It happened. We were hit by Hurricane Sandy. I had relatives calling from FL to see how we were doing instead of me calling them. Sort of a switcharoo. Of course, we didn’t get near the damage or water that NJ got or half their problems either. But let me recap and fill you in on our exciting week. =)
My in-laws were visiting that weekend so there was a total of 12 kids (10 and under) and 3 adults in my house. We heard the storm might be coming and Monday morning we did a bit of research and decided it would be best if the in-laws hung around rather than rushing to try to make it home before the storm hit. I’m glad they stayed. I filled some jugs with drinking water and we battened down the hatches in preparation for the high winds that were expected to hit us that night.
We were warned that the storm would cause power outages (not surprising) and so I thought we would go ahead and do our major cooking meal that evening, hopefully before the power went out and save some of the less work intensive meals for later. Ha! We were getting ready to cook it when the lights went out. But never fear the back-up plan was the grill that we had moved into the garage (with an open window). So, armed with flashlights and cooking utensils we moved our cooking out to the cold, rather dark garage.
Inside the house the kids were warned about flushing toilets, new hand washing routines, don’t knock over candles, placement of flashlights for emergency purposes, and bedtime arrangements were considered. Candles were lit and placed strategically, the two kerosene lanterns I had available for use were lit and placed in the kitchen and my heavy duty flashlight was dug out from its hiding place (so the kids don’t wear out the batteries). The kids all thought this was great fun. =)
Then during the cooking of supper I heard something that did not sound good to me. I was looking out windows trying to locate the source when my sister-in-law came in from the garage and informed me that I had just lost my pavilion (which is connected to my shed). Time for some damage control.
My first thought was the shed. I ran out for a quick check and discovered that the pavilion had also taken a bit of the roof of the shed with it. Not a lot of rain and too much wind so I didn’t bother trying to cover anything. I just shut off all the breakers in the breaker box and ran outside quick to see if I could find out where the pavilion had gone. Thankfully it was blown into the field behind us and not over into the house.
Nothing else to do so I headed back to the safety of my house. The wind always makes an awful noise up here on the hill so that didn’t really worry me. We did end up putting the kids in the basement to sleep so that if something did happen with windows and the like they would at least be safe and away from the mess. Praises to the Lord again for making that precaution unnecessary.
By the adult bedtime the wind had died down (although they were predicting that we were still going to get hit by the back side of the storm) and I felt reasonably sure that the worst of it was over.
The next morning was interesting.
We have a water barrel system that collects rain from the shed roof and I was planning on using that for our water supply (that’s a lot of people using toilets), but we really hadn’t gotten a whole lot of rain and the wind that took the pavilion also removed the gutters which meant no water in the rain barrels. So we began a water collection system from the gutters of the house (which sustained no damage) and I put the big boys in charge of that. They thought it was great fun and kept us supplied with water till Thursday when the power finally came back on.
The in-laws left Wednesday morning which actually cooled the house down considerably (not necessarily a good thing) so we kept our wood stove going full blast. We drank lots of hot drinks, put on sweaters, hung up a few blankets, played downstairs rather than upstairs, and enjoyed what sunshine we got as long as we could.
What was funny was that at the beginning of the school year I promised my kids that at some point we would have a pioneer day like the Ingalls in “Little House on the Prairie” and I would turn off all the electricity and we would cook on the wood stove and all sorts of fun stuff like that. My plans did not include a lack of electricity for half a week! =) But we had fun. We even heated water and gave them all baths in a big plastic tub that I have. They learned why the pioneers went to bed when the sun went down. They realized just how much we rely on electricity which the pioneers didn’t have. And they got a smidgen of an idea of how much work went into a pioneer’s day just for survival . . . or at least Mom did. =)
So, all-in-all Hurricane Sandy was kinda fun. The in-laws here for half of it made it more interesting and enjoyable, the stuff we learned was great, and my appreciation for dishwashers, washing machines, working toilets, and electricity in general has been bumped up a notch or two.
Thanks to all of you who thought of us and prayed for our safety. It really could have been so much worse. God was and does continue to be good.