01 November 2012

Superstorm Sandy recap

Rowhouse Livin' made it through the storm completely unscathed, and the people in the communities and states that were affected by anything from power outages to flooding and fires are in my thoughts. Like many people from the mid-Atlantic, I've spent my share of summers at the Delaware and Jersey shores; the damage at Rehoboth, Dewey, Ocean City, and elsewhere is saddening. And the personal losses of those who lost their homes or friends and family is heartbreaking.

Philadelphia was so lucky in its location -- we were near the center of the storm, directly in its path, which is unexpectedly a safer place to be than on the outer edges -- and our officials worked hard to ask people to stay inside during the high winds, to evacuate residents from flood-prone areas, and to get services up and running very soon afterward. The worst damage on my block was a commercial sign that lost a single zip-tie, so that the bottom half of the sign was left dangling awkwardly. It's far more amusing than hazardous.

Here at the homestead our utilities never failed at all. We kept our computers and other devices plugged in, to keep the batteries fully charged in case the electric did cut off, and I spent much of the day watching cable news streaming online. (Whether that was completely wise is another question!) We were stuck inside, because of the danger of debris being blown around the streets. But we ate ordinary meals, able to use the fridge and stove with no trouble. I even baked a bread pudding out of bread crumbs I had taken out of the freezer to make room for extra ice.

Now I'm about out of eggs again.

I have only two complaints about the storm. One, I've had to figure out how to incorporate bean sprouts into three days' worth of suppers, since I had started three days' worth ahead of time, certain that our electric would go out. I've done a penne rigate with pesto sauce and bean sprouts, a butternut squash soup with bean sprouts, and . . .  I don't know yet what I'll do tonight, but I'm glad tonight's the last night with these crazy bean sprouts! (My daughter likes to eat them raw by the handful, but I'm wary.)

Two, my bathroom ventilation fan failed sometime early on Tuesday. Now, I'm honestly a little glad that it failed, because it's wired on a single switch with the bathroom light, so it engages every time the light is turned on, whether you need it (odors, shower steam) or not (brushing and flossing). But it's actually bad news, because I don't have a window in the bathroom. It's a wholly interior room of, natch, a rowhouse: the east wall is the west wall of a bedroom; the west wall is the east wall of a hallway; the north wall holds the door to a hallway; and the south wall is the party wall to the next rowhouse. While I'm happy this happened now that it's cooler and less humid outside, rather than during the summer, when mildew would be harder to control, it's a very high-priority project. Maybe the silver lining is that this is a good opportunity to put a fan and the light on different switches. Anyway, I guess I have a my work cut out for me this weekend.

Did the storm take out my bathroom fan? I probably wouldn't be able to convince my homeowners' insurance company so. And if it's the least of my Superstorm Sandy problems, I know we're one lucky, lucky household.

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