Family Fun with Floyd
by Lori L. Sikorski
When Floyd was all the buzz last week, my thoughts were not of gusty winds or high water. I envisioned a cozy day at home with my three children.
Before collecting the kids from school, I checked out videos and, for good measure, along with cookie ingredients, I bought a few spare batteries.
My husband, Paul, would miss all the fun. He was 1,100 miles away in Oklahoma on business. Our family day would be minus one. I almost felt sorry for him for missing our adventure.
When the power went out, I thought it all the better. We could eat a picnic lunch, play cards by candle light and listen to the portable radio that had done nothing more before now than gather dust.
By mid-afternoon Paul had phoned over a dozen times to make sure I was keeping an eye on our walkout outside the basement. With the power off, the cordless phone was now dead and the children were taking turns reporting to him on the upstairs phone.
In one of those calls, Emily, our youngest yelled down that it was raining in our bedroom. Peeling off my second change of wet clothes, I ran up to see a leak in the skylight.
I climbed up a ladder to tape large trash bags over the skylight while the kids laid towels on the floor. As we worked, the phone kept ringing. Poor Paul just could not leave us alone to enjoy the coziness of it all. Neither could any of our other relatives, who were watching at a distance on the Weather Channel.
Now Joey noticed that one of our big trees out in the front yard looked a bit funny. We watched as the winds pulled it right from its roots and laid it across the power lines. Emily packed all of her Beanie Babies in her book bag, put on her coat and shoes and asked "When can we evacuate?"
Dinner was made on a borrowed camp stove. We heated up some leftovers from the fridge, which I now noticed was not only dark inside but a bit warm, too. Until the power returned, there would be no opening of either fridge or freezer unless authorized by me.
I allowed ice cream for dessert for I knew that it would soon melt. Before bed, we had another snack of ice cream, lit more candles and read chapters from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Three kids, the beagle and I all curled up in my bed. Paul did not know what he was missing.
We awoke the next morning to the radio announcing where we could pick up dry ice. To me, this was a sign that things were not good. To get the ice, we drove through a maze of downed trees and wires. Back home, I fed the children a nutritious breakfast of soft ice cream.
By midmorning on the beautiful Friday after Floyd, chain saws sounded throughout our neighborhood. Our own falling tree was still braced between two wires. But Joey still kept watch. "Watch for the power company too," Hollie kept saying. At 12, she didn't look forward to taking a cold shower. "How am I going to dry my hair?" she whined.
We played another round of The Barbie Prom game. Being a good sport, Joey agreed to play the Midge game piece -- as long as we called him Ken. He purchased the blue frock and was on his way to the prom when Paul called. I was beginning to think that his timing of this trip was a bit too convenient.
By day three, there was no longer any dry ice. We depleted most of the ice cream, but it was time to cook up all the meat that was thawing. I did fine on the gas grill, even though I'd never fired it up before. That was another job Paul was missing. Before bed, we shivered through cold showers that took our breath away. Joey cried.
By day four, Barbie and her dumb prom were of no interest to any of us. We were playing card games for allowances and spelling words in Scrabble that Noah Webster wouldn't approve of.
If we did not get power soon, I was going to pack-up and head out to Oklahoma to join Paul.
On day five, power was restored. It is amazing what a hot shower and the light of the refrigerator can do for the soul.
Today Paul phoned from Oklahoma to tell me that he will be making an October trip out to California. No problem, but as long as hurricane season is upon us, he'll have to make reservations for five.
| Issue 38 |
Volume VII Number 38
September 23-29, 1999
New Bay Times
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