Last week my friend Sandy at work showed me that there was a tropical storm with her name. “Maybe I’ll become a hurricane!” Well, she did! As I wrote on Saturday, we were pretty well prepared with gas, cash, and food. I went out on Sunday to do some “regular” food shopping, in case our power didn’t go out this week and I needed to cook dinners. This was like noon on Sunday and the supermarket was not at all crazy.
On Monday morning, both our offices were closed, and I thought it would be a good idea to get some more D batteries. We had flashlights and and a lantern, but no spare batteries for the lantern, and none to run a radio. We went to Walmart, then Wegmans, and neither had anything other than AA batteries. Also, it was raining pretty hard. At Wegmans, we ran into a guy GG used to work with who now works there, and he said that none of the stores or supermarkets around had any batteries, but he thought Toys R Us might. They didn’t open for another 30 minutes, so we sat in the parking lot for a little while, but eventually I said we should just go home, they probably wouldn’t have batteries either and they weren’t an absolute necessity. So we went home and waited for the storm to hit.
Meanwhile, I charged everything I could think of. Our computers and phones were never unplugged. I have two external battery chargers that could be used for cell phones, so I had both of those fully charged, plus one extra phone battery. Our MP3 players have radios, so we charged those. And we charged our cordless power tools. GG made room to put my car in the garage, and he parked at the top of the driveway. I attempted to work from home, but there was really not much going on. 90% of the e-mails I got were about storm preparation and people’s cell phone numbers. GG and I mostly spent the day on the sofa, enjoying electricity. It got to be dinnertime, and since we still had power, I went ahead and made one of the actual cooked meals I had shopped for on Sunday.
The rain continued throughout the day and night, and the wind got pretty crazy. At one point, it sounded like something hit our house, and GG thought it sounded like metal, so we thought maybe we lost a gutter or downspout. The lights dimmed periodically, so I decided it would be a good idea to turn the TV off in case of a power outage. We watched movies on Hulu on GG’s laptop. I was nervous about a tree falling into the house, plus the wind sounded way worse upstairs, so we slept downstairs on the sofa. Even though or sofa is huge, it’s not really built for two adults to sleep for the whole night, but we figured out a way to fit. The cats kept waking me up by throwing up and stuff (they’d been acting really weird since Sunday night, obviously they could sense the weather). Finally morning came, and my mom called before my alarm went off, then my alarm, then my mom called again. So basically, I slept terribly. But every time I woke up, I saw that the power was still on. Plus I’d been checking the basement the whole time, and it was completely dry!
My office was closed again Tuesday, as was GG’s, but since the power was on I could still work from home. We took a walk around the house outside, even though it was still raining. There were tons of branches everywhere, and almost every leaf from every tree in the yard, but no damage we could see! (I don’t know what that metal noise we heard on Monday night was!) Weirdly, the leaves had blown in sort of a striped pattern. A lot of my friends lost power, at least for a little while, and I saw lots of pictures of flooding, and trees and branches falling on or near houses and cars, so I know we really lucked out. Some people are probably going to go several days before they get their power back. My company is opening up the showers at the gym for employees without power, and people can get water and hot meals to go. And watching CNN and looking at pictures like these, you can really see how good we had it.
Our town has rescheduled trick-or-treating for Friday, but kids around here are actually going to make out really well, because there are towns holding trick-or-treat tonight, Friday, Saturday, Monday (if they go to New Jersey), and next Wednesday – so an enterprising kid could potentially get five Halloweens! I’m not buying extra candy, so I plan to put a sign on the door tonight and hand out candy on Friday (which is more convenient for me anyway, as I have band practice tonight).