Tag Archives: Weather

Another High Wind in Bethesda

Earlier in the week we had an earthquake and last night / this morning we had a hurricane. Someone or someones on Twitter called it the week of the hurriquake.

I fell asleep last night to gentle rain and mild breezes and woke up around 1:30 AM to bursts of rain heavy rain and loud wind gusts. I think that’s what woke me up — either that or the sound of a transformer blowing somewhere nearby. I checked the clock and saw it was still glowing, so knew the transformer was the one that connected to our power lines.

Tweet from Mike Leroy
Tweet from Mike Leroy

Unable to sleep, I went upstairs and logged onto Facebook and Twitter to see how others were doing. Some had lost power, others had seen it go out while on their way home from nights out. Most were just posting from home hoping their power didn’t fail. I posted a couple of updates and then I received my favorite tweet mention of all. It was from Mike Leroy who sang the title song in one of my favorite movies when I was younger, A High Wind in Jamaica. I blogged about this song in my song a day blog and Mr. Leroy commented on that post.

Anyway, we survived and so did our power. Only minor damage to the house (a downspout came loose) and a few downed branches. Nothing much else to report.

Here’s hoping those of you to still meet Ms Irene will come out as unscathed as we did.

5 things I hate about fall and 5 things I don’t

I love the way the sky looks impossibly blue behind still green leaves.
I don’t like how some leaves turn completely brown.
I love the smell of fallen leaves and the way they sound when you walk through them
I hate the way the fruit from the ginkgo tree makes your feet smell after walking through them
I love the way our sugar maple turns bright orange in the fall.
I hate knowing it will lose all the leaves very soon. (Although birds will be easier to spot when that happens)
I hate the way the black-eyed susans have lost their petals and greenery
But I like the seeds left over that attract the birds.
I dread the falling temperatures.
But I’m looking forward to sitting by a cozy fire.

When the lights went out in Bethesda

Last Sunday at 3:29 pm a violent storm passed through the DC area knocking over trees and bringing down branches. It also resulted in no power to around 300,000 homes and businesses in the DC Metro area.  We were among  that number.

The actual storm was kind of fun.  It didn’t last long, but was very strong. We saw huge branches fall from our Tulip poplar, and the torrential rain flew sideways for a while, drenching everything in our screened in porch. Stupidly we all stood at the front (cracked) picture window in the dining room while the storm raged. Had I been carrying my mobile phone with me I would have gotten the tornado “SEEK SHELTER IMMEDIATELY. THIS IS A DANGEROUS STORM!” warning text. But it was charging in my office.

Sometime before the end of the storm we heard the muffled pop of a transformer, and the lights went out. We suspected we were in for at least a day without power. During the blizzard last winter people were without power for several days (we were lucky and didn’t lose power — or at least not for long if we did). A number of years ago a hurricane took out our power for a week. That was not very much fun.

Anyway — Dean took Clare and Brandon (my nephew who was visiting from Illinois) to DC to a museum and Georgetown while I stayed home and cooked dinner — which was my plan before the storm but was going to be more of a challenge with no power. Luckily we have a gas stove and I could use the burners after lighting them with a match.

That night, after Dean, Clare and Brandon returned we ate dinner and talked about what to do that night. Brandon was the most concerned — he worried about sleeping without air conditioning. Also: no TV or Xbox. Andrew and Clare went out with friends. Dean and Brandon went to bed early but I stayed up and read by candle light.

The next morning Dean, Andrew and Brandon headed to Pennsylvania to camp for the night. Clare and I stayed home. Clare slept until noon, as usual, but I was up early. With not much else to do I tackeled the cupboards and drawers in my kitchen — something I’d  been meaning to do for months. I started on one side of the kitchen and ended up at the other side. No longer does one feel like they’re looking at a puzzle in an “Eye Spy” book when trying to find the measuring spoon in one kitchen drawer.

After Clare woke up we celebrated her 19th birthday by going to the mall and buying her a couple of items for her mobile phone. We also bought some more flashlights, since the boys took the good ones camping.

That night we lit several candles while I continued to clean the house. I remarked to Clare that this must be what I would be like had the Internet not been invented. I would clean all day. She thought that sounded sick.  After Clare left to hang out with friends, I read for a few hours by candle light, then went to sleep — exhausted after a day of hard work in nearly 90° temperatures.

On Tuesday I found more cleaning to do, and was just about to begin work on the basement when I heard a strange noise. The air conditioner fan! We had electricity again! Goodbye cleaning! Hello Internet…