Sorry I haven't been on the net to update the blog. Yesterday and today we've been scrambling here. The Windstream folks got the land line working again yesterday evening, and the internet is still up. I don't expect either of those to be available once the winds start. The current forecast says we might get winds as high as 60 mph here. If so, we are well and truly SOL. The beetle pines will come crashing down across the roads, they'll take out the power and phone lines. And that will be that. I'm hoping this thing goes West, not that I wish anyone ill in Alabama, but I was here for that big hurricane in the late 1980's and I don't want to endure that again.
Went to the bank today to get some money out of our emergency contingency account. I was talking with the customer service lady there that I like, as I waited my turn. The bank was overwhelmed with people getting cash and you just had to be patient. She said she wasn't doing anything special about the storm. She's only been up here about a year, so she doesn't really know the drill. I believe she has the feeling that the mountains will somehow protect her. She did say "The Lord" would take care of her. Now, I'm ok with that, but I'm a fan of "the Lord helps those who help themselves."
I told her the joke about the guy who heard a flood was coming. He was sitting on his porch, and a truck drove by. The driver said he would give him a ride to higher ground, but the man said no thanks, God would protect him. Then the flood came, and he had to climb up on the roof. Some fellows in a boat came by, and they said they would take him to dry land, but he said, no thanks, the Lord would save him. Then the water kept rising, and a helicopter came and lowered a hoist, but he waved the helicopter off, sure that the All Mighty would take care of him. Then the building collapsed and he drowned.
When he got to heaven, and was standing in front of the throne, he asked God why he had abandoned him in his time of need. And God said "who do you think sent the truck, the boat, and the helicopter."
My friend at the bank did not find this humorous, but I didn't really mean for it be humorous.
My in-laws were missionaries in Africa. They were as religious as you could be, but my father in law always kept gas, money, passports, a pistol , ammo, and trade goods like cigars buried in the back of the mission compound in case they needed to haul a** when the natives got restless. He learned how to take care of himself in the Marines, in WW2.
The Lord Helps Those Who Help Themselves.
Both the grocery store and Walmart were overrun today. Most of the people I saw, judging from the license plates out in the parking lot, and the people I talked to, were Floridians. There was one group at the grocery store I felt sorry for, though they were handling things and being positive. It was six young women, and probably 12 or so little kids. I talked to one of them, and they were Navy wives from some base down in Florida. One of them owned a cabin up here (she and her husband) and they had all displaced from Florida to the mountains. Their husbands had to stay down on the base. I gave her my number and told her to call if she needed anything. My phone will probably go out, and I may not be able to get out to help anybody if the roads are blocked, but I felt like maybe as a last resort I could raise one of these old codgers on the CB, and they might be able to communicate, and get them some help. If you live in a "development" your phone lines are under ground, and some of the CB guys are also hams. And who knows, I might could get out and help them one way or the other. That's one thing about the service, when the fewmets hit the windmill, you can't just tell the boss to take a hike and go with your family. It's a hard row to hoe, being a military wife.
Walmart had their act together. I have to say, as much as I dislike them for their anti-Confederate stand, they had everything people needed, laid out on pallets. They had every single register open, and they had workers helping the elderly, disabled people, mom's with kids. Their bakery was turning out bread by the bushel, and as soon as it was ready it was bought, but there was bread for all. Whoever is running that one particular Walmart is a professional.
The grocery store was pandemonium. Every register was open and all of them had ten or more carts stacked up in their line . People were buying beer like it was going out of style, even the expensive imported beer I usually only buy for my son when he visits. I saw a lot of people buying frozen food and I wondered about that, but maybe they have one of those big Genracs, that can run your whole house. I only have 5 kw and I have to get by on that, so the freezer is not on the circuit.
Gas is a no go. We have a full tank, so I didn't worry about that a lot but so many people are arriving here from Florida that all the local stations were drained dry. I have plenty of gas for the chain saw and that's all I care about right now.
We are pretty well stocked here but we hauled a good bit of repair material up the mountain today. Ready mix cement, rubber sealant, some extra drain pipe because I extended the up slope drainage ditches. Lots more food and supplies, more out of anxiety than need. None of it will be wasted, if we don't use it now, we will use it later.
This I know for sure. The power will go out, the phone and internet will go out. How long is the question. I am parking the Jeep down at the Church on the hard surface road. I will have to walk a mile and a half back to the house, but if the secondary roads are kept clear, I will be able to get into town even if the back roads are not cleared. I expect I will have to clear any blow downs on the Jeep trail and the old forest service road before there's a prayer of getting to any county roads which might eventually get cleared. 30 years ago, lots of people lived out here who would come out and work on the roads until everybody could get into town. But now, most of them are dead, and the people that live out here now are largely retirees from cities. They will sit there like a bump on a log and wait for the county to do the work. It would never occur to them that maybe they should turn to , themselves. They're in a for a bad time though, because this part of the county gets "hind tit" as nobody important or wealthy or with connections lives out here.
The generator checks out, and I have plenty of diesel. We cook with a propane range, don't need electricity to run it. We have some turkeys in the deep freeze we were saving, but my wife plans to cook them if the deep freeze starts to thaw, and then we will eat them and the dogs can eat turkey and the cats can eat turkey till their eyeballs pop. We started eating all the frozen meat in the refrigerator freezer three days ago, and we are trying to eat all the frozen food we can before Monday night, when we can confidently expect the power to go out. Checked out my two chain saws, they are up and ready, and I have plenty of gas, two cycle oil, and bar oil for them. Wish my son was home. I would use the two handed blade saw if he was. I hate chain saws with a passion.
If the storm doesn't turn north, but keeps going northwest, we could get off virtually unscathed. But if those winds get in here, and inches of rain come down in hours, we are all up sh*t creek without a paddle. All those people who build those nice second homes right down on the river are going to get an ugly surprise. People like me, up on the steep slopes, have to worry about water flooding down the mountain and getting up against the building foundations. That's why I was out putting in deeper and longer diversion ditches.
In our normal course of events, we have plenty of everything up here. If I couldn't buy a red cents worth of anything, I'd be ok for this. I think the four loads of supplies we hauled up here was more in the way of anxiety relief than anything . We need to be doing something, not just sitting on our behinds watching the Weather Channel. I'll tell you this, when you are 33 you can look at just about anything with sang froid , but when you get into your mid sixties, it's less an adventure and more of an "oh, hell. What next?" thing.
Tomorrow is supposed to be decent, then Monday, "Le Deluge."
We'll just see how it goes.