What a week it’s been!
The weather called for a winter storm Friday, so we were hunkered down, mostly prepared for it. I was watching Facebook and seeing friends lose power all morning long – the wind was gusting over 50mph and snowing like crazy (2-3″ per hour). Finally, around 3pm, our power blinked rapidly about five times and disappeared completely.
Brian, ever the optimist, was certain it would return that evening. We roasted hot dogs on the grill, ate by the light of some flashlights, read books to the kids and put on a puppet show and a musical with the spotlight, then slept in the living room with sleeping bags. Still no power.
By morning, it was 46 degrees in the house and we were cold! No ability to make coffee didn’t help.
Thankfully, friends nearby did have power and graciously allowed us to invade their home even though they actually wouldn’t be home until Monday evening. We got warm, ate some warm food, and watched TV. At 11, Brian texted to say the power was back on! We returned home and had time to do a load in the dishwasher and put sleeping bags away before it disappeared again.
Instead of toughing it out at home, we ended up sleeping at our friend’s home. It was warm and safe and close enough for Brian to go back and forth to MRF to check on everyone.
The residents did okay. Compton Hall has a generator, so a number of people slept and cooked in there. A few families were able to shelter elsewhere, so they did. Only two families stayed on the property, Brian checking up on them every few hours.
Brian worked almost around the clock, making sure the generator at Compton ran (which it didn’t always) and running a smaller generator at our house to keep our food frozen (we learned it’s 30+ years old, which explains why it would just randomly quit working every little bit). He plowed and shoveled and kept an eye on everybody the entire time.
Our power returned Tuesday afternoon (a full day ahead of the schedule PPL put out), but that caused a massive overflow of sewer water from the pavilion into Compton Hall. Don came into Compton to discover water gushing from a ladies’ room toilet – as in, spurting out like a fountain, gallons at a time. Brian got the water off and he and Don were able to get some water out before Don had to go to work (he drives a school bus). Brian put out an emergency call to three friends and within the half hour, they were there! They helped clean out sewer water that was throughout the whole building, except the office. Brian did some math and figured upwards of 1200 gallons had come into the building! Brian also called a friend who owns a carpet cleaning business. He showed up within the hour. He has lent industrial-size dehumidifiers and fans and he came again after hours to check on everything. He will be thoroughly cleaning the carpets and the flooring in the whole building once it completely dries. Amazing generosity!
We were happy to move back home Tuesday evening. Kids are still tired, but a snow day yesterday helped a bit. Brian got the property plowed out again after the storm yesterday and has decided today and tomorrow, he’ll be taking it easy! His ankle and his back are ready for a break.
However, “taking it easy” will mean computer work for BCM. An important meeting at the IMC has also been put off twice this week; hopefully he’ll make it to Lancaster on Monday.
I am trying to catch up on computer work and prep for the annual training day coming up. However, 10 loads of laundry (and the baking of a rhubarb pie as a ‘thank you’ for my man) hindered that progress yesterday! Maybe today I can get back into the swing of things.
We want to THANK every one of you who offered your home, meals, showers, and help over the last few days, not to just to us, but to the five other families here. We appreciate all of you very much, even if we didn’t take you up on it. We honestly had more offers than we could accept! You all are amazing.