Friday, January 30, 2009

Winter Blunderland

We have power! I never thought about those three words having such great meaning until having spent the better part of a week without. No power means: no heat, no hot water, no clean laundry, no lights, no baking, no email, and no TV. The upside to this (yes, there is always an upside- so far anyways) is that we were reminded of how important other people are to us. Yeah, yeah, here I go getting all Hallmark card-ish, but it's true. I cannot imagine living in the days before electricity, but I can imagine they had a much greater sense of community and much closer relationships.
It all started on Monday, with 40 something degree cloudy weather. A little mist started falling, as did the temperatures, and it all went downhill from there. We closed shop at 4:00pm just as the roads were getting a little bit slick. Tuesday morning, we awoke to iced trees - which was very beautiful. By that afternoon, most of Northwest Arkansas had lost power. And while we now have power, something like 53% of our area still does not and may not until next week or later.
So we reverted to how we lived in this house before heating & air - kerosene heater to heat the living room, multiple layers of clothing & a hat to sleep in, and showering at my in-laws (gas water heater vs. our electric one). Since we rarely get weather like this, most people were pretty unprepared. Generators around here are used for camping trips, not winter survival, and honestly I can't remember the last time we lost power for more than a few hours. I think I must have been in elementary school.
Now for the interesting part...the pictures!

Natalie, who is 2 1/2, did really well, except when we would get in the car. She HATED the tree branches hitting the car, which as you can see was sometimes unavoidable. Now, even though the roads are cleared, she starts saying "no more trees, no more tree branches" as soon as we get in. Coming home tonight to a brightly lit, warm house seemed to make her day. It was bedtime, and she was literally climbing into her crib herself - she was so glad to have things back to normal. She did not enjoy sleeping in her hat and robe, and she greatly missed her nightlight and the fan we run for white noise. And while sleeping with mom and dad seemed like such a novel idea before, she had quickly decided that three was too much of a crowd for her.

We were very lucky, we only had small amounts of damage. Our trees all lost loads of limbs, but no total losses. One limb took out a chunk of our picket fence, but just in a small section. The worst seems to be where the roof leaked a bucketful in the landing, causing the drywall to bulge and paint to peel off in sheets. We managed to move the cars in time to avoid falling limbs and the closest call seems to be where a branch gashed a kitchen window screen on the way down. Other than that, we are unscathed. There will be a heck of a lot of cleanup though - so many tree limbs down. Firewood anyone?


Blogger NV said...

WOW! The pix are phenomenal. Glad all of you are OK. I know it's been rough.

We spent a power-free week in the summer of 2006, in 100-degree heat. It was horrible. That same year, in December, the area was rocked with an ice storm that left hundreds of thousands without power AGAIN. We were among the lucky that time -- just six hours instead of six days!

We really DO take a lot for granted.

2:01 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Thanks for your prayers for the girls and the family. I'm so glad you are all safe. Patrick still doesn't have power at his house. Did you know that he bought Grandma's house in Farmington?

Be safe and take care of yourself!!! Can't wait to welcome the baby boy to the world!!

12:19 AM  

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