Sep 17, 2008

off the grid

it's morning 3. still no power still no school. i am sitting in the coffee shop with the girls who just ate cinnamon rolls as big as their faces.

we’re on day 4 of no power courtesy of ike. well for us personally, day one didn't really count - we were racing in ohio and left just as the 55+ mph winds were hitting the elite racers and the power probably went out at home. the drive home in the airstream in the winds that had just hit louisville was an adventure indeed.

that first night home was fun. (the fact that there were no trees through our roof had much to do with the fact that the power outage was fun). we got back from the race and headed back out on our ‘cross bikes to go to the market to get candles and matches. and having to dodge debris and dismount and pick our bikes up to get over the tree across the road on the way to the market made it feel just like a cross course. we wandered through the market with our bikes and went home and brought our firepit out front and had a driveway campfire – lawn chairs and all. our neighbors made their way over to officially make it a party. there was lots of beer to be drunk before it went bad. we have our priorities.

and the next day, with no school - there was no need for alarms; we woke up with the sun and had a lot of work to do. there was debris to be cleaned up and chicken to be rescued. my 12 year old with no school or computer to occupy him got on his bike at 8:30 am announcing he was heading out to “survey the situation”. he doesn't ever head out on his bike that early. a friend called and had power at her apartment downtown – there was still hope for the shitload of chicken breasts i bought on sale. i rushed the $30 worth of chicken downtown and hung out at her apartment while i juiced up my phone only to go back out to the car to find a $25 parking ticket on my car. they had nothing better to do? no debris to clean up? no one to go rescue? i should have just thrown the chicken in garbage & stayed home.

but there was still an air of fun and adventure about it all.

it was fun to go to the coffee shop to get online. and on line to buy coffee. (although i sent my husband to get on line while i snagged a table and an outlet to get online). the whole neighborhood was in one place. you bumped into friends & chatted; caught up on the whole storm experience.

we went to bed early & woke up with the sun the next day too. not getting up at the butt crack of dawn for school buses was fun. what wasn’t fun was emptying out the entire fridge & freezer and dumping every last bit of food in the garbage. i will say my fridge has never been cleaner. i do wonder how long ago and what it was that spilled that required the use of a spatula and half a spray bottle of simple green to dislodge the gooey mess from the bottom.

when we put the kids to bed on monday night they asked what we would do the next day. i told them we were going to set sail on the SS Imagination. the girls ate it up and my 12 year old asked me why i had to be such a dork. i teased them and said there would be a scrabble tournament on the lido deck at 10 am. my son played along and said make it 10:31 … and sure enough at 10:31 yesterday morning, my hands full of a spatula of gooey-ness from the bottom of the fridge the kids stood in the doorway with the scrabble box beaming: “scrabble on the lido deck at 10:31!”.

i don’t know how many stores i've been to in search of D batteries. people. this is one of those emergency staples. all those good lantern-type flashlight things take D batteries. it would behoove you to have some on hand for just such an emergency. D batteries and a cooler bigger than a six pack. we don’t have these things. nor do any stores right now.

i was tired of the outage yesterday when i had to bring the kids to the office so i could get online & get a few things done (most importantly posting the race report from first 'cross race!) – we commandeered the conference room and they played school on the whiteboard and had rolling chair races and spinning contests and then started crank calling people down the hall. time to go home.

three days without power has its' fleeting moments of niceness and fun; watching the kids set sail on the ss imagination and using their god-given brains for fun and entertainment instead of a tv and a computer is great. but its' not without its moments of tediousness - waiting in line for coffee and batteries and dinner tables at our favorite restuarant, no tables or outlets at the coffee shop and tons of work to get done... the air of fun and adventure is quickly dwindling.

but - the outage was fun again last night when we roasted marshmallows and made ‘smores over the campfire in our driveway and hung out with neighbors and friends under the moonlit sky. think we'll be lighting another fire tonight. you're welcome to come on over.


Runner Leana said...

I hope your power comes back soon! It sounds like your kids are having a good time playing and being kids in the mean time though.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I didn't realize you guys were without power. Hope it's restored soon! It sounds like you're really making the best of a bad situation, though!

RunToTheFinish said...

That was a fantastic post, for so many reason.. first you showed what people are going through and more importantly you showed what an amazing spirit you have!! Too many people would just be put out or upset, but you're making it work and showing your kids that when life isn't going according to plan you just make a new plan... and this is why I read your blog!

Stuart said...

Glad to see that you're looking at the half full version of life although I see it getting old real fast.

PS who is Dawn and why are you up in her butt crack...sorry couldn't resist!

bsegal said...

I think Dawn is the coffee girl, but thats another story. Hang in, we just got the pwr back like 10 min ago. Nothing worse than waiting for a state employee to hustle.
thanks for bringing the "team bus" sunday. Glad to hear you didn't get blown away. That was a wild ride home, I don't have any desire to do that again.

Nat said...

I remember as a family being without power for four days (back when I was a kid.) Hang in there... it'll come back soon.

Judi said...

Yea, we were out in the winds on Sunday on an 85 mile ride! I posted pix of all the damage we saw. Be glad you are safe and let's HOPE your power is back on by RIGHT NOW! Our corp offices are in Jeffersonville and they wantd us to come down and stay 2 nights and work there - HELL NO.

Hope you are back on the grid by now....


Anonymous said...

I so wish I could come over and have a fire with you in your driveway and roast marshmallows and revel in the fun and the tedium. I wish I could come and give you a hug and help you clean anything else that might need cleaning. I wish I could come play scrabble with you and your kidlets.

I'm glad you're having a bit of fun, making the most of it, and I'm glad you've shared the tedious and irritating bits. I hope you get your power back soon.

I miss you.

ItchyBits said...

Fire in that wind? You are brave. Or maybe the people who raced in it are the brave ones. Now that you are down I can steal your blog template and maybe you won't your template. Did I say that already?

Hey power gods - c'mon with the power!

Groover said...

I only realised how dependent we are on power when we didn't have any for a few hours. It drove me up the wall last summer (Brisbane's famous summer lightning storms) and it was only a few hours and not days. Your post is amazing. Love reading how you make the most of a bad situation. And I can't believe they gave you a parking ticket. That's disgusting!

Laurel said...

Wow, I didn't realize you were being effected by Ike. It seems as though you guys are taking advantage of the situation the best you can. And your kids sound great :)

I don't miss the hurricanes at ALL. I recently came across our "hurricane supply kit" and have a TON of D batteries. I saw them and thought, "What the hell am I going to do with all of these?"

But after losing our power for weeks after Katrina and Wilma a few years back, we stocked up on EVERYTHING!

Good luck, I hope it comes back on soon!

Gotta Run..... said...

OMG!!! well at least the beer did not go bad. Saving chicken only to get a $25 ticket ... now you have to admit that is FUNNY stuff.

Please tell me you have power now??!!

Vickie said...

I can just imagine all the "fun" you've been having with the kids and neighbors and all. And all the news ever focuses on in these storms is the eye of the storm, never the other thousands of people affected by the after effects. Sounds like you survived! Been there, done that. But a week long "camping" does get tedious with 3 or more kids.