And the Big Storm

We started the week off with a 3 hours power outage on Monday morning. We had lit the hurricane lamps and waited for the power to come back on. It happens somewhat regularly but usually is back on in an hour or so. So I waited. Todd went to work and I waited some more. The house started cooling down and I got to thinking maybe it was time to hook up the generator. Einstein the bird isn't built for cool temperatures, so locked in the laundry room at night where the cats can't disturb him, with a heater and a night light because the little fellow freaks out in the dark. As soon as the power went out he got nervous so Todd went in to light two tiny hurricane lamps for light. Taz came in and Einstein went into panic mode. He settled down and the door was closed. I checked on him later and he was still sitting there, his little crown feathers standing straight up on end as he does when he's a little freaked out. I closed the door again to keep what little heat was left in there for him. I started getting the extension cords ready to hook up to the generator and suddenly there is flapping in the laundry room. I open the door to check and good Lord! the room is so full of smoke from those two tiny lanterns that I could barely see the bird cage. Einstein was freaking out again, so quickly pulled his cage out and there it was...feathers on the bottom of the cage. Not just any feathers...blood feathers. Broken ones. For those of you who might not know birds, a blood feather is a newly formed feather that still has the blood supply intact. Break that feather and it's like when a person cuts a vein. Now here's the hard stop the bleeding (before this bird with only a couple of ounces of blood total, bleeds out), you have to carefully pluck out the stump of the feather still left in the wing. When I tell you that at least 3 hands are needed for this task you can imagine it's a bit of a challenge since I only have 2! One hand holds him still on his back in my lap AND pulls the wing out, while the other hand is plucking out the broken piece...all while he is squirming and nipping my thumb with that ever so sharp beak of his! Phew...there was 4 broken feathers in all. I managed to get through unscathed. Einstein was a little shook up and worse for wear for awhile after that but recovered by afternoon.

And then the talk started. It was all you heard on the news and weather. The big storm that was coming. It was expected to be one of the worst ones in years and I learned a new meteorological term..."bombogenesis" Well if that doesn't make you shake in your boots! So we followed the lead of everyone else on the island and made preparations. We stocked up on groceries. We made sure we had lots of bottled drinking water. We filled buckets and the tub with water for flushing toilets. We gassed up the 4-wheel drive Jeep and the generator, and pulled the generator in place where it would be handy to hook up. Todd even inserted some plug ends into the wiring of the furnace so that if the power went out, we could hook the furnace up to the generator for heat. Without electricity there is no heat, and no water (the well pump runs on electricity, for those of you who aren't familiar with country living). Todd stayed home from work and we braced ourselves. The snow came first, big flakes falling like downy feathers. But the wind was what we feared. They predicted hurricane force winds and gradually they picked up. We felt like we were living in an old haunted house in some movie because it was howling and whistling around the corners of the house so loudly. After midnight they really picked up speed and all the windows upstairs were rattling, the wood in the roof was creaking and groaning. It got so noisy we couldn't sleep. After bolting upright in bed from a sound sleep 3 or 4 times we finally dragged the mattress downstairs to the living room and slept there. At least it was a little quieter. By morning it seemed to ease up and while we did have a lot of snow to clear out of the driveway it wasn't nearly as bad as it was on other parts of the island. You couldn't see our road...the snow level there was even with our front yard. It drifted up a couple feet deep or more in a few areas and in some spots it was hardly any at all. But friends on another part of the island had snow drifting up 8 feet high against their house. Other parts of the island also lost power but thankfully we never did. So what was expected to be an ordeal, fortunately wasn't all that bad for us. Till...not exactly the way you want to be spending the Spring season.
But after all was said and done, the sun was shining beautifully today. It was still blowing pretty good and we had a cute little fox brave the winds to come and steal the bread cubes I threw out under the bird feeder for the birds.

A check of the attic revealed that everything was intact and dry up there. We didn't even lose any shingles. For a 125 year old house, she sure is sturdy. They really knew how to build them well back then.

Todd got the driveway cleared for tomorrow and just as he was nearly finished the snow plow came through to clear the road. And yes, he nailed the dang mailbox....again! I don't know how much more beating this poor old mailbox can take before it becomes time to just have a funeral for it and get a new one.

And there is more snow coming on Sunday. For the love of God, when will this season end?? We miss the beach...oh how we miss it! Toes tucked into the warm sand, and the hypnotic sound of the waves washing up the shore.

So I comfort myself the way a lot of other folks are doing right now...planning all the wonderful vegetables we'll be planting in the garden. And thinking about where we'll put the chicken coop we are going to build.


  1. The poor bird! It sounds like he got the worst of it. It sounds like you have a solid house. Just think of the storms it has survived over the years.You're doing alright, Connie. I am so happy for you!


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