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Monday, August 29, 2011

blogger on a binge

I am feeling the effects of my anemic posting for the month of August. 

I have so much to say!!!  I am the blogging world's biggest liability, I think.  One of those people that prattle on and think people care.

To prevent such careless self-expression I am going to stick to one topic.

Hurricane Irene.

Okay, so by the time it hit Maine, it was demoted to a Tropical Storm but STILL.  The third day of the Folk Festival was cancelled for it (a SERIOUS bummer) and I saw rain falling from the sky like I had never seen it before.  It was rain with turbo boosters.

As a child I always experienced a thrilling fear at the idea of major storms and can remember clearly when Hurricane Andrew came through and my parents dug out the D batteries and filled the tub with water for the impending loss of power. 

As a parent it is a whole different ball game. 

I felt a small thrill in my stomach as the wind picked up and branches came down but mostly I was plagued by these thoughts: what if one of the pine trees falls down on the roof over the girls room? what if the basement floods and our freezer gets fried? what if our brand new fence is blown over?  what if a branch falls on the electrical lines and starts a fire?

We are incredibly dependent on power to operate an elaborate sump pump system in our basement.  The water from the perimeter of the foundation empties into a basin that is pumped up and out of the basement.  Without power the basement would flood in a matter of hours.  It isn't finished but we have lots of stuff down there we would prefer not to have swimming in water.

Because we like to live life on the edge, we didn't get the generator Patti gave us a year ago up and going until after dark when the basin was mostly full.  Guess what?  It didn't work.

Tricia and Brock came over to try to problem solve and as we all stood there donning flashlights on Brock as he reconfigured a spark plug in the whipping wind, I had a sudden realization.   All I wanted to do was run inside and throw together something to offer them to eat for their trouble.  I was utterly uncomfortable with the handiness of fixing a generator and wondered instead about how I could manage a batch of cookies without an oven.  I am more Betty Crocker than MacGyver.

I guess what I'm saying is that when the hurricane comes, only come to my house if you want some baked goods.

As if to follow suit with our string of bad luck with all devices with a pull cord, after multiple failed attempts to start it, the pull cord pulled right off into Sandi's hand. 

Luckily Trish burst out laughing and we high- fived and came up with a new plan.  We called the Manharts and they were kind enough to lend us their really awesome generator with an intact pull cord.

Once operational,  it took the really awesome generator nearly 2 hours to pump out enough of the basin so we could go to bed. (Normally the pump is so fast and powerful it drains the basin in under a minute.)  Sandi set her alarm for 3 a.m. and got up to fire up the generator and drain the basin again.  We had only 6 inches to spare before the water reached the top of the basin and came flooding onto the basement floor.  Thank you Sandi. 

I realize that countless people had real and true emergencies in the hurricane, unlike my little faux crisis without power.  But I can say that I am grateful to not be slogging in inches of basement water today and so thankful to have people to call on for help.  I mean, Trish had a tree fall on her roof and STILL came over to do spark plug manipulation. 

If only I had been able to offer cookies...

1 comment:

Trish said...

Let the record show... you DID offer cookies!!! You just didn't cook them. Remember? We left with pie and cookies, Betty.
I'm still laughing about that pull cord! That is one of the funniest moments of my entire life. The irony of was too much!

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