8:26. Slept through the wind, woke at eight to the sound of the heat kicking in. I took a walk around the house to survey the damage, of which there was mercifully little. We have lots of branches down but all seem to have missed the greenhouse. The water in the basement got no bigger and the water by the outside stairs never breached the sill. The garage is mostly dry. Overall we made it through in great shape.
11:08. Sacked out in front of a dying fire. The girl is zonked next to me and Pique is curled up at her feet. Wind is still howling. There’s some water leaking in through the concrete in the ice room, but it hasnt gotten deeper since 9pm.
8:13. We all had dinner, took showers, and moved beds down in front of the fireplace. The girls just popped some popcorn, and we have bug-out bags next to the door.
5:41. Ran outside to bring in the feeders. Our gutters are working well, but water from the west flowerbed is emptying down the basement stairs into the concrete well. I dropped a pair of sandbags bags of potting soil over top of the puddle, but there’s still some drainage underneath. I also cleared out the artesian drain and that seems to be working. Otherwise, there’s only a 2″ sill between us and a flooded basement.
5:22. Still here. Gusts of wind are getting stronger. Jen just reminded me the bird feeders got left outside, so I’ve got to run out and save them. I still see people on the road here and there.
4:20. The girls are back up; the Weather Channel is pointing at New Jersey with sad faces and playing insurance ads in a non-ironic way. It’s gray and rainy outside, and getting darker. Our downspouts are working nicely, though.
1:09. About the same amount of wind. We’re all fed, and the girls are headed upstairs for a nap.
12:01. Wind is picking up. Lots of utility trucks going by. All of the leaves are now off the tulip tree. It’s stopped sprinkling and really started RAINING. Let the countdown to power loss commence.
11:03. Working from home. The governor told us all to stay home and they declared a state of emergency for the whole state, so I’m in my PJs using the VPN. What leaves haven’t fallen off the tulip tree out front are blowing sideways, and rain is hitting the windows intermittently. Were stocked with firewood, non-perishables and clean clothes, and the gutters are as clean as they’re going to get, so all we can do is hunker down and have fun.
The lawn furniture is in, the plants are covered, the gutters are clean, the house is stocked with non-perishables and water, the firewood has been gathered, the Scout is battened down, and we have one full tank of gas. Except for a generator, we’re as ready as we’re going to be for Sandy’s arrival.
I inspected the gutter guards on the back of the house and liked what I saw. Hopefully I’ll never have to get up there and clean that thing out, and we can start growing grass under the eaves again.
In the morning we had brunch with Dan and Elena one last time before they leave town. Jen and Finn went to the Baltimore Zoo for a Halloween event with the neighbors while I put some band-aids on our yard before the storm. Our crab salesman from across the street showed up a little after lunchtime with a bag of mediums and two handfuls of claws; not having made dinner plans it worked out very well and tasted great with a couple of glasses of IPA.
Nothing much to report around here. I dug out three spare wiper motors and brought them inside to the bench for winter work. The Scout was out for a brief errand this afternoon before the rain and wind hits. I put the top on tight, rolled up the windows, and battened down the garage, hoping that Sandy passes us by.
I got in touch with the officer who arrested our burglar the other night, and he invited me down to the precinct house to pick up my iPod. It was in a shopping bag with a Garmin GPS, a bag of cookies, several women’s hats, a Burger King value card, an Independence card, and other assorted debris. He sorted it with gloves on his hands, and told me the guy had been spotted in my car by a neighbor, who called it in. In the time it took them to get over there he’d continued down Beechwood and hit two more cars before they put the bracelets on him. I’m named on the complaint because the witness had him in my car at the time she called, so I may be getting a summons to appear. Fine with me!
Teller is getting wheezier and wheezier, so I’m going to make an appointment to get him into the cat doctor soon (after this week’s mess has blown over). His last visit revealed enlargement around his heart, so I think they’re going to prescribe some medicine for him to bring the swelling down. Poor little guy. We’ve been letting him sleep with us for the past week, which is a big change for all of us. I can’t say I miss the baby gate at the top of the stairs, but if I start finding tufts of cat hair on my pillow it’s going right back up.
Mom and Dad are safely back upstate; we had a great time together exploring Gettysburg, checking out a real St. Mary’s County stuffed ham and oyster dinner, doing some work/sightseeing in downtown Baltimore, and meeting up with a cousin to tour the Antietam battlefield. Mom got in some quality granddaughter time, Dad got some scenic exercise, and we all were treated to gorgeous fall weather and turning leaves. I’d place a bet that 50% of them will be gone by next weekend.
I finally got dome light bulbs for the Honda that fit, so I can now see in the dark. I installed them just in time for some asshole to walk down Frederick Road and lift valuable items from unlocked cars at 5AM; I’d forgotten to lock mine so he walked away with my old 60GB iPod. Later that morning (5:30, to be exact) the police knocked to see if we’d been burglarized, and to report they’d caught the guy, but we were too tired to get up. Later, our neighbors let us know what was happening, and I confirmed our loss. I’m supposed to call the officer when he gets on duty tonight and see if I can recover my iPod. While I was at the dealer, I picked up some touch-up paint to cover a scratch I hadn’t noticed on the passenger door. I have to scuff off a little rust and brush over it before the snow flies.
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I’m trying not to let something that happened on Tuesday bother me too much. A 75° ride in the Scout today helped a little bit.
It’s much, much bigger than you think it’ll be.