After the day EJ and I had Saturday trying to get our beater truck up north, we were exhausted and planned on having a quiet, restful day on Sunday. It didn’t exactly go that way. In fact, in a different way Sunday was just as wild as Saturday.
My Sunday started very early (4 a.m.? 5 a.m.?) with Timmy rubbing against me, scratching, and poking me and sometimes EJ. I was so tired that I kept falling asleep, but Timmy didn’t stop until I was fully awake. Later, when I saw Timmy sleeping, I poked him. “Hey, Timmy! Wake up! Wake up, Timmy!” I figured he had interrupted my sleep, so paybacks were fair. Poke, poke, poke. “Wake up, Timmy!” EJ saw me and laughed. After that, whenever EJ saw Timmy sleeping, he’d poke him and say, “Wake up, Timmy!” Laugh.
I was so wore out from Saturday that my body felt sluggish and EJ felt much the same. Instead of working hard and taking brief breaks, I told EJ that I was going to rest and do brief amounts of work. I walked down to get the mail. Tesla ran after me while Danny waited at the top of the hill. Later, I started working on getting the laundry done. EJ began unloading the old truck, which I have named ‘Ol Nellie.
Then the day got exciting.
Storm clouds began moving in. I took pictures of the clouds, then checked the radar and saw that a very severe storm was heading right for us. I was about to go tell EJ when he suddenly yelled at me to come out “Quick!” I paused to grabbed my camera and ran out but missed the funnel cloud EJ said that he had seen forming right over our house. He had prayed, “Please, G-d, I can’t handle anymore” and the funnel dissipated.
The sky growled as lightning flashed and the rain poured from the skies. Our power went out so EJ and I sat on the porch and watched the storm. We love storms although we don’t like them when they cause damage.
The sky cleared briefly and we got our power back, but then another storm moved in. It wrapped our Enchanted Forest in a beautiful misty rain.
The second storm moved on, but on radar we could see that a more massive and severe storm was coming our way. It was a monster. We sat on our porch and watched it moved in with very black ominous clouds that swirled around and were lit with a strange green light. The wind picked up and it began to rain so hard that we could see only a little way down the driveway. We heard the cracking of trees breaking as hail bounced on the ground. Our power went out again. The rain got harder and leaves were swirled around in a mad dance. EJ said, “I think this might be a tornado!” and he yanked me back into the house.
We watched the rest of the storm from inside the house.
After the storm passed, we walked outside. The torrential rains had made deep gullies like miniature Grand Canyons along the sides of our driveway and also split the driveway in one place. EJ dragged the park benches across the driveway in front of the gully so JJ would not attempt to drive across it. Further down the driveway, the sand had washed across the road down where the deer usually cross. It looked like a sand mudslide.
When JJ got home, he had his own storm stories to tell. JJ knew that it had been raining but as he looked out his company’s windows, he saw the sky quickly changing from gloomy to pitch black to bright florescent lime green. The wind kicked up and blew shopping carts across the parking lot, occasionally crashing into cars. The rain came down so hard that he and his co-workers couldn’t see out of the window. The HR director returned from lunch and described watching tree tops flying by. They all heard a boom from thunder and another boom from a substation or transformer getting hit. Then the power went out and they set everyone home.
JJ said that on his way home, he saw many large trees down across the road, some of them had fallen on the power lines. At times JJ had to drive off the road a bit to get around fallen trees. He saw a lady in a pink polka-dot house dress raking away debris out of the road so cars wouldn’t hit it. He said our little town of Anatevka was chewed up, with trees and power lines down everywhere. He also saw smoke from fires, and many emergency vehicles out and about. He said it was like a disaster movie.
As the sun began to set, its rays made the light golden and our grass looked red. (I would have taken pictures, but my camera battery was low). JJ remarked, “It’s very beautiful here.” Later, without power, the darkness was very, very dark. I had called our power company and a recording said that our area was among those that were hardest hit and we probably wouldn’t get power until Wednesday. We thought, “Well, at least we are in a beautiful area” and we sat in the living room and talked and joked and laughed.
I looked out the front door at the darkness and saw large flames in the forest across the road. “Whoa! I hope that’s not a forest fire!” “It’s probably just the neighbors having a bonfire?” “But what if it’s a forest fire?” While EJ got dressed (we had thought we were staying in for the rest of the night) JJ and I took the flashlight and walked down the driveway to make sure it wasn’t a forest fire. It wasn’t. It was a huge bonfire. We walked back and met EJ halfway up. It was fun walking in the Enchanted Forest at night.
We are glad our power went out now, when it’s summer. It reminded us that it would be a very good idea to get a generator in case our power goes out during winter storms. It gets COLD up here in the north.
We decided to go for a drive Monday morning to survey the damage. Before we left, I let Danny out. We were planning to leave him home as soon as he had completed his “business” but he stood by the Buggy with such a hopeful look on his face that I got his leash and let him in the vehicle.
Our area was chewed up, just as JJ had described. There were large trees and lines down everywhere. Through the middle of one forest was a path of pine trees that had been snapped in two. People were lined up at a water pump in a park in Anatevka filling jugs with water. Most businesses had no power. A couple of gas stations were opened and people were getting their tanks filled and bags of ice. We bought gas and ice on the way home so the food in our fridge and chest freezer wouldn’t thaw. My camera battery needed recharging, but JJ let me take pictures with his smart phone. He isn’t finished uploading them, but maybe I can share some later.
JJ doesn’t have to work until Wednesday but in the excitement of the storm, he had forgotten to check the hours he has to work so we drove to his company and he went into the dark, powerless store to check his schedule while we waited outside. A couple of his co-workers were sitting at a table set up outside selling water and batteries. Danny whined for attention so one employee came over to give him lovings. I let Danny out of the car and the woman grabbed a water bottle and poured some water into her cupped hand so Danny could drink. I thought that was sweet.
As we entered the house after returning home from our journey, the power came on! Yay! However, we still didn’t have Internet. I called our Internet Service Provider today and was told that the power is still out in a lot of places and they had no idea when Internet service would get back to normal…although it was possible that we could have it tonight. Up here in the north, some people build their own wireless towers and allow the ISP to use it. Between us and the ISP’s tower, there are several (three? four?) such privately-owned towers. In fact, our neighbor across the street built one of the towers that connects us. If there is a problem with any one of those towers then we have no Internet. The ISP company said that one man was trying to hook up a generator to run his tower but they weren’t sure if he was going to run it constantly or for only a little while. So we have Internet for now, but we don’t know how long.
Just before EJ had to leave for work, the local insurance agency called to inform us that the agency downstate was blocking their attempts to transfer our account. EJ said to me, “I got nothing,” meaning he had no energy to deal with this. He had struggled with back pain all weekend and was exhausted, we had a depressing time at our old house, we had a grueling trip home, we had a monstrous storm…and I had had enough of this difficult insurance agent. I told EJ that I would handle it if he wanted me to. He said ok.
Ok, here’s the thing about INFJ personality types. We are extremely empathetic, compassionate, understanding, and patient people. We forgive far longer than most other personality types do. It takes a lot for us to get angry. In fact, we get angry so seldom that many people think we are mousey wimps. However, if a person is so repeatedly difficult/abusive that he finally gets to the end of our patience, we become very fierce fighters, especially where our loved ones are concerned. The downstate Agency had reached the end and crossed the line. He was causing my weary, stressed family even more stress.
When the agent answered the phone, I reminded him that we had moved out of the area, we have been trying to transfer our policies to a local agency, and they kept blocking the transfer. He told us that the new agency had acted in unethical ways, that’s not how it was done, etc. I could have argued that at the recommendation of our mortgage officer, we contacted a northern agency to handle the insurance for our new house because they understood the unique housing market up here, that they had politely tried to contact Steve, and that it was he who had started the unpleasantness when he had screamed at them, etc, etc, etc. Originally, we were only getting our new house insurance up here and would have kept our auto policies with him for a bit longer. But I didn’t want to get sidetracked from the main issue. When Steve said, “For your information, we have clients all over the state….” I interrupted and said emphatically, “I don’t CARE about your other clients. WE don’t want an insurance agency that’s hundreds of miles away. WE want a local agency to handle our insurance. WE want our policies transferred to this other agency, and WE want it done NOW.” A short time later, Steve said, “I’m transferring your policies as we speak.” FINALLY! I don’t know why he couldn’t have done what we asked the FIRST (and second and third) time that we (very nicely) asked.