Hurricane Isaac has come and gone, and thankfully it wasn't as bad as previous hurricanes.
Sure, our house was practically the first house to lose power. But we expected it since our power goes out if a single drop of rain lands within 10 feet of the house, so we had cranked down the AC the night before to make the house nice and cool. Instead of being hot and humid, we were pretty comfortable until we got the bright idea to open a window. Then the mugginess set in!
Spending Wednesday alone with the kids was actually kind of nice. We built block towers up until "Hurricane Pete" came and knocked them down. I beat Betty in Rummikub not just once but twice - unheard of! She beat me in our third game but she totally went past her time limit, so I'm putting an asterisk by that game log. The kids napped for close to 3 hours, Betty also got a nice nap, and I read some of my book. And when it was time for everyone to go to sleep for the night, we all snuggled in Peter's big new bed and had our portable fans blowing on us.
On a normal day, we're all too busy to really bond with our neighbors. But in times of need you really find out who your true friends are. We got several offers to stay at friends' houses where generators were available. One neighbor was going to be working through the hurricane and even offered us his generator. Our other neighbors came to check on us and Betty said we were fine, but joked that she just wished she had some coffee. Less than 10 minutes later, our neighbor brought us over a pot of coffee that he had heated up on his gas grill.
We figured that the food in our freezer and fridge would spoil, so we took practically everything out and stuck it on the BBQ pit. We asked our neighbors to drop on by and we had grilled fish, chicken, sausage and pork. I boiled water on the stove and Betty made instant mashed potatoes. For dessert we heated up bananas, chocolate and marshmallows on the grill, and Betty iced a big slab of cake that she just so happened to have laying around. The kids took out every toy in the house, which was fine with us, and we just sat and chatted until it got too dark to see. We all had a great time at our little hurricane party.
We live in Ascension Parish, and the parish community was on the ball as well. On my way to work Tuesday, I saw workers trimming trees around power lines in preparation for the storm. We have a few houses on our street that flood pretty regularly, and the parish dropped off a big pile of sand to make sand bags. Several guys in my neighborhood helped them bag up the sand and put it out in front of their doors and windows. I had already gotten some sand bags from the fire department in Gonzales - which, by the way, thank you to all the firemen out there! - so I went to help out my neighbors with their own houses.
Early Thursday morning we started packing up the van. Had we left 5 minutes earlier, we would have been at Betty's parents house for a bit before making our way to Lafayette to spend the weekend with my parents. But just as we were about to lock up the house, the power came back on! Power!!! So we called my parents and crushed their hopes that we would come by and see them, unpacked the van... and then the power went out again. The power was on and off for the next few hours, and finally we decided that our phones were charged enough that it didn't matter if the power was out - we could finally check Facebook again, so nothing else mattered. It's back to our normal routine where we interact in between checking our Fantasy Football projected scores and posting Facebook messages.
So... all is well in Tanory Land. But some people didn't make out as well. The levees were breached in Plaquemines parish and a lot of houses were completely flooded. The damage there in some areas is worse than from Katrina. Other people have dealt with tornadoes caused by the hurricane.
So today we're especially thankful for our great neighbors, our wonderful friends, and for modern technology. We've made a note that our next house should have a built-in generator. I'm thinking about getting some solar panels or wind turbines.
If anybody needs anything, please let me know! I hope everyone is safe and dry.