Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Goodnight Irene Diary

Saturday, August 27 - morning
I hesitate to write this, because we've still got three more hours on the storm clock, but thankfully this hasn't been as bad as the pundits predicted, at least in my area. I'm not complaining for one second. I'm grateful, eternally grateful. But given that the week started with an earthquake, which is to say the least unusual for New York, and ended with a hurricane, following a summer of desert-like temps, I couldn't help but wonder if there were some celestial message I was supposed to divine from all these events. At Passover, we intone the ten plagues that befell Pharoah before his whole world fell apart. Should I be looking for locusts next?

But I also confess there is something about hunkering down before and during a storm that appeals to the pioneer woman in me (and it's hard to be much of a pioneer woman when you're 20 miles from the Big Apple). But I put in my supplies (chocolate chips and chocolate ice cream), and baked and cooked like we were going to be stranded on the prairie for weeks on end.

In what must be one of those memories from childhood which is delightful to the kid, less so to the Mom, I remember a huge snowstorm that paralyzed Baltimore. My Dad traveled for work, and my mother used to insist that he'd read the weather reports and head for the state line every time a storm approached. And this one was a doozy. No electricity or heat for days. No telephone or television. My Mom heated canned soup in a coffee carafe over a sterno light. I thought it was the coolest thing ever. At night, we slept at a neighbor's house (why he had heat and we didn't I have no clue). The kids had a super sleepover, and the adults stayed up late and played cards.

I have nothing but fun memories of that Baltimore blizzard, but I'm pretty sure that Mom and Dad had a lengthy conversation when he returned.

So we seemed to have skated through this latest storm with but a few branches on the ground and maybe a few extra pounds from all the "hunkering down" we've done.

Saturday, August 27 - afternoon

I spoke too soon. An hour after writing the blog entry we lost electrical power. Very frustrating.

Sunday, August 28 - morning

Still no power. The subway flooding means my husband will have to drive my daughter back into NYC this evening. My pioneer spirit is fading. I need to check out how much it will cost to buy a generator and have it installed.

Sunday, August 28 - evening

The force is with us again. Yea! We have hot showers, television, and enough light to read. Life is good.

Monday, August 29 - morning

We lost electricity again last night - about 10 pm. ConEd predicts repairs will be completed on the downed lines in our area sometime around midnight on September 1 - Thursday. I know others have it much worse, but I'm having a hard time finding a positive life lesson in all this.

Tuesday, August 30 - morning

Stiletto Faithful, can you share your best – or worst – storm memories? Remember misery loves company - or in the alternative - a good laugh. I'll be reading your comments on my laptop at the public library, an oasis of normal in our small town. They still have books, power - and free internet!

Marian, the Northern, wet half of Evelyn David

Want to read more?
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Brianna Sullivan Mysteries - e-book series
I Try Not to Drive Past Cemeteries- Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
The Dog Days of Summer in Lottawatah- Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
The Holiday Spirit(s) of Lottawatah- Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
Undying Love in Lottawatah- Kindle - Nook - Smashwords

A Haunting in Lottawatah - Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
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Murder Drops the Ball (Spring 2011)
Murder Takes the Cake- Paperback - Kindle
Murder Off the Books- Paperback - Kindle
Riley Come Home (short story)- Kindle - Nook - Smashwords

Love Lessons - Kindle - Nook - Smashwords


  1. The great snowstorm of February 2010...that was the worst for us. We lost power for 3 days and since everything in this house is electric (stove, water heater, furnace), we couldn't do anything. We were preparing to move to a friend's house across town when we spied black smoke billowing from the house across the street and ended up having to rescue a mom, her two kids, and her three dogs. Thank goodness, everyone was safe, but it was scary. The generator that the electric company was attempting to fix had blown up and started the house fire. That's one I'll never forget. Maggie

  2. Hi Marian, Wow, you are getting quite the experience with this storm. I don't have a lot to compare to it other than the year I lived in Wyoming. My husband and I were newlyweds and we arrived around this time of year in Laramie. With the 2 car loads unpacked and my husband starting his 2nd year of graduate school I quickly went to work making the house a home. I was stunned when we got our 1st snow fall a mere 3 weeks into September, it had to be a fluke, right? Well that was the last I'd see of the ground until May. There was storm after storm feet of snow that I stopped measuring and a few power outages. The details are in the frozen recesses of my mind but I will share that locals said it was the worst winter they had experienced in more than 40 years! Lucky me I picked the right one. : )

    Hang in there and I hope things return to normal soon!

  3. Marian, I'm just glad you're okay (and Maggie...and Laura, even though she has no power either). Hurricanes are scary. We went through one in Houston, and I remember hunkering down with a tiny battery-operated TV to watch the weather while the rest of my family all went to bed. Lots of wind and rain, then the eye came overhead and all was calm. We went outside to blue skies, assessed the damage, and then scurried back inside as the tail-end hit. Been through a few tornadoes, too, but never a direct hit. Honestly, I try to avoid natural disasters if I can. ;-) I'm with Anjali...I hope people get their power restored quickly and life returns to normal soon (whatever normal is!). Hugs!

  4. I don't know if it was the worst storm, but there is one memory from about 3 years ago that tops them all. My dad was sick and hospitalized. Mom or I went to see him every day. And then it rained. And WOW did it rain. I think they estimated that over a foot of water fell in a matter of a couple hours and flooded basements and roads. It was almost impossible to get anywhere because of the flooding - but we had to try because Dad needed to see us. It took a lot of creative thinking, but I managed to figure out an out of the way method to getting to the hospital for both me and my mom. we never got to know whether Dad really knew we were there, but we knew. That was all that mattered.

  5. Joelle, I am so glad you figured out a way to get to the hospital. I can imagine how frantic you must have been -- bravo, for finding that out-of-the-way method.
    Susan -- glad you have survived hurricanes and tornadoes! Yipes!! The Southern half of Evelyn David tells the story of her grandparents losing their home to a tornado -- and of rebuilding in the same spot.
    Anjali - your snow story is similar to mine the first year we moved to Woodbridge, CT. I distinctly remember snow falling in May. OY!
    Maggie -- thank goodness you were there to help your neighbors. We're thinking of getting a generator and you've given me a lot to think about!
    Stay safe and dry everyone!

  6. Wow, what exciting stories. I've experienced three hurricanes. Think I'll write about them in my next blog.


  7. thanks to the internet, I feel as though I am much closer to you all. I hope you are okay, and all goes back to some kind of normal soon. I live on the California coast, and we get some pretty dicey storms in the winter. I hesitate to talk about earthquakes. the implacability of nature is pretty scary. P.S. I know Woodbridge, summer and winter. Lots of snow and co-o-o-ld!

  8. Marilyn -- looking forward to hearing your hurricane stories!

    Lil - thanks for the support. You're right about Mother Nature -- definitely can't take it for granted!

    Marian, who panicked when the lights flickered for a second about an hour ago