realizing I couldn't have survived a hundred years ago

Ok, since that last post was written on Friday night, I guess I need to finish up the remainder of our weekend:

Saturday: After freezing my butt off all night and running outside to fill a bucket with water to force the toilets to flush manually (thank God we are lazy people and never put our wheelbarrow away, because I don’t know where I would’ve gotten all that water otherwise), I decided that this whole “roughing it” business was not for me. Dave’s plane was due to arrive around 11 a.m. In the meantime, I got up, packed a suitcase, made sure there was tons of food and water available for the cats, and started calling hotels to try to find us a place to stay for a night. Or two.

It’s worth noting that in a situation such as this, calling‘s 800 number is totally freakin’ useless. The first person spoke so little English that I got frustrated, hung up on the poor guy, and tried calling back to see if I’d have better luck with another operator. (I know it’s rude, but the guy just couldn’t understand that I wanted suburbs of Seattle, not specific neighborhoods in the city. I’d say “Bellevue or Redmond,” and he’d say, “Belltown, yes?” Um, no. Not the same thing at all, dude.) I did have better luck with the second operator, but then she booked us at a hotel that still didn’t have their damn electricity back yet, so that didn’t do us a fat lot of good either.

Meanwhile, Dave and I had talked on the phone and agreed to meet up at the hotel, since we were coming from different directions. (Me from our house, him from the airport.) We got there, found out the place had no power, and decided to take a leap of faith and drive to the hotel we stayed at when we got flooded out and couldn’t get home last month. And once again, the lovely Indian ladies took one look at me and were all like, “You’re expecting? Oh, you poor thing. Here’s the king suite. We’ll give it to you for half price.” (I’m not kidding. Love. Them.)

At least this time I was able to pack ahead, unlike when we were stranded and couldn’t get home. I even put my body pillow in a hefty bag and dragged it along with me, because lord help me, I cannot sleep without it at this point. We managed to find some places around here that were open so we were actually able to get some hot food, and we were both sound asleep before 9 p.m.

Sunday: Not such a good day for me, emotionally. I was ok until I checked our utility company’s website, and saw that our town is listed as one that will remain without power “throughout Monday and likely longer,” due to some extensive structural damage to their transmission system. I’m trying to hold out a tiny ray of hope that maybe we’ll get ours back sooner rather than later, since we live in the unincorporated part of Duvall, and there have been times when the entire city lost power, and we were just fine. So maybe that means we’re on a different circuit? Or that our power comes from a different transmission system (maybe one that isn’t so “structurally damaged”)? Who knows, but it’s what I’m hoping.

In the afternoon, we went back to the house to check on the cats. [Side note: when Dave went into the garage and told me that everything in the freezer had thawed – the dishes I had pre-made for Christmas, the meals I had prepared and frozen for after the baby arrives, everything – and that it was all going to have to be thrown out? It took everything in me not to burst into tears on the spot. I knew everything in the fridge and the indoor freezer was a loss, but I had been hoping that the garage freezer would be ok because it’s been so cold outside. Sadly, that isn’t the case.] The kitties seemed to be coping ok, although I worry a lot about Teenie, just because she’s old and has always been an indoor cat. Dave’s cats occasionally stay outside overnight, so they’re a bit more used to braving the elements than she is. I seriously contemplated sneaking just Teenie back to the hotel room with me. But alas, my husband, he had a plan… 

Since I was feeling a tad emotional (read: cranky, tired and weepy), I came back to the hotel while Dave set off to gather the necessary supplies to rig our circuit breaker to our generator. I still don’t understand what his plan was exactly, but he promised that we would have heat, water and lights, which is a heck of a lot more than I was able to get the generator to do. (One lamp and the Internet router. Go me!) It’s funny, I always forget that Dave has a degree in electrical engineering until stuff like this happens and then he goes into Boy Mode and is all, “Ok, so I just need some electrical tape and a soldering iron, and then I can blah-blah-blah…” (Note: he never actually says “blah-blah-blah,” but that’s what it sounds like to my totally confused ears. He might as well be one of Charlie Brown’s teachers with the “wa-waaa-wa-waa” stuff.) Yes, ladies, apparently I married my own little McGuyver. Sorry, he’s taken.

There is the issue that whatever he does might not be exactly legal or up to certain county-regulated code standards. But I don’t think we have to worry about that until we decide to sell our house. (And my god, I do hope that day is fast approaching, because I’m not sure how much more of this “country life” crap I can stand.) Meanwhile, nobody call the authorities on us, ok? Desperate times, desperate measures, all of that, yes?

As soon as I got back to our hotel room, I crawled into the bathtub and stayed there until I got prune-y. (Baths are kind of fun these days. I can just lie back and watch my belly make involuntary movements when the baby flops around. Totally creepy and alien, but cool at the same time.) After that, I was a little calmer – at least, I didn’t feel like I was about to burst into tears at any moment, so that’s good. We’ll see how well I do when it’s time to clean out the freezer.

At 10 p.m., Dave called to say that he had the water and the lights going, but not the heat. He said that he would keep working on it if I really wanted to come home that night, but he sounded so exhausted, and he’d been working on it for hours. I told him to just go to bed (because he apparently doesn’t mind sleeping in the freezing cold), and that I’d stay at the hotel by myself. I mean, what the hell, we’d already paid for the room and it was too late to check out and get any of our money back, so I figured I might as well stay where it’s cozy and warm (albeit husband-less, which sucks).

Monday: Dave got the furnace hooked up to the generator late last night, so I checked out of the hotel and came home this morning. It’s already warmed up from 37 degrees inside the house to a balmy 52, so I’m optimistic that I might be able to take my coat and gloves off at some point in the next few hours. Here’s hoping.

6 thoughts on “realizing I couldn't have survived a hundred years ago

  1. I’m thinking y’all need to find a nice flat in the city, with room for 3 + the kitties. No more yardwork, no more wilderness, everybody wins!

  2. Oh gosh, I am so sorry. If y’all decide to go back to a hotel, we’ll happily meet you there and take the cats for you until you’re back to power so you don’t have to worry about them. I hope it stays warm!

  3. Believe me, I’ve been driving Dave crazy for the past few days with all of the “…and when exactly can we put the house on the market? Would tomorrow be ok?”

    The temperature inside the house is now up to 57. Woo-hoo! It’s almost bikini weather!

  4. Oh, and Cara: thank you, that’s incredibly sweet, but you would regret it VERY fast if you were to take on our cats. Believe me, they are more than a handful. And the litter boxes alone… yeesh.

  5. Oh, Casa de McDermott-Gardner has seen a lot of bad things in the realms of poop and fostering cats. Seriously, the offer stands. 🙂

  6. I feel your pain in regards to the freezer of spoiled food. We had the same thing happen during Hurricane Isabel. It sucks big time.
    I’m keeping my fingers crossed they get your power restored soon.

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