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Our First Christmas

December 27, 2008

Not that we haven’t had Christmases together since we’ve been dating since 2004… but this was our first Christmas being married. And, let’s just say, things didn’t exactly go as planned.

Originally, we planned to make the trip to the Flint area on Tuesday to visit friends and hang out. We made it about 25 miles before turning around and heading home due to insanly bad road conditions. We got off the expressway near Ann Arbor to eat something, and drove about 2 miles north to get back on due to a huge traffic back up. As we drove back south, there were 3 accidents in the 2 miles of expressway that we missed by driving on surface streets.

We tried again on Christmas Eve since the Christmas Eve party at my uncle’s house is a 30ish year tradition. We didn’t really have any problems getting up there because it was raining. The roads were virtually perfect. We did hit some fog, but nothing big. Just about the time we finally made it up there, we got a call that our house had lost power due to high winds. About 2-3 hours later, it was back on, so no big deal. We did last minute shopping and wrapping, then headed to my uncle’s house- about an hour later than I would have liked.

Once there, my dad called and was going to make it home from work in time. He was going to run home, shower and change his clothes. Well, the high winds struck again. The door at his house blew right open and all three dogs got out and were running the neighborhood in the freezing cold. He and my sister tried to get them for almost an hour before they got tired of playing hide and seek and came home.

While this is happening, we got another call… the wind had taken down a tree which in turn took down a transformer across the street from our house, so we were without power again. We were also urged to rush home because apparently we needed to be home when the power company came back out so we could switch off all the breakers and turn them back on one at a time. So, despite the worsening weather that would have convinced me to stay the night, we left the party an hour earlier than I wanted and headed home. We were met with some severe high winds and blowing snow for several miles, but luckily, that decreased and the rest of the trip was quick. When we got home, there was a small truck parked near the downed transformer, so we figured help was on the way. Our bedroom is always the coldest room in the house, especially when it’s windy, so we made up a bed on the floor of the living room with every blanket in the house. The power had been off for about 6 hours at this point, though I’m sure the furnace never totally heated it up when it was off the first time. It was freezing. Spider slept between us all night, something he refuses to do normally. I woke up in the middle of the night, surprised the power hadn’t come back on since we were told they’d be back by midnight to fix it. We have a gas fireplace in the basement, but it doesn’t have a blower on it, so all it does is heat the area directly in front of it. By about 6 am, I didn’t care. I piled my blankets on the floor in front of it, and actually fell back asleep for a couple of hours. When I got up, (still no power), I went outside to take some pictures of the damage across the street.

There are actually two trees down. It appears it was a domino effect and both of them were dead. We got a generator going that was pretty small, but enough to turn on the furnace. We ran it for about 3 hours and could already tell a difference. We realized that even though we hadn’t opened our fridge, it had lost most of it’s coolness. The freezers were just starting to show signs of defrosting, so we alternated running those for awhile and could quickly tell the heat was off again. FINALLY, after 3 calls to the power company, we saw an angel on Christmas….

It took them about 2 hours to get the new transformer up and running. First, they had to cut the fallen trees into pieces to get the lines untangled. Spider quite enjoyed watching the activity outside the front window. When they were starting to pack up, I ran out and told them thank you because they did show up on Christmas. I don’t think we got our house back to a normal temperature until sometime today. We were without power from the transformer being down for about 21 hours.

We had opened presents at my uncle’s and also when the power was out, and we didn’t do anything except try to nap and read all day. I sort of forgot it was even Christmas.

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