In September of 2008 we had a Tropical Storm in the Midwest. In what was called a once-in-a-lifetime event, Hurricane Ike blew inland and merged with another storm system, then blew farther north and made a huge mess in states located nowhere near an ocean.
Earlier I thought it would be fun to take a little trip back in time, so I started sharing the text of emails I sent to my parents and family in the aftermath of the storm (edited to disguise names and correct as many typos as I could find). The first two parts of the story are posted here and here. Now we’ll pick up where we left off with no electricity and overnight guests who were locked out of their own home.
Tuesday’s email (continued)
We were all up between 7 & 8 on Monday morning. Elder1 headed right out to find a locksmith, successfully returning in time to eat the sausages & eggs and drink the coffee Jay made on the grill for breakfast. Most everything else in the fridge ended up a loss, but under the circumstances we are not complaining. The kids were thrilled with the entire process and decided that it was wonderful to have sausages & eggs cooked on the grill for breakfast. Sweet Pea kept saying that “every cloud has a silver lining.”
We offered to share breakfast with the youth minister, so he got up & around and came over. Elder1 and Wife1 left after breakfast to start clearing the large tree they knew was down in their yard. Jay, the youth minister, and my son started clearing the downed trees (one uprooted and one broken off) and limbs from our yard then went and worked in the youth minister’s yard, Elder1 & Wife1’s yard, and several strangers’ yards. They also drove around and checked on some older people from church…all of whom were thankfully just fine.
Jay was able to get in touch with some other church members who checked on families in their areas. It was great to see everybody taking care of each other. There was a tree down at church and some siding off the garage of the youth house next door, but the church itself seemed to be okay. We were very thankful for that good report.
Meanwhile, Sweet Pea & I took Jay’s car and set out to refill the gas tank after his taxi run the night before. One never knows when Jay’s cell phone might ring or we might want to escape to my parents’ electrically powered house! We waited in line for 45 minutes at the gas station. I picked up another propane tank for the grill while we were there, but there was no ice to be found. We got extra batteries and bottled water at the big box store and headed home.
Monday afternoon was given over to yard work until my sister called and generously offered the use of their generator, and even more generously offered to meet me half way so I wouldn’t have to drive the entire 2 ½ hours to her house and then 2 ½ hours home. I used the time in electric world to recharge my cell phone and text my friend, who was still dealing with 5 kids and no power. She’d been hearing that it could be several more days before she has electricity. I had it much easier.
Sweet Pea’s team went ahead and played their soccer game last night, winning 3-1. Then Jay & Sweet Pea had a sing-along with Jay’s guitar that evolved into a jam session when I hauled out the rhythm instruments. We amused ourselves until the kids’ bedtime. My friend and I texted back and forth…she was still hearing it could be days before they get power. With the sweet corn and other freezer items protected, I slept much better last night…
Okay, so this time I am leaving you with a little cliffhanger!
The incident with the propane taught us to keep an extra tank around at all times so we can always use the grill. We also try to keep our automobile gas tanks at least half full. The thing that I did correctly in this installment was to recharge my phone while I was meeting my sister to get the generator, because I had no idea when the power might be back on.
Would you be prepared to cook for several days on the grill, or would you have to do what I did and run out looking for extra fuel?
I moderate comments manually but will get them posted as quickly as possible. Please keep your comments kind and if you must disagree please do so without being disagreeable. Rude or inappropriate comments will obviously not be published.