumidifier and NO LIGHTS!!!

I grabbed a flashlight and looked into the sump pump crock. Not good. In fact, some profanities were uttered and I jumped into action. From 5:30 until 8:00, I ran upstairs with buckets to throw the water outside. I met lots of neighbors. Later, it became clear to me that there wasn't anything I could do to prevent the inevitable. I was going to lose my furnace, washer, dryer and water heater. AND, lots of stuff (my collections!) that I have in the basement.

I decided to bring up anything that absolutely had to be saved like paperwork, powdered laundry detergent, carpet shampooer, vintage vacuum cleaner and photographs. My kitchen is full of stuff.

I went to bed listening to the storm coverage on an old battery powered radio and dreamt of generators. Maybe two generators? One as a back up to the real one? Do I need a hole in my basement window to stretch a 200 foot extension cord to the neighbors across the street who never lose power??

The real work began Friday when I surveyed to damage. It could definitely have been so much worse. But since I didn't know what I had put "on" when I lost power, I had to take the day off from work. With the water in the basement and the possibility of appliances returning to the "on" position, I had to be home. The last thing I needed was a fire.

Yet, hours of cleaning were ahead as I had to cut off and remove wet carpeting, sop up the puddles and wait for some electricity. It's hard to clean in the dark and it doesn't do any good trying to clean when you can't put a fan on things to dry them out.

My story is minor compared to the tragic events that happened to so many people, their homes, their cars, their memories.

Haven't had a minute to brave the mosquitoes and go down to the garden for a look. I expect the tomatoes to be split due to too much water and the plants to be all laying horizontal. I hope the carrots haven't floated up and out of their holes!

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