Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Ice Storm Cometh...

I woke up Wednesday morning to the sound of a loud bang…something hitting our side of the house or the roof. It was 7:15 and we still had power. Dave decided that it would be a good idea to turn up the heat while we had it, as we normally keep our house quite cool.
Looking through the windows into the yard, there were lots of tree limbs down all and in the neighbors as well. As I let Jasmine, our dog out, I could hear the cracking of more limbs breaking. I looked to the side where the noise that woke me up emanated and saw that a huge branch had come down, breaking just near our electric and gas meters and a portion now piercing down through our 10 foot tall holly bush. 
The Japanese maple and every other tree were covered with a quarter inch of ice.
Before I went to sleep, I made sure my phone and computer were fully charged. We had a nice hot breakfast of oatmeal and I took some frozen homemade soup out of the freezer, figuring that I could heat it on the gas stove if we lost power.
My yoga class was cancelled…no power. My mother-in-law called to let us know…no power, she was heading to a friend with a generator. Then at 9am, as I was working on my Paris page of the blog…no power! The house went silent. It is amazing how much ambient noise is in the house that we are unaware of from the electrical devices, until it's gone. The house is silent.
 I looked into the back yard and saw another tree casualty. This time a blue spruce whose top was bending a bit like a Dr. Suess tree a few minutes before, has toppled over. This was one of my favorites. My dad always loved blue spruces and this always reminded me of him…both gone now.
At 10, we decided we should take showers while the water was still hot…a quick shared shower…fun! As I looked at the top of the holly tree from our bedroom window I spied a much larger branch from the same tree that must have fallen within the last hour and is blocking our neighbor's driveway.
What to do when there is no power?
  • Read a book…read half of Fathers & Sons, a Russian classic that Bobby read in high school.
  • Worked on Paint shop on my charged computer, playing with photos from our vacation.
  • Clean out some cabinets and my desk…while hubby made a major dent in the office!
  • Polished some silver…Billy's baby mug and other odds and ends
  • Made notes for the blog and took photos of yard 
  • Pulled stuff out of frig and made a frig out of snow on the deck in an attempt to save some of the food for breakfast
  • Pushed snow off the roof that was leaking through the skylight into kitchen.

I kept checking the trees. In the morning the branches of the white pines looked like a folded umbrella, weighed down by the old snow and the ice. By late afternoon, as the ice feel off, the branches resurrected and lifted up.
We had an early supper while there was still light, thank god for a gas stove…did the dishes in the dusky dark.
We played a backgammon marathon of 11 games by oil lamp light, drinking hot tea to warm our hands.
Checking email on the phone by oil lamp light!
As I took Jasmine out before bed, the cracking of branches had died down to be replaced by the clicking of ice falling from the trees. Jasmine was pelted by ice as she tried to do her business. For once she was quick about it!.
We snuggled under 3 quilts, wearing long johns, turtlenecks and fleece, reading our kindles in bed and going to sleep early! Temperature in the bedroom at 9:30pm was 58 degrees.
I awoke in the night to the a random beeping in the house. As I tried to get back to sleep listening to the white noise of the neighbor's generator, Jasmine started barking...were animals getting into the food on the deck? 
Thursday morning..52 degrees in the bedroom. The power is still off and Peco's estimate for being restored is Sunday at 11pm!

Resolution! After 32 hours without power, it finally came back at 5:30 Thursday evening. We spent the day in West Chester borough where there was power. Thanks to Roots Cafe, Dia Doce and Teca for their power, wifi and hospitality!

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