Monday, May 2, 2011


And the strange weather continues.  Last Tuesday we broke records for the warmest weather at 27C or so.  On Friday it was all of about 8C.  And in between, on Thursday, was the storm.  Not a rain storm or a snow storm (thank God) but a wind storm.  With gusts of up to 100+kph.  Combined with the over saturated ground, the winds took down entire evergreen trees, roots and all.  The damage was widespread and terrible.  A man was killed when a door that was on his property was hurled into his head by the wind.  Near us an entire front porch was sheared off of a house when a whole tree fell on it.  Thousands upon thousands were without power.  Including us.

The power blipped 4 times on Thursday morning.  Each time it came back in moments, but it's never a good sign in bad weather to have the hydro go wonky.  Then, around 10:30 or so it went out and stayed out.  For 50 hours!

At first it was kind of amusing.  The wind was blowing debris around in a swirly dance and it was fun watching the birds try to fly by against the gusts.  I figured it would only last a few hours though.  I put ice packs in the fridge, just in case.  Hubby got home and we were still without power.  He called his parents, who were also without electricity.  We called around the city and found a restaurant that was open and they took us out for dinner.  Then they returned home to power.  We returned home and lit candles.  My husband hooked up our fridge to a power inverter in his work truck so that we wouldn't lose the contents.

Friday morning found us a little chilly.  Hubby opted to stay home from work to take care of things here and keep the fridge going.  We plugged it in for a bit and "recharged the cold."  Then we packed up the kids and went to our favourite breakfast place for warm food and coffee.  We spent the rest of the morning and afternoon outside, with hubby and his father putting some finishing touches on the kids new playset, which we were very thankful for.  It was quite cool out, and the kids were in their winter coats.  It wasn't a lot warmer inside, so I pulled out our firepit and made a small bonfire to warm us up.  We roasted huge marshmallows and I made some garlic onion bannock over the coals.  I was able to use the side burner on the barbecue to warm some nutmeg and vanilla spiced milk for the kids.  The inlaws had us over for pizza that evening and then the kids hunkered down under very warm blankets.  We stayed up, alternating running the fridge and using the power cord to run the computer to get the taxes done (yeah, we were not on the ball this year).  More candles were burned.  More calls to the hydro company were made.  More promises came forth that did not come to pass.  We ate chips and curled up together. 

It was so cold in the morning.  13C in the house.  And hubby had to go out to help a friend move.  We had been taking it all in stride, as we were more inconvenienced than anything else.  Our home and property had sustained no damage, we were safe, fed and cared for.  But I was still starting to get frustrated by it all.  They were saying that some areas would be without power for days yet.  I feared that we were among them.  Did I mention that the rest of the neighbourhood was up and running?  Since Thursday?  Yep.  There were about 40 of us in a little pocket who were still in the dark, so to speak.

To say that we were grateful to see the red light on the TV come on in the early afternoon on Saturday would be an understatement.  The furnace came on and we were warm again.  We didn't need the work truck idling in the driveway anymore. And once the power had been on for a while and seemed stable, we let out a sigh of relief.

All in all it wasn't a harrowing ordeal by any stretch.  But it did leave us realizing how ill prepared we are for a long term disaster.  Our biggest problem was heat, both for our home and to cook with.  Our camping gear is at the inlaws place.  It will be coming home so that we can at least have the stove here.  The home heat... well that will have to wait until our family room is done and the fireplace is in working order.  It's a wood burning one, but it needs to be inspected and probably needs some work.  I am looking forward to that, as I will be able to cook in it as well.  In the end, though, I am more aware of the power of being deliberately grateful in difficult circumstances.  I am thankful for God's provision and care during what could have been a much worse situation.

And thus continues the strangest Spring I can recall.  We're in May now, with Mother's Day less than a week away and it's time for the gardens to get planted.  But it's still cold and wet and it feels like we somehow lost April.

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