Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Wacky Week That Was

You know, sometimes I might hint that my life is fairly uneventful. Not that I complain, I just like living a simple, boring life with the exception of my vacations and adventures with Janine. This last week has seen quite a bit of action. Let's see if I can recap with pictures.

Dexter seemed unfazed by the
Last Tuesday, the 23rd, in the early afternoon hours, the ground began to shake. At first it sounded as if someone in the floor above decided to drop a file cabinet, which happens quite a bit up there. They are lawyers. Not long after my initial reaction, did I realize I was in a classic California style earthquake. The ground was swaying with the building. I could feel the ripples that comes with a shallow earthquake, and I began to calmly walk from the building.

I can't recall the last time I had been in an earthquake. I remember one about a 5.5 magnitude in Los Angeles at one time, but this one felt serious enough to leave the building. Come to find out, this earthquake was measured at 5.8 and there was slight damage at the epicenter near Mineral, Virginia and some damage in Washington DC. The earthquake could be felt as far north as Canada and as far south as Florida. Luckily this was only a mild earthquake, but one can imagine the furor that came from the locals after experiencing such an event. I would have to say this will be most memorable to most in the region.

Also, Janine and I had planned a weekend trip with her mother to Myrtle Beach. This is my time to finally unwind after a hectic summer at work. We get holiday hours in the summer, but my work does not go away in the summer. In fact, with limited hours, my work always seems to double. So this is my time to stare at the ocean and clear my head. This was not meant to be.

We hit Irene on the way to
Almost immediately after the earthquake, forecasters began to speculate that Hurricane Irene would take a Carolina turn. This would behoove us to cancel our weekend trip, there's no way I was going to stay in a camper in the middle of a hurricane. We decided instead to go to Lynchburg. We had not been up in a while to see Sam and Jessi's new house, so we swapped our September trip and headed west.

It was great seeing the new house. I'm proud of our friends for taking the plunge and putting their roots down in a great neighborhood in a great location and the house is very pretty. It was the perfect place to wait out Irene, get caught up on recent events, and hang out with their cats. While I was there, I purchased a Logitech Revue, which is a Google TV set top box. I'll post more on that later.

Sunday, we drove back home, full of fear and dread. We were fairly certain with the multitude of trees that we have we would have some kind of damage. We were sure also that there would be long term power outages and potentially a water outage. We decided to stop in Appomattox and stock up on water and supplies. Fifteen gallons of water later, we made our way back home to see the damage.

Huge branch is asking to
be chainsawed
We lucked out. So many homes in our area were damaged or destroyed! I feel terrible for those who have lost so much this past weekend in our neighborhood. We only had one large branch fall and piles of leaves that were yanked from our trees. Our thoughts are we may not always be this lucky, so we're going to look into further emergency planning and potentially some tree removal down the road.

As I write this, we are still without power. We've made the most of it though. We've gone out a few nights and tried to take life as easy as we could while roughing it in our own house. We've even been making s'mores with our new propane stove. It's amazing how many little luxuries we take for granted every day. We both agree, though, that we'll remember this week for the rest of our lives.