Saturday, March 13, 2010, 3:30 p.m.
I drive back from shopping trip with friend. Skies darken, and wind picks up. At 5:15, winds begin to howl, rain starts, and we lose power. Twilight gets stuck in DVD player when power goes out, right when Edward and Bella are about to kiss. Sump pump stops working. 60-ft. pine tree on front lawn comes crashing down across our driveway. Neighbor Pauline behind us has power, I observe enviously. My husband, daughter, dog and I watch a movie (not Twilight!) in battery-powered portable DVD player by flashlight and fireplace. It is an adventure, right?
Sunday, March 14, 8:00 a.m.
Still no power. Take showers with last of hot water. Assess exterior damage, lament loss of pine tree. Not sure how to dispose of tree. Neighbor Dan down the street comes by to tell us they have 12 inches of water in their basement. I check our basement with flashlight, and thankfully, no water. Husband leaves on week-long business trip, and I take daughter to friends in Trumbull for the day. We return late afternoon, and still no power. House is frigid, and I bring daughter to friend’s house to sleep over. I watch The Hangover on portable DVD player under five layers of blankets in pitch black, freezing cold bedroom with dog (I think he really liked the movie).
Monday, March 15, 6:00 a.m.
Wake up, and the house is like ice. Still not sure what to do with tree. I throw out spoiled food in kitchen refrigerator, and decide to stay at parents’ house that night. Check basement from stairway, and still no water (boy, are we lucky!). Daughter, dog and I leave for parents’ around 4:00 p.m.
Tuesday, March 16, 10:15 a.m.
Return home, and ice I threw in kitchen sink from the kitchen freezer yesterday is still frozen. Am tired of power outage “adventure.” With flashlight, venture into finished basement (which was flooded in April 2007 storm) to empty second refrigerator (threw out probably $500.00 worth of food, total). Flashlight shines on floor near stairs, and I see what I am praying is only a piece of Saran Wrap, and not water. No, it is in fact two inches of water (guess we’re not so lucky after all). Call husband in L.A., get put through to voice mail. Husband calls back, I cry, swear and hang up on him. Husband calls back, and we calmly discuss situation. Neighbor Dan’s wife, Janis, and Good Friend Michelle, plus Nephew Thomas come to help move furniture and toys from basement to garage (we are lucky to know such wonderful people). Use Wet Vac (hooked up to Neighbor Pauline’s outside outlet with two long attached extension cords) to get water out of basement. Hire contractor to help dry out basement more. Husband still away on business trip…desperate, hire workmen (complete strangers) off street (am I crazy?) to cut and remove tree and giant stump. Return to parents for night.
Wednesday, March 17, 11:00 a.m.
Return home, and MIRACLE! Power is back on! Jump up and down with joy. Get Twilight out of DVD player. Blast heat, turn on all lights and every TV, just because we can.
Saturday, March 20, 10:30 a.m.
Husband home. Insurance claims adjuster comes to assess damage. Gives us small check to pay for new basement flooring and some paneled walls. Hire Neighbor Dan’s builder to do floor and walls and paint basement. Work to start in two weeks. Yippee!
Monday, March 29, 9:00 a.m.
Another torrential rain storm. Husband off on another business trip. Tons of rain. Please, no more water in basement!
Tuesday, March 30, 2:15 p.m.
Peek warily in basement for water, and find two inches. Don’t cry…just cancel builder, and start calling basement waterproofing companies from phone book. Neighbor Dan also looks into basement waterproofing, and we end up using same company as him. Forget new kitchen appliances or new carpeting for upstairs. All money going to incredibly expensive home improvement project that no one will ever see. Husband returns from business trip. Sees estimate for work. Cries a little (husband, not me).
Monday, April 5, 9:00 a.m.
Basement waterproofing company starts work. Jackhammering for two days straight, workers coming in and out between our house and Neighbor Dan’s, but work crew seems to get things done fairly quickly. It’s a messy project. Give workers cookies, sodas and Fudgsicles to keep them energized.
Saturday, April 10, 11:50 a.m.
Basement waterproofing almost done. Bank account almost empty. At least we are healthy and safe.
Wednesday, April 21, 4:39 a.m.
Dream we have big rain storm, go down to basement, and find it flooded. Thankfully, just a dream. No big storms yet, but hopeful that basement waterproofing will work. Next time, I’m going on business trips, not husband.