Thursday, July 14, 2011

Evidence of a Storm

How beautiful is this? On our way to the double feature drive-in of the terribly appointed Cars 2 and the awful-didn't-follow-the-book-at-all-in-yet-another-attempt-to-ruin-literature-for-children Mr. Popper's Penguins, I snapped some photos. This is driving over the river. Less than 2 mi. from my home.

So beautiful. Even out the carwindow. Even more lovely since you can't smell it.

Aaaaand here we are. This is at the gas station we had to go to in order to get cash from the ATM. Power outages in mass quantities mean no credit card machines work, you have to actually drive further than usual to get gas because the pumps run on electricity, and your library fines just might be absolved if you're lucky.

Fence down!

Trees were looking like someone just twisted the top of them off, like unscrewing a mason jar.

Closer to home, this is what I saw when picking up Maddie's BFF for a playdate. This is about 1 mi. from my home. The people who live near this debacle just got power back today. They went 4 days without it people....and they are on wells. That means no toilet flushing. No running water. Nothing.

This is the root system of aforementioned tree. There were two such deformities in one yard.

If a tree falls in the woods, and no one hears it....well, I'm sure these people heard it.

The other one.

And while those are some of the biggest I saw, the damage is everywhere. Here are some from my block. My entire neighborhood lost trees just like this.

From further away. I really wish this was the exception, but in fact, it was the rule.

Haven't yet heard if anyone's been hurt, so that is good. While this is bad and losing power sucks, it totally coulda been worse.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Don't Know Whacha Got....Til It's Goooone

Remember that old song, from the 80's or whatever? Who sang it, Skid Row? Some other frizzy hair band? I think they were singing about love, but really, when it comes to "HAVING" and then "HAVING NOT" you could really be singing about anything, right?

In our case, this was demonstrated fervently by the push of some pretty serious storms that pushed through our area on Monday morning. In Hindsight, we probably should have brought the kids to the basement. My good friend Jenny reported swirly cue patterns in her grass. That is super Awesome. Anyway, the storm hit, and luckily I was running late to head to work (as usual). So I waited it out, and am glad I did. Not only did we lose power but over 500 THOUSAND people in the Chicagoland area did as well. Driving in to work I noticed down powerlines, trees, branches that had fallen on name it. It was scary. Super scary in fact.

We have power now, but lost it for about 30 hours with the rest of the hood. Some of our good friends and people in our town are projected to get theirs back, maaaaybe by Friday. That's 5 days, no power. And let me tell you, Monday night was HOT. I am not a fan of airconditioning, but we always have our fans on to move the air. And 90 degree air plus humidity that just sits on your skin with no breeze plus your father's borrowed generator making noise outside your window makes for an uneasy nights sleep.

You don't ever really notice how quiet a house is, even full of people when there is no power. No refrigerator hum. No tick tock of the nightstand clock. No gentle whirrrrr of an overhead fan. No distant buzzing of the closet lights on in the kids' rooms. No neighbor's air conditioners kicking on and off. It is silent and still, and though oddly beautiful, still unnerving.

We are taking the kids tent camping sans electricity for 3 days soon, and after this, I'm sure the novelty has worn out. Although they are excited to sleep in tents, their little bodies crave that electronic stimulation and I'm torn between being horrified that they (and I) are so reliant on devices and rejoicing that they are back on and the kids are drooling in front of Bugs Bunny and leaving me alone. What will happen in a tent with nothing?

Still, we are the lucky ones. We didn't lose any food. We didn't experience any major catastrophies, even though everytime the power goes the kids like to run around yelling that "We're all Gonna DIE!". Somehow we survive. Imagine that. And the kids even got a little bit of a technological detox.

I can find the silver lining anywhere.