Here’s what you’ve missed! There is surprisingly little knitting.
Wednesday, September 15
Fetch Great Gran from the farm so that she can stay with us.
Prepare the bunker. This is the interior hall of our house – the little TV is in the upper left – Great Gran isn’t just staring at the wall. Bake brownies and make soup. The wind picks up.
Evening and Dark:
It gets really windy as the sun goes down, we retire to the bunker to watch Channel 5. The lights flicker a couple times before finally going off around 9:30PM (what’s the deal with hurricanes making landfall at night?). The phone still works. Can’t really hear anything in the bunker – our house is tight!
We begin the long, long night of winding the radio and listening out for tornado watches. We are still listening to Channel 5, they are broadcasting on a radio frequency as well *. Channel 15 in Pensacola has been off for a while: Ivan blew their tower down.
The leak by the fireplace has come back and there is another mysterious leak in one of the kitchen doors.
Thursday, September 16
The eye gets to us around two in the morning. Ivan followed Highway 59 up from Gulf Shores (where it made landfall) right to Bay Minette. The fun part is, I can look out the window right now and see Highway 59. But that does mean that we got a longer break than most people. Angus goes out to use the bushes. It’s pretty creepy out in the eye.
We all sleep through the second half.
It’s still very windy. We go outside to move the truck and promptly get stuck in the wet fill dirt in the front yard. Try manfully for an hour and a half to get it unstuck. Give up. Lots and lots and lots of trees are down all around the house. Lots of trees. At some point the phone line finally breaks.
Load Great Gran into her car to take her home. We can’t get to her house because of the massive cedar tree in the road. We have to go up someone else’s road and drive through the field. There’s a tree on her breezeway but no serious damage. No power, but she does have a phone. She has a generator so she is all set.
Hitch a ride with a neighbor back to town, he yanks our truck out of the mud with a chain. Beautiful afternoon.
Empty our fridge.
No lights, no phone.
Friday, September 17
Shelters are open in Baldwin County, M and I go to provide Emergency Communications (yes, I am a Ham) until they fix the phones. Work on those socks of M’s. Make it to the heel and realize I don’t have the instructions. Do some math. Turn the heel. Get the phone fixed up in my shelter (the last one) and pick up MREs. I love those things. They are very convenient when there is no power.
I discover the cause of the mysterious kitchen leak. That is the worst damage to the house. Hooray for that!
After checking on Great Gran, we take games and brownies to the shelter.
Saturday, September 18
No power. Check on the shelter. Things seem fine so we leave.
At Great Gran’s request, have an aborted trip to Mary Esther to check on the house. Turn back after realizing there is no gas on the way (due to no power) and the detour is Way Long. Will try again tomorrow with more gas cans.
Post Office gets power back and mail resumes.
Visit Winn Dixie with a short list for Great Gran. They don’t have power yet but their generator runs the emergency lights and the register. The experience of walking through the grocery store in the dark, noticing what people buy as “storm food” (there is no ravioli but loads of spaghetti-o’s) is Just Surreal. Employees are cleaning out the freezers (cart loads of chicken). I am a little dazed by the whole thing until I get to the ice cream freezer. All that ice cream. I would have helped them eat it when the power went out. That makes me teary.
Sunday, September 19
Make it to Mary Esther. Remember the pier?
See the tree in the lift? It’s like the Boat Fairy came.
More trees. One of the smaller cedars is on the roof. Since that’s the only one I’m worried about (is there a hole under the branches?), find a guy and give him cash to take it down. No hole. There is a bite taken out of the eaves on the other side (tree), but it didn’t get the roof part so that’s good. Take lots of pictures for Great Gran. Clean out fridge. Mary Esther has power.
MRE for lunch (bean and rice burrito) and the long trip home.
Return to find that Great Gran got her lights back.
Still no lights at our house but a neighbor has duct-taped the phone line together.
Monday, September 20, 2004
Loggers come for the good trees.
I start putting everything back together.
No lights. More MREs
M borrows a generator so that he can hook up his computer to work.
I plug in the little TV to see what is going on in the world.
Tuesday-Friday (September 21-24)
Loggers take away 6 truck-loads of trees, M works, I clean, Farm for supper, no lights. I can see the neighbors’ houses for the first time. I work a little on M’s vest and then tear the whole thing out because it has been on the needles so long there is a line. Sigh.
Saturday, September 25
Lawn is mowed (yay!).
Lights! I heart power guys! I turn on lots of lights and buy ice cream for the freezer.
I re-do the band on the front of the vest.
*Once the worst part of the storm was past Mobile, they stopped giving useful information about where the storm actually was. I am still mad at them. And they kept forgetting that they were on the radio. Telling us that you are showing us a picture of the storm doesn’t help AT ALL. Grrrrr.