To say we've been through a hell of a ride the past week is at the very least a gross understatement. In case you haven't heard, Fort Wayne had a horrible ice storm on the 18th and 19th and close to 110,000 homes were left without power. Some longer than others, and some are still without it. IN-Michigan Power worked 24 hours and brought in crews from VA, OH, MI and KY to assist in the efforts of restoring power to all these people. Unfortunately, we were included in that 110,000 for five days. It began early on Friday, the 19th when the lights blinked out. And continued through Tuesday evening when we actually got a crew to our house to get things up and running. Thankfully, our friends lent us a generator and family lent us karosene heaters because by early Sunday morning, the pipes were in danger of freezing as it was down to 34 degrees in our home. You could see your breath. We kept our water running the entire time- every faucet stayed on, even after the generator was hooked up to the furnace, but we had been told that wouldn't be enough, so we didn't want to take any chances.
THANKFULLY, my wonderful and generous inlaws came to our rescue and took us in. Although, Preston surely sweetened the deal. John and Judy only live a few minutes from us, so it was helpful that Kevin could return to fill the generator every few hours to make sure it stayed above freezing in the house. Not only were we staying over there, but Kevin's brother Christopher was as well because he was without power until Monday. Preston was a total doll over there. Such a champ. In the storm, their cable line went down, so they had no TV, but we really only needed lights and heat. Preston was our entertainment. He was dancing, singing, playing and talking up a storm every minute of the day. He slept fine, ate like a king and was in a generally fantastic mood. Judy and I joked that he'd had a rude awakening when we got home and he went back to having and audience of one.
Words cannot express our relief when the power company arrived Tuesday afternoon. Not because we were unhappy at John and Judys, in fact- just the opposite, we had fun! But because it was hours away from Christmas, I still had gifts to wrap and... oh, by the way, our kitchen cabinets were scheduled to be installed on Friday morning....an hour after the power went out. So all my cupboard contents were in boxes on my floor. (Don't worry, they are now supposed to be here by Monday...YAY!) We had to cancel a get together at our house, I was in the middle of a painting project and still had shopping and wrapping to do amidst all the other last-minute preparations for the holiday. Make no mistake- I am completely aware that we have so much to be thankful for and this was only a small blip in our life. Kevin and I actually said that it will help us to be more mindful of others and recognize that we never know what someone else may be going through. We were truly lucky, but it was still a very stressful and difficult situation while it was going on. Most of our neighborhood was out for some time, but our street and the two surrounding streets were out for almost five full days. Shelters were set up for people and animals, homes were destroyed because of tree damage, and as of my writing this post- Christmas night, it was reported that almost 5,000 homes are still left without power. Our hearts go out to those people (and the AEP workers that traveled here from out of town to help) and we hope they get home soon. Or at the very least, can enjoy the peace of the holiday with people they love.
I have yet to upload pictures from Christmas, (which was wonderful, by the way!) but since our cards are all mailed, I'll leave you with some pictures from a small family shoot we had our friends Betsy and John of the ever-popular Betsy and John Photography take for Christmas card pictures. I just have to say that they captured Preston perfectly at this stage. Quite often, I try to snap a picture that shows how much he loves life right now, and because of my point-and-shoot shutter lag, I am left with a blurry shot of the back of his head. So, having these professional pictures gives me something awesome and happy to look back on and remember of this first Christmas in our new home, rather than the few stressful days leading up to it.
Stay tuned for a Christmas recap when I get my pictures loaded. Hope everyone is staying warm and got more presents than coal today! Merry Christmas!