Monday, October 31, 2011

October Snowstorm

I’m writing this post from the warmth and comfort of my parents’ house, but my family is still suffering from the October Snowstorm.  It came on Saturday morning, taking our power by 1 p.m., and with it, our hot and cold water, our heat and our ability to cook. 

Things started out fine—we dug out the candles, got out our flashlights, started a fire in the fireplace and cooked our dinner, steak and potatoes, on the fire.  We kept our cool.  We played in the snow.  We made shadow puppets.  We read books.  We played with toys and knitted by candlelight.

Our master bedroom gets ridiculously cold, even when the heat is working, so T.J. and I slept by the dwindling fire while Nathan was layered up in his crib.  (Since we’re not a co-sleeping family, Nathan doesn’t know how to sleep anywhere other than his own crib.  Plus, it didn’t seem safe to let Nathan sleep by the unguarded fire—we don’t have a gate around the fireplace yet because we didn’t plan on using it this winter!  Silly us.  More on sleeping arrangements later.)

So while everyone else slept, I worried.  I worried that Nathan wasn’t warm enough in his crib.  He had woken up a few times, but I think from nightmares, not from the cold.  I worried about our trees—our poor sweet gum tree lost four of its seven main sections, all on the same side.  I didn’t even check my beloved Indian Cigar tree recently—there wasn’t time, and I was afraid of what I’d see.  I worried about how many more toilet flushes we’d have left and how we’d wash our hands when the water already in our system ran out.

I'm sure the story is the same up and down the east coast -- about a foot of heavy snow fell on top of leaves that haven't fallen yet, dragging down tree limbs (and whole trees) and powerlines everywhere.

The next morning, we still had no electricity and the house had dropped to 55 degrees.  Before you gasp, this isn’t the coldest our house has ever been—51 is the record low.  We thought it’d be best if I took Nathan to my parents’ house, about an hour away.  We’d have warmth, comfort, running water and hot meals, but T.J. would have to stay behind at the farm to clean up the mess and be in charge of things.  He would live on fast food and convenience store coffee—even though both aren’t nearby and the nearest town still doesn’t have power.

What’s worse, our local cell phone tower is also without electricity, so I have no way to reach my husband and he has no way to reach us—or anyone else for that matter.  And the three batteries he has for his phone are almost all out of juice.  He has just enough signal strength to send and receive the occasional text.

I feel terrible that we’re here, comfortable and warm, and he’s at home, in the dark and all alone with no one to talk to.  UGH.  This feels lousier than I thought it would.  I know he misses us, and we miss him, too.  I tried to convince him to come with us, but his job is just too important.  It doesn’t overrule the importance of sticking together as a family… so does that mean we should have stayed home and toughed it out?  We made this decision because we thought it would be the best thing we could do for Nathan, plus it could be days before we get our power back, and with it, flushing toilets, baths and warm beds.

T.J. is tough and resourceful and I know he can get through it alone, but it’d probably be easier on him if we were all together.  It doesn’t feel good to be apart at a time like this and I’m on the verge of regretting it, despite all the comforts and company I have at my parents’ house.  I can’t wait for my little family to be together again.

P.S. A side note on the sleeping arrangements:  Since Nathan can climb out of the pack-n-play, we set him up with a cushy place to sleep on the floor of my parents’ guest bedroom that spans the whole floor and is surrounded by couch cushions.  It’s pretty great, only he had trouble settling down with me in the room.  And he woke up about a billion times.  Today we bought him his own big-boy toddler bed with the hopes that he’ll be more comfortable tonight and will stay asleep for [much] longer periods of time.  I can hope, anyway!  Wish me luck!


  1. Wow Kelly that is a lot of snow! I understand about wanting to stay together as a family and the need to provide comfort and safety for a wee one while the father stays behind....I've been there myself. My situation was caused by a hurricane, but I had to leave with the children while my husband needed to stay behind. It's so hard and I'm sorry y'all aren't together, but hopefully soon.

  2. I've not seen the international news in depth, but I parts of the US are hard hit with snow. Thoughts and blessings be with you and your family xxxxx

  3. Beautiful pictures, Kelly. I'm enjoying your words and journey (just found this space).

    It's hard to make decisions, but from an outsider's perspective, it sounds like your family did what had to be done!

    Wishing you home with heat and water soon!

  4. Hope everything will be back to normal very soon!


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