Monday, December 18, 2006

Is This Thing On?

Ugh... 89 hours. In some ways, not a long time. But when you're up against a monolith of non-help, it can seem like an eternity. This time, the monolith was Puget Sound Energy, a true Prince of Darkness.

On Thursday night we had a wicked, wicked windstorm. I guess I knew it was coming, but I had no idea. Depending on who you talk to, it was a 10-year storm or a 100-year storm. New wind records were reached at Sea-Tac airport and at least 100 flights were canceled, delayed or diverted. Many poorly constructed (or neglected and in need of replacement) fences blown over. One well constructed fence (by my dad and I, only about five months ago) was all twisted out of shape.

Hopefully it was only a 10-year storm because there were also 10-year storms in 1993 and 1994. (Though one of those might have also been a 100-year storm. Again, depends on who you talk to.)

Anyhow, it was an amazing storm to listen to and we knew, laying there, that it was only a matter of time before we lost power. And then we laid there listening to the thunder, rain, wind, trees falling and watching the flashes of lightning. Work was optional for the next day with our corner of the second floor being one of a few spots in either building that was operational on generator power. I opted to stay home and they kicked everyone out at noon.

We thought we could just head east and find a place beyond the storm's path, a small town where we might get a meal, and as it turned out, get some gas. We instead found a small town with no power and huge lines for the town's single gas station, who had the intelligence to have a generator running and who fortunately still had working phone lines (with which to take credit cards). Unfortunately, we weren't sure we had the gas to wait in the line so we bought a gas can and I stood in line. Well, all three of us did, but the sympathy vote didn't play out and no one offered to let us sit in their car. Turns out the sympathy vote had played out, it just took a nice couple from Ellensburg awhile to move all their luggage so by the time the guy had crawled into the front seat and rolled the window down, I was there alone. But, a really nice gesture.

I got gas, went back and put in the gas and we headed back to the Super(ha)Mall which had power. We had a nice meal, walked around a lot, had Blizzards and walked around a lot more.

We then went home. My parents suggested we come to their house, but it was after dark, we were without power and didn't have enough gas in the car to go looking for a working gas station. That night we all hunkered down in the living room with lots of blankets in front of the fireplace. We burned through all the wood we had and still woke up to 45 degree temperatures. It had been a long, long, long, cold and dark night.

to be continued tomorrow... (There are still people out there without power. If you know anyone who needs a place to stay, please call us.)
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