Monday, July 2, 2012

Derecho

We have a new word in our vocabulary. A derecho is a  storm that travels in a straight line at high speeds. One hit the Washington area around 10 PM on Friday night, bringing down trees and power lines, snapping telephone poles in half like broken pencils. We woke on Saturday with no A/C and heard that we might have to wait a week to get power again. The weather forecast called for "hot and humid" weather through the Fourth of July. The temperature reached 100 Saturday and Sunday. 

It was a trying weekend. The younger daughter (Becky), husband, and four-year-old checked into a motel Saturday night. That meant their horse of a mutt, Sophie, had to come here. She was here last weekend while they were away and she leaked the whole time. I began calling her Mademoiselle OuiOui. She was put on an antibiotic, which seemed to stop the leakage. However, she is fiendishly clever at spitting out pills, so maybe she skipped a dose at our house. Anyway, she started leaking again yesterday. 

The older daughter. husband, and nine-year-old son went to a relative's house in Saint Michael's, on Maryland's Eastern Shore on Sunday morning, not knowing when their power would be back on.  Before they left, they brought us a huge bag of ice.

Nothing thawed in our freezer, fortunately. The leftover chicken in the refrigerator had to be thrown out on Sunday, but we put the milk and other perishables on ice. We have a mini-fridge in "the addition"--what used to be Mom's room--which I had been meaning to defrost for months. Well, the storm initiated that project, but I didn't know about it until I found the soaked carpet. 

The power came on at 2 PM on Sunday. The land line worked again, the A/C came on, the LCDs on the oven and microwave began blinking merrily. Our younger daughter and her family were back home. Their power was restored on Sunday morning. The Tree Hugger and I left two dogs and a cat in a cooling house at 4  to take "Mlle. OuiOui" home. After dropping her off, we stopped at Baskin and Robbins for an ice cream cone. They were closed. The Chinese restaurant next door was open, so I bought some General Tso's chicken for myself. (The Tree Hugger avoids  Chinese food because sodium raises his blood pressure.)

On the way home, I held the hot dinner in my lap because I no longer had the sense to put it on the floor.  We noticed that one or two of the traffic lights near home, which had been working when we left, were now dark again. So were all the houses on the way to our house. Uh oh

When we got home, we found we were completely locked out. Couldn't raise the electric-powered garage door,  couldn't get in through the patio doors, couldn't get in the front door. We'd started locking the storm door because of all the recent burglaries. Neither of us had thought to add the key to our rings. Our neighbor said BGE promised to have the power back on again around 7:30.  So we went back to Becky's, with me still hugging the hot carryout. The Tree Hugger decided to hell with his low-sodium diet, so he, our daughter, and I shared the carryout.  Around 8, we left for home, worried about the pets.

The power was still out. The Tree Hugger was getting ready to break the garage window when I saw that one of the front porch windows was unlocked. It took a lot of pulling and tugging, but the TH finally got it open far enough for to wriggle through. Quite a feat for a 72-year-old to enter his house head first.  So we were in.

An hour later, the power came on. That time for good, we hope. 

3 comments:

PseudoPiskie said...

Oh, the things that make memories!

Bex said...

Oh my, that was quite a harrowing experience! I've wondered how the people in the D.C. area have been faring. I lived there a couple of lifetimes ago myself. It was brutal in the summer and back in the 1960's, when I was there, I had no A/C and not even a small fan! Glad your animals survived..I worry over them a lot.

Nancy Chisum said...

Wow, what a nightmare! Maybe instead of "Derecho" they should call it "Dammit"! In any case it sure makes one realize how dependent we are on electricity. I am glad you got through it all but sure hope you don't have anything quite that harrowing to deal with again!