Tuesday Dec 11th - 1:30 a.m. – Day I
Thunderstorm, lightning, rain which turns to ice and my power goes out. I rolled over and went back to sleep between various horrific crashes that startle my dog into a nervous wreck, thinking it'd be back on in a few minutes.
I don’t know what time I finally got up, but the first thing I did was make a dash to all my windows to check out the damage. I wasn’t disappointed. A tree-sized branch was laying atop my precious car that I parked behind my house the night before to avoid the tree in front falling on it. I don’t think you can see it from the picture, but the line – the one that supplies power to my house – is what prevented it from going through my windshield. At first I thought it had, since the layer of ice coating my car was shattered and I couldn’t get close enough to tell.
The house behind me, a vacant rental, had a couple power/telephone lines down as well, likely the one that was attached to the one on my car, and a few days later when I looked again, they had even more down.
I stayed home on Tuesday until about 8 p.m. I had nothing to do of course, because I had no computer, no TV, no heat; I laid around reading until it got too dark to do that. I wore layers of clothing, even gloves and a little beanie hat. I was the epitome of warm.. Or homeless. I was still freezing a bit though. This One called me every few hours to make sure I hadn’t frozen to death. That was his excuse anyway, but I suspect it was just because he wanted to hear my squeaky boring Midwestern cat-scaring accent.
Mom came over at 8 and I went out to her van to blast the heater full force. Mom's power was out too. She calls her parents to check on theirs and was told that theirs was out earlier, but was back on by this time. We were invited over, but I refused to leave Dingo behind, and Grandma suggested we stay at Granny's house.
Granny's house is empty now, she moved into a nursing home. There's no furniture or phone, but there is heat.
I covered my 30 gallon fishtank and threw a towel over the 10 gallon. What else could I do? And I headed out.
I cranked the heat at Granny’s and threw some blankets on the floor, including a sleeping bag my Grandma sent me.
My cell phone rings around 8:30 and for the next 4 1/2 hours I talk to JDV who again I suspect had ulterior motives; this time in the form of a game that wasn’t really even a game – at least not two sided. Regardless, he almost “won” until my call waiting buzzed me at 12:30 a.m. and I clicked over to my Mom saying “are you still awake? I’m cold. Can I come over?”
Wednesday Dec 12th – Day II
Mom left at 6 a.m. and I never really did get back to sleep. I texted and read the one book that at least I was smart enough to grab in the dark at my house. Mom took off an hour early for lunch, at 11 and called me from her house to tell me that she’d lost all her fish. At 12ish she picked me up and we went to my house where all of my Angels and 5 out of 6 of my betas were dead. The 6th beta wasn’t looking very good at all, and I almost left him because I was pretty sure he was dead before I even left my house. He flicked a fin though, and I threw him in a little beta cup and took him back to Granny’s with me. Once he “defrosted” a bit, he recovered and is back to as normal as betas ever get. He was sitting on the livingroom mantle, in front of the mirror, flaring at himself. Good to see things as usual. Hateful little fish.
I had two plecostamous in my 30 tank that were still alive, as well as two tetras and a loach. I called Rydar to ask him could I put my remaining fish in his tank (he never did lose power). His tank isn’t heated, but it still had to be much warmer than mine. He said I could, but it’d be later that evening as he was working and I didn’t have a car to get up there to do it myself.
Mom called the electric company, for about the 17th time in one day to tell them, again, that I couldn’t move my car with a tree on it, which I couldn’t move as long as it was dangling from a power line. She was told it’d be 7-10 days before we’d have power back and if it was an emergency, to call 911 to have the wire removed.
Back at Granny’s house, my Grandpa brought me chairs, a small TV and an air mattress. He left and returned again to bring me the remote and antenna for the TV. My Grandma sent instant coffee, tea, spoons, cups, and a pan to “heat it up in”. But there was no stove! She laughed when I reminded her. It’s funny how you don’t think of things like that.
At that point in my life, my Grandparent’s were my favorite people, ever.
At about 8:30 p.m., Rydar called me to say that he had talked to some guy outside my house who said that it’d probably be tomorrow before I’d have power. He came to pick me up and when we got to my house, I had lost the two plecos that originally survived. I fished out the two dying tetras and the loach and put them in a pitcher and sent them to Rydar’s house. They recovered, and are still doing fine.
Thursday Dec 13th – Day III
Mom’s power came back on on Thursday. She lives about 6 blocks from me. My power was still out, and the tree was still on my car. The two houses at the end of the block on my side are lit, but my neighbors on the south were still out. The opposite side of the street is also on. The folks across the street from Granny’s had no power until this day, either.
Friday Dec 14th – 1 p.m. - Day IV
2:30 p.m. – Mom dropped me off at my house where Grandpa and a friend of his were there to remove the tree from my car. He had spoken to the electric people who told him the fallen line was dead (nice of them to figure that out after 4 days, huh?). They chainsaw the branch, hoping to take off enough weight to lift it. Thinking they reached that point, I’m asked to get inside the car. Through the passenger door I had to climb, started the car, rolled down the driver’s window and waited for instructions. They chainsawed on the far side of the wire and I was briefly concerned the renewed weight would crush my car.. With me inside.
They lifted the branch. Grandpa told me to back out, slowly, as his truck was immediately behind my car. I backed up, slowly, and huge chunks of ice started falling in my window. I rolled it up and it made the horrible noise of an ice-covered tree scraping every possible inch of my beloved car. The only comparison I can make is the sound that any canned food must hear as its being sliced open by an electric can opener. Think of that next time, people.
I got my car out. It’s got some dents, some scratches, some black streaks that can likely be buffed out; a wicked dent above the driver’s side back door, complete with shaven paint and according dents down the door. The damage would likely have been far greater if the entire car hadn’t been coated with two inches of ice.
Rydar, who’s a Sparky now, came by to check out my electrical box in the back that we couldn’t get to previously, due to the car/tree/powerline situation. “Everything above the box needs replaced,” he says and it’ll cost me $500 for his company to do it. I didn’t call other companies, because they were all running out of parts and undoubtedly knew this was their big chance to strike it big.
As I sat in my car waiting for some of the ice to melt before heading “home” to Granny’s, Rydar came back bringing his boss. Apparently they discussed it, and it was agreed that Rydar could fix my house for 1/5th of the original cost. It would still be Saturday before he could get over though.
Later in the day it began snowing. We really needed snow at this point. It helped to prevent the ice from melting. It also assisted the electric people in getting the power turned on at a reasonable hour. Right.
Saturday Dec 15th – 9:45 a.m. - Day V
Seven inches of snow. Need say no more.
Rydar fixed the electrical box and it was called in to the power company. It’ll be Monday before the City will come check it. Surprise.
Sunday Dec 16th - Day VI
As of last evening, my house is the only one in my neighborhood without power. Even my neighbors to the south have lights and they also had a box that was pulled from the house. Somehow, they had theirs turned on Saturday evening, but mine wasn’t able to be for some only-God-fucking-knows retarded reason. But whatever.
Monday Dec 17th - Day VII
Still no power at my house. I’ve showered at Rydar’s the past two nights. I had been going to my house to shower every day, but when the thermostat hit 34°, I decided enough was fucking enough.
Tuesday Dec 18th - Day VIII
I’m hostile now. I’ve been hostile since day one, but the hostility has grown to beyond a level that requires mention. I have to be at my house today between the hours of 12 and 4 because the unemployment fuckers are calling me. I take this wonderful opportunity to clean out my dead fish that I haven’t touched. My plans are almost immediately stalled when I grabbed a beta bowl and my fingers stuck to the glass. That shit hurts!
Fucker called at 1 p.m. and I got the fuck out of there.
Mom calls and asks if I’d like to go out for Chinese this evening to which I agree. I’d been living on junk food the past 8 days and something real sounded quite appealing.
At around 7 p.m., while we’re out, my cell rings. It’s Rydar, who tells me that my power’s back on and wanted to know if I knew it.
I spend the night at Granny’s once more because I’m not up to the mess I’ll have to face when I go home. Between the fish and the mess I made myself when I was tearing apart the house on Day I in search of a normal telephone with an actual cord since my cell was dying and my cordless was defunct due to the case of no power.
On Friday, the 21st, the insurance adjuster came over to check out my car. He wrote that the repair time would be 8 days, that there may be “possible hidden damage not evident at time of initial appraisal. (Iced over), and that the monetary estimate is $2,017.03.
You know what I think may piss me off the most? I don’t even have a tree in my backyard. The tree that hit my house, electrical box, and car isn’t mine. It’s the rental house behind me. That should be interesting, as I don’t even know who the landlord is. The tree that dropped limbs is currently still hanging menacingly over my roof. Anyone know how I would go about finding out who the house belongs to and what to do about the tree and damage? I’m not even so concerned about what’s already been done, moreso the fact that we’ve just started the season of ice falling from the sky and there’s a tree hanging over my head.
The Scars from My Ordeal
I should have known I’d never escape the trauma without some level of residual damage.
I can’t stand daytime television. That’s not a strong enough expression, I absolute loathe and detest daytime television. What is wrong with you soap opera watching people? That shit’s bad. Bad!
The Steve Wilkos Show? You have got to be fucking kidding me. I’ll get back to that later, maybe.
The only thing worth a shit on daytime television is Judge David Young and the infamous Jerry Springer. The rest of it is just a sad excuse of bad joke entertainment.
Dingo, too, was traumatized. He was running through Granny’s house on Day I, like a little freak, and it took me awhile to realize he hadn’t had anything to drink. I filled a cup with water, because I didn’t have any bowls the first night, and he drank three cups. I almost dehydrated my baby dog.
By the time this godless nightmare came to a very thankful close, I wasn’t getting along with anybody. Nobody at all.