Saturday, August 23, 2008

FPL, smell, and hell. (Rated G) Not to be believed, but every word is true!

PS. I was going to add pictures to this post, but my kids used it during the storm to take pictures of all kind of things and AMAZINGLY they didn't put it back where it goes- big shock, eh? I'll post pics of this lovely event later, after I sift through the extension cords and flashlights and find the dang DANG camera. (Using all my self control here.)

Well, I cannot even begin to relay the events of the last 48 hours. But I will try. Our power goes out when the wind blows or when the rain falls on a good day. FPL is our service provider. They came out two days before the storm (we lost power for eight hours before Fay even came near us) and trimmed back some trees hoping that it would keep our power on. No such luck. I was in full disaster preparedness action- filling up water jugs, filling up old flashlights with new batteries, buying a family sized camping lantern, bleach, etc. Thank God for a dear FPL employee named Lee- he was our knight in shining armor twice. Well, we didn't have power for 12 hours- I call my sister and beg her to let the girls sleep at her house- she happily says, " Sure!"- during this time I got 2 calls from people with baby squirrels. Bridges were being closed and all hell was breaking loose outside. One couple came here and the other gal I met. So I had 5 baby squirrels that needed power for their heating pad. Easy- I'll go to Mama's- she's got power. But no air conditioning and it's 83 in her house. So Jon stayed here with no power and hooked up the generator and took care of the rest of the zoo and I slept at Mama's with no air (window open and Fay winds blowing through- it was fine) and got up every 3 hours to feed squirrels. (If you are feeling bad for Jon for being left here, don't- he got the better end of the deal.) It is MY CHOICE and I AM GLAD I AM SAVING THESE TINY LIVES, but I was SOOOO TIRED.
I call Lee on his cell phone ( long story, but I did not flirt with the man, I swear!) and beg him to come. So then dear Lee restored our power at 9:30 am- we cleaned, washed clothes and flushed toilets- BAD IDEA. You see, we are on a septic tank- and our drain field was flooded from the FIFTEEN inches of rain we got. If you are not familiar with the system, basically you have a huge tank in your yard that holds all the solid waste from your home- shower, sinks, toilets- the works. When the water level outside of the tank gets too high, the solids mix with the rain water and back up into your toilets or your yard. Now, this doesn't mean we had solid waste in the yard or the toilets, but it smelled like we did. So all toilets were off limits- we had to close them, close the doors to the bathrooms and not use sinks, showers or washing machines, lest we add MORE water to the already flooded field. So, now we are going to the bathroom, showering and doing laundry at my mom's . THANK GOD SHE HAD POWER. My girls are still at Aunt Susan's from the night before to sleep in a cool house. Thank God for sisters with power and patience. So our house is hot, the dogs are not happy to go out in the POURING RAIN and there is this vague methane odor in the house from the septic system. NICE. JUST LOVELY. Now mind you, during this I am totally focused on the POSITIVE and saying, " Thank you Lord that the kids are safe and comfortable, thank you Lord for Mama and Daddy's house having power, thank you that we have a generator- etc. I am not complaining and whining. I am getting a TAD stressed out, but I am a grateful girl for everything that we DO HAVE.
So when the power comes on, we clean and clean and vacuum and do everything we can because I KNOW IT"S GOING OUT AGAIN. Sure enough at 3:30 that day, the power goes out. But this time the house is at 75 degrees and it's clean- I WAS READY. Lug out the generator again (Jon is at work) and take the girls to ANOTHER friend's house to spend the night. (My dear sister called to let me know we were under a tornado warning and I didn't want the kids here under 150 foot, 100 year old oak trees.) I call Randy and Donna and say, " Can you keep my kids until our power comes back on? We're under a tornado warning and I do not want them here under these huge trees!!! (Keep in mind I am still going to my mom's every two hours to feed the five (six including Sadie) baby squirrels who are thriving and completely unaware of any stress. (I have to insert here- I am still having my intestinal problems and I am having my monthly blessing that tells me I am still capable of populating the earth. I am so so hot, I have cramps, and I have to run to Mama's every time I have to go to the bathroom. Are you getting the full picture here?) Then there's a tornado warning. I take the girls QUICKLY to Donna and Randy's and tell them, "Keep them safe for me, I'll be back when there is power." It is 7:30 pm. Thank God for friends with power who take pity on us. On the way home, I see an FPL truck. I think, " Now, there is a tornado warning, but there is your power saviour." Easy choice, I turn around (it's POURING), get out of my van and knock on his window. Scared the poor man to death. He rolls down his window and I tell my story of woe, very clearly and without emotion. ( I am soaking wet and am clearly no threat to him.) He looks on his computer and THERE WE ARE. He chooses BLESS HIS HEART to come do us now (seven houses are without power in our little area) and without going into the agonizing detail that I could (it was hell and involved calling 4 different neighbors, my husband, etc) I find out where the problem is and he flips a switch and WE HAVE POWER AGAIN. At this point, I tell him which Walgreen's my hubby works at and that if he EVER NEEDS ANYTHING medicinal to call me and that Jon will fill his gout medicine in record time if he ever needs a favor. It is 9:30 by now and it is still POURING. I am soaked and I haven't been home in over 3 hours. (By the way, sometime in all this mess, I called a squirrel rehabber and said, " PLEASE TAKE THESE SIX SQUIRRELS!!!! She met me at Walgreens and took them- thank you Alanna. I was so relieved- I had kept Sadie alive for three weeks and the little ones for almost 48 hours- and I was SO DONE. I walk in the door to LIGHT, AIR and lots of dogs who have either waited frantically for me to come home, or lost their patience and their bladder on the floor. NO BIG DEAL- I AM A HAPPY GIRL. Nothing can make me sad now, because KENT FROM FPL has restored our power. Praise the Lord. My neighbor has moved his car to our driveway because the road from our house to his house is under 20 inches of water. YES, 20 inches. There are fish swimming across our road and a huge gorgeous heron standing there looking regal. Em got pics on her phone. My brother and sister in law saved our kayak from being washed away as Mama and Daddy's little dock was completely under water and the big dock was about to be. So, here I am now, in a cool, clean house, with my dear little computer and a cup of coffee. We will be using Daddy's house for toilets and showers for a while and a septic company comes Tuesday- it's just the rain though, I know the tank doesn't need to be pumped out. The dogs are calm, fed and can now go outside because the RAIN HAS STOPPED. Now, if a certain branch leans on the power line, our power will go out again, but my thermostat is on 73 (mind you we keep our thermostat on 78 or 79 ALWAYS) and I am READY for the power to go out again. I think.

1 comment:

Christa Whitaker said...

OMG! This should be rated X for Xtraordinary feats by "I am woman hear me roar!" .. holy cow! That would be enough to send anybody over the edge!!
We got the hit here down South, but you all got it 10 times worse!
and as for me, I DO know what it means to be on septic during a storm with flood waters! Been there, done tha ( with back up)! Was so happy to get on City sewer last year!
May God continue to bless you and strengthen you.... Christa( ps , now i see why you do the blog!)