So I said I wouldn’t or wasn’t going to do a post about this but..I have to. So I was well (kinda) prepared for this hurricane. Yes, we had a mild earthquake here on Tuesday, August 23rd and we had a Hurricane  Sat/Sun, August 27th/28th. See, we don’t see much around this area in the respect of major weather catastrophes – lots of snow and heavy winds but not Category 4 & 5 Hurricanes. However, our eastern neighbors by the Lehigh and Delaware Rivers see flooding an awful lot and it is serious. So this was a big event for an area that usually sees normal weather patterns.

Anyway, I figured on we’d get heavy winds, rain and some fallen branches but not huge flooding. So we had candles, food, water the normal. I was prepared…

…I have spiffy rain boots…

…Okay so I wasn’t totally prepared for what actually happened. I was a little nervous but not so worried. I figured we’d lose power (we lost it a about a year and a half ago during a windy thunderstorm – and we were in the dark for 5/6 hours).  Any way the heavy rains came around 9:30pm, (I think).  So I showered and washed/dried a load of laundry. Why? I don’t know but it was a good thing I did. Because around 12:30am flicker-flicker-dark. Yup we were in the dark. No power – no electric, no hot water cut off.

So we lit the candles – I called and reported the outage, shut off my phone and went to sleep tried to sleep. I slept little until 7:30 am –  we still had no power but the storm had settled to just random rain and wind. I tried to call the power company again for updated and was met with over loaded call volumes and disconnected. So sitting wondering when power would come back we roughed it again… we are fortunate to have a wood stove. So it comes in handy when we need essential things like food and…

...hot water...

...we made coffee....

...eggs...

...and kept water and coffee hot, through the afternoon.

So, we had food and hot water for dishes and stuff. We were just without communications and the cell towers had to be a bit discombobulated because I had a rough time sending texts and making calls.

We decided to take a walk/drive. We walked the block and noticed a local store pitching ice (because they had no power and things were melting) so we scored $1/a bag of ice. We got the car and headed to see the small strip of Chestnut Street in Emmaus. Everything was totally out all the traffic lights running on generators. We headed back home and put all our perishable foods on ice. We were now 12 hours without power.  And wondering when things would be back to normal.

We sat by the radio and played games, waiting.

Nearly, the whole 10+ block grid of Emmaus was out of power…this was huge. Surrounding boroughs and townships had power. Grocery stores and Wal-Mart also had power – however, the usually short trip took longer because of winds, downed trees and creek flooding in roadways. My mother, brother and niece took a trip out to Home Depot and then Wal-Mart for supplies – kerosene for lamps and batteries and a much needed…

...car cell phone charger. For updates on news etc.

They came back just as my frustration had peaked…. I was getting so annoyed that my phone was unable to show any of the local news apps and the local AM stations were NOT doing a better job of covering updates on the storm and power outages. I found out from a friend in the next town over that the Gov was going to be speaking and that the local stations were telling folks to go online for updates. UM, HELLO HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS ARE WITHOUT POWER. There is no way to get updates other than radio…which by the way did not stop “omega three capsule broadcasting” to let folks hear the Governors news conference. So I left to go to my dad’s who had power to charge my phone in the event that we were again without power. However, out power came on and stayed on YAY!!! (at about 3:15pm). So grateful that we made it through. It could have been worse, MUCH MUCH worse.

Sure we had an exhausting day. We suffered only minor setbacks and annoyances. We had more resources than most in a situation like this…

...very little damage. Just twigs and branches to clean up.

We had some minor water on our porch.

And…..

...these handy, dandy lanterns from the Dollar Tree. 'Cause when you gotta go...

…even in the dark…we managed to improvise. We made it through. I am still thinking and praying for our neighbors and neighboring states who are without power, have damage and flood water damage. Praying that help is on the way and where it is needed.

Stay tuned for Part II as I ventured around yesterday to parts “underwater”. And now I am signing off as I have just received a call from the power company that we will lose power again at 4:30 for two-hours for repair to the local substation this time I am prepared. 🙂

Blessings and Prayers,

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It was a jam-packed Saturday and I was feeling indisposed – just great! After a busy week of work, excercise, appointments and disappointments – I needed some time. I needed time to do more stuff, catch up on all my backed up work  and struggling for material, housework, vacuuming, cooking and scheduling. Did I mention I wasn’t tired?!?! What in the world?  I had so much to do and I was stressed – not tired- just stressed. Yet, I felt physically drained, mentally unwilling to complete any of these tasks and alone – in the dark. What am I to do? Well I decided to do the laundry – yes a collection of laundry baskets  had been adorning my “rather small” bedroom for months. It was time to go through it and put it in the drawers instead of just taking the clothes out of the dryer and throwing them into the clean laundry basket 🙂 to sift through when I needed  socks. Ok so the laundry was put away and there was a load in the washer – I was prepared to tackle that when I returned home, followed by vacuuming and cooking :-).

 I headed out to the store and interruption #1 – the gas points at GIANT were due to expire that day – so the entire city of Allentown was out to fuel up. Never mind I will come back later. After a quick run through the store, I headed home. Interruption #2 – my dear nephew (who is only a few years younger than I ) came by to use the computer. Which, by the way, I feel is terminal – hard drive may go at anytime – so I am uncomfortable with anyone using it. But I decided to share for a bit and that way I could tackle the laundry (drying), vacuuming and food preparations. 

 I gathered my materials on the kitchen counter – determined to bang out my work later on in the evening. And then it happened yes, three is a charm or a curse – interruption #3 – an Electrical Power Outage. Now I, we were in total darkness. What in the world to do now? With the little light I had left my step father handed me the flash light so I could find my cell phone and some candles. I called the power company only to find that we would be without power for the next 5 or 6 hours.

I found our box of advent candles, and set them up around our great room/kitchen since we’d be in the dark for a while. Mom decided to start our wood stove up since that would take the chill out of the air and as this happened it dawned on me that this “major interruption”  was not going to be so bad. See I was stressed to the max, I was busy all week and this Saturday was looking like it was going to be no different – until the power outage –  no telephone (well the fully charged cell phone worked :-), no tv, no computer, no coffee pot, no heat – completely cut off, from modern electrical conveniences – I had picked up some batteries at the store so the radio was on 😉 But we had to get conventional and a “bit” old-fashioned. This handy wood stove we have in our kitchen really saved the night. With our collection of newspapers, we had plenty of heat and enough to warm up some soup and water for tea. The night really came together and “brought us together”. We sat around the “fiery wood stove” and made paper logs and listened to the radio as we waited for the lights to kick back on. Though I rarely watch the tv, I missed it a bit – just because I couldn’t watch it, I felt the sudden urge for some coffee, even though it was 8PM. All these things that I really didn’t need or needed a break from suddenly haunted me a bit. And made me feel helpless like I was unable to cope with this darkness, this helpless feeling, this time when I really just needed to keep it simple, quiet and  “uninterrupted”. Wait but this was an interruption? Yes, this was an interruption from the distractions (telephones, YouTube, Tweetdeck notifications, TV) that were keeping me from focusing on work and important things (time with God, family, prayer and rest). So I had to spend a few hours in the same room with my family. The evening was filled with civil conversation, peace and a few other things:

Warm Glow

...a simple meal...

...some improvising....

....some folded laundry....

...a phone chit chat..."Yes, I even made dinner."

....clean dishes (we used the hot water from the wood stove)....

...battery operated, music...

and finally a bed time snack...since it was melting anyway!

 The night wasn’t that bad, I did get a lot of stuff done and most of what was on the list just in a different way. This small and short interruption brought out some critical thinking, togetherness and time away from distractions. When the stress piled up, I feel that God knew that we needed a break from our distractions. We weren’t miserable or crabby or worried (at least I wasn’t). I prayed for the utility workers that had to work in the rain (yeah electricity and rain there is just something scary about it – not sure why j/k) No seriously – we were inconvenienced for a night but we were safe and in no harm. And we have no idea who had to come out in the rain and ‘risk’ safety and security to restore our electricity. The simple blessings like a wood stove, a can of Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup, salad and a box of candles – allowed the basic necessities to get us through the “storm” and power outage. It wasn’t that bad and it wasn’t that dark and we weren’t alone.

 Thank you, God, for this interruption and this opportunity to get away from the distractions that have been consuming me.  The opportunity to sit in the warm glow and peaceful quiet and listen and hear your voice was just awesome. A peacful night’s rest led into another day and another opportunity to see how blessed I am  – no catastrophe, no spilled or spoiled milk and the electric bill was high anyway – it was nice to know that it was off for a few hours ;-). All we needed was the simple things, family, quietness and God.