babyhood / children and nature / family / home / life on thomas run

Goodnight, Irene.

09.02.11

goodnight, Irene

Oh my. Hello from the long-awaited land of lights that turn on, toilets that flush, washing machines that hum, water that runs from the tap. 

Hurricane Irene hit us at 2am last weekend and by 3am, we had lost our power. By 7am, trees were still falling down, even after holding out so long through the storm. 

It was an adventure at first. So fun! So exciting! We're like pioneers! 

I had written this fun little post in my head highlighting all the great fun we were having on our adventure:

Haha! The outfits Elizabeth has been putting together when she can't find clothes in her dark bedroom!

goodnight, Irene

Haha! Look at Birdy playing in the puddles!

goodnight, Irene

Haha! She's so dirty! She's having such a good time!

goodnight, Irene

Haha? I don't have a way to wash those clothes!

Haha? I just ruined those cute leggings!

Haha? I don't have a way to give her a bath!

By Tuesday, it was no longer fun. 

Tuesday night (I think it was Tuesday. At this point, it all becomes a blur.), we hit a low point. Little Mary was suffering from a migraine. A doozy which was accompanied by throwing up (haha! towels I can't wash!). It was pitch black in the house. Birdy was toddling around, tripping, banging herself about, screaming. Dan went to turn on the generator that had been powering our freezer, in order to at least turn on a light….Nothing. Broken. No generator. All children exhausted, crying. (I know you mamas know what it's like when ALL your children are crying simultaneously.) Mary, still sick. Grumpiness. Yes, there was much grumpiness. And all in pitch blackness. 

But you know, I believe, now that I'm on this side of it, I can probably pull a little light from this darkness. 

goodnight, Irene

We talked to and helped our neighbor more in the last week, than we have in the last month. 

Driving through developments, I saw more children outside playing, than I think I ever have. It was like spotting some rare, endangered species on the side of the road.

I met neighbors up the road, that I've never even seen before. Standing outside, one lady holding her glass of wine, talking to the neighbor in his flourescent yellow tshirt–the mark of a county roads man, talking to the old man, unshaven and a little greasy (aren't we all?) whose suspenders hold up his ratty old khaki pants. And me. All of us laughing about how tough it's been. Talking about what we've done to survive.

And I thought, "We can do this. When we're put to little tests like this, we can all be pretty tough and pretty resourceful." That's not to say I didn't have my moments. That one morning, I decided to just crawl back in bed and hide for a few minutes (or maybe it was an hour). 

But we survived. We can be tough. My husband, toughest of all. We can haul water from the stream to the toilets. And take our showers in the freezing cold spring-fed pool at my granparents' farm. And eat a lot of cereal. And figure out a way to make chocolate chip pancakes even though there's no electricity.

We can do it, if we must.

But still…. hello. And still….it's good to be back.

So, so good.

goodnight, Irene

Oh my. Hello from the long-awaited land of lights that turn on, toilets that flush, washing machines that hum, water that runs from the tap. 

Hurricane Irene hit us at 2am last weekend and by 3am, we had lost our power. By 7am, trees were still falling down, even after holding out so long through the storm. 

It was an adventure at first. So fun! So exciting! We're like pioneers! 

I had written this fun little post in my head highlighting all the great fun we were having on our adventure:

Haha! The outfits Elizabeth has been putting together when she can't find clothes in her dark bedroom!

goodnight, Irene

Haha! Look at Birdy playing in the puddles!

goodnight, Irene

Haha! She's so dirty! She's having such a good time!

goodnight, Irene

Haha? I don't have a way to wash those clothes!

Haha? I just ruined those cute leggings!

Haha? I don't have a way to give her a bath!

By Tuesday, it was no longer fun. 

Tuesday night (I think it was Tuesday. At this point, it all becomes a blur.), we hit a low point. Little Mary was suffering from a migraine. A doozy which was accompanied by throwing up (haha! towels I can't wash!). It was pitch black in the house. Birdy was toddling around, tripping, banging herself about, screaming. Dan went to turn on the generator that had been powering our freezer, in order to at least turn on a light….Nothing. Broken. No generator. All children exhausted, crying. (I know you mamas know what it's like when ALL your children are crying simultaneously.) Mary, still sick. Grumpiness. Yes, there was much grumpiness. And all in pitch blackness. 

But you know, I believe, now that I'm on this side of it, I can probably pull a little light from this darkness. 

goodnight, Irene

We talked to and helped our neighbor more in the last week, than we have in the last month. 

Driving through developments, I saw more children outside playing, than I think I ever have. It was like spotting some rare, endangered species on the side of the road.

I met neighbors up the road, that I've never even seen before. Standing outside, one lady holding her glass of wine, talking to the neighbor in his flourescent yellow tshirt–the mark of a county roads man, talking to the old man, unshaven and a little greasy (aren't we all?) whose suspenders hold up his ratty old khaki pants. And me. All of us laughing about how tough it's been. Talking about what we've done to survive.

And I thought, "We can do this. When we're put to little tests like this, we can all be pretty tough and pretty resourceful." That's not to say I didn't have my moments. That one morning, I decided to just crawl back in bed and hide for a few minutes (or maybe it was an hour). 

But we survived. We can be tough. My husband, toughest of all. We can haul water from the stream to the toilets. And take our showers in the freezing cold spring-fed pool at my granparents' farm. And eat a lot of cereal. And figure out a way to make chocolate chip pancakes even though there's no electricity.

We can do it, if we must.

But still…. hello. And still….it's good to be back.

So, so good.

24 comments on “Goodnight, Irene.”

  1. Oh, my what an adventure! As soon as I saw those mud puddle pics I though, ‘how in the world will she wash them?!’. Glad to hear you’re up and running again.

  2. So glad you have power and running water, relish in it today, we did not lose power but our neighbors did and I have been a bit more mindful and thankful for these luxuries we have ever since. I was also glad that we were able to help some of them out with our two generators.

  3. What an adventure! I think in the end you remember these events fondly. My boys remember when we had a power outage for a week when they were in preschool and kindergarten. It was winter time and they collected icicles in a bucket so that we could melt them to flush the toilet. They also got to pee outside behind the barn! All fun stuff to a kid.

    It is a good family bonding thing to work through. Something that you all do together makes it fun.

    Welcome back.

  4. I’ve been waiting for a blog post with this title – you get the prize! Ok, not a real prize, but I commend you for your positive attitude and hardiness!

  5. So good to have you back safe. What an adventure! It is so good to know we can make it, but so good to have everything back. Enjoy your running water and electricity this week. I hope it is a smooth one.

  6. We don’t even realize what we have everyday as a “given”. By WE I mean me, my family, most of my friends, and just about everybody else that has NEVER experienced life for more than a few hours without the things we all have as a constant, until we don’t.

    Love you girl! I think you’re pretty tough yourself. Bad ass, really.

    What a world we live in! Truly spectacular. I’m so glad you all are well and on this side of it…Goodnight Irene!

  7. OH. MY. WORD. Yeah, I never would have survived as a pioneer. My sister spins with some lovely ladies who call others either “pioneer stock” or “not pioneer stock”. Hmmm…. I mean, I can camp, but I can’t go too long without electricity! I guess you’ll be doing laundry for a while…. glad you are ok.

  8. I am glad you are safe and through it. When we lost power for a week b/c of a windstorm 2 summers ago it stopped being fun, um, immediately. I’m grateful for our conveniences, and the experiences that make me appreciate them more! Glad all is restored with your family.

  9. I have been wondering how you are doing. We survived 16 days after Hurricane Ike without power. Not fun when it’s 98 out with 90% humidity! Everyone on our street stood on their lawns and cheered the electricity crews when they finally made it to our neighborhood. I seriously could not have been a pioneer woman! So glad you now live in the land of modern conveniences once again!

  10. Wow! What an adventure. I do know what it’s like to not have any toilet for over twenty-four hours, however, we had power at that time and it certainly didn’t go on and on. So glad you’re all okay, and you can look at the bright side as you have!

  11. Oh I hear you. It can be done, we can find out a lot about ourselves and what we take for granted…but….really? Do we want to? We travelled from costal CTto VT to avoid the hurricane, got clocked in VT- watching flooding coming up our street. Our house up there didn’t loose power, or flood. Our house down here did flood, but we’ve had power the whole time. Just no hot water for a week as the boiler got swamped. We were so lucky really, but what would do for a hot bath!

  12. Have been watching for you post and wondering how you were managing after the storm. What an ordeal! I am thankful you have electricity and running water again!

  13. This is so well written! I was with you all of the way on this. I know those posts in your head, that ideal turned into reality, that funny that turns out not quite so funny. Thank you for this and glad that you figured out a way to make chocolate chip pancakes without electricity (how???).

  14. oh molly, welcome back. good for you, for pulling through, and for digging out the bright bits.

    we lost power once in washington for 10 days (!), and around day 3, i decided i NEEDED coffee. being the resourceful pioneer-type myself, i decided that between my mortar and pestle, a match, and my gas stove, we could git her done. I pounded. I lit. I caught a flame. I boiled. I poured hot water over bashed grounds. I inhaled. I dreamed. Finally, finally, I took a long-awaited sip … and spit it all out. Turns out the last thing I’d used my mortar and pestle for was mashing dried mexican chilis … making for one HOT cup of coffee!

    I trust your pancakes turned out better 🙂

  15. Oh my gosh! Hot coffee indeed! Thnx for the giggle 🙂 Also, to Molly of the hurricane, glad to hear you all made it through alright!

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