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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Blizzard, Part 2

Well, in spite of an amazing blizzard that hit New England over the weekend, we survived fairly unscathed. For those of you who don’t know, we live in Connecticut which was one of the states hardest hit by the storm. We ended up postponing the trip by one day because we lost power at the house. Friday night everything was going along smoothly inside the house. Outside, it was snowing hard, and we could hear the wind whistling outside. We had dinner, washed our clothes for our upcoming trip to Las Vegas just in case the power went out, and were sitting on the couch watching, ”American Pickers.” A few times during the evening, the power went out but came right back on momentarily so we were counting out blessings. But at 9:47 p.m., the house went totally black, and this time, the power did not come back on. We had flashlights all ready to go, so we turned them on. With no light, there was not a lot we could do, so we got ready for bed and read by flashlight for awhile. The next morning, when we woke, it was still snowing. Not as hard, but the snow was still coming down. I thought it was beautiful, but Chuck was not as enthused! In fact he began to be quite worried about the water pipes freezing. The dog had to go out so we hooked her up to the dog run. There was so much snow on the stairs, she refused to walk down them and stayed on the top of the deck where Chuck had shoveled a flat area for her. He then shoveled the snow of the stairs while I shoveled a path for her in the yard so she could get out there and do her business. The snow was up a little bit past my knees. She followed the path I had made but veered off it and kept losing her balance as she decided to try to go to the bathroom off the path. I guess she and Chuck have neatness in common! Chuck shoveled a path to bring the generator down out of the garage to the area under the porch where the plug was. Together, we rolled it down the snowy slope, and plugged it in. It worked…for about 45 minutes, then conked out. The trouble seemed to be old gasoline that had been sitting around for about 18 months since Hurricane Irene. For the rest of the day, we read and did a few things around the house, although it was getting rather cold in the house. It was down to 57 degrees when we woke up in the morning. That’s not cold for outside, but inside a house, it feels pretty chilly. We walked around in layers of clothes, including bathrobes, and I had an extra blanket around me as well. By lunchtime, it had stopped snowing, but the trees were bowed over with the weight of the heavy snow. Chuck had called a guy to plow our driveway the night before. He said he would do it in 2 stints so he wouldn’t have to plow it all at once. He had come late Friday night. By 2:00 p.m. he hadn’t come back, although the snow had stopped. Chuck was concerned about us not being able to get out of the driveway to make it to the airport. I looked at the driveway and noticed there were a lot of heavy, snow covered branches hanging down over the driveway. We spent about 1 hour out there banging show off the branches so they would go back up to their normal height. There was one large branch that had broken off due to the weight of the snow. Chuck had to get a saw and saw it off. We finally had most of the branches out of the way, but not without some casualties. Chuck had a small cut on his face from where a branch had hit him, and my fingers were frozen so much that they hurt. I had gotten pelted with a lot of falling chunks of snow, but nothing too bad. At 5:00 p.m. Chuck called the neighbors to ask if they knew anyone who could plow us out. The snow was extremely heavy because it had snowed the night before about 6 inches, then rained, froze overnight and then another 12 inches fell. This made the snow quite heavy to shovel. The neighbor found someone who came and plowed part of the driveway, enough to let us out of the garage. Saturday night we had a fire in the fireplace. It wasn’t very warm unless you happened to be right up close next to the fire. I mentioned this to Chuck and he said that’s because it was a fireplace for show, not for function. There were no ventilators to let the heat into the house. We spent about 4 hours huddled up next to the fireplace, again with layered clothing, bathrobes and blankets around us. I will never forget sitting across from Chuck, in to separate chairs, 18 inches away from the fireplace, with the dog between us in her bad, also covered with a blanket. We ate cold salads with leftover cut up steak and chunks of cheese for dinner. It was nourishing but something hot at that point was what I was longing for. At 10:00 p.m., we again got ready for bed. The temperature, even with the fireplace on, had now slipped down to a chilly 54 degrees. I tried to read in bed but it was too cold to even do that. We went to sleep, and Chuck was quite alarmed in the morning when the temperature inside was only 47 degrees. He decided to postpone our trip to Las Vegas by one day to see if he could do something with the generator. After calling a friend who helped him siphon out the old gas, they went to get new gas from a gas station and lo and behold, it worked. By noon, the temperature inside the house was up to a whopping 50 degrees and climbing all the time. I had to venture out to pick my parents up from a cruise in a town 30 minutes away. I was a bit nervous about driving, but while the side roads were pretty bad, especially for my small Toyota Yaris hatchback, the main roads were fine. As I got closer to the town I had to meet them in, I realized that there was power in the towns north of us. All the towns along the coast, including Old Lyme, were hit with very fierce winds, which is why we lost power. The towns North of us still had power, but got a bit more snow. While I was driving my parents home ( can you imagine coming back from 8 days in the Caribbean to 25 inches of snow?!!!) Chuck called to say the power was back on. I could hear the huge sense of relief in his voice. We dropped the dog off with my parents, and are ready to go to Las Vegas! (I will bring you up to date on Las Vegas soon...we are here and are enjoying the 60 degree weather...sorry for those of you back in cold Connecticut!)

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