As I write this, it seems to be the calm before the storm (literally). The sky is gray and ominous and only a few additional leaves fell overnight. The remaining leaves are prime targets for the wind that will be here later today and over the next few days. They are likely to all come down but we’re hoping they don’t bring any branches down with them

Last year’s Snowtober storm pretty much took our town to it’s knees. We lost power for just over 8 days and learned that after about 4 of those days, that we were sick and tired of no power and the darkness that settled in around 5:30 each evening. Then, as now, time had not shifted with the end of daylight savings time. Work still started at the same time, but with no power, Internet or phone, made working remotely impossible. The kids were great — no school that week for either of them, and they hadn’t killed each other by the time we got home. They were real troopers. One thing that we had then as we do now, is the propane fireplace in the Florida room. It provided more than enough heat to sleep for those who choose to sleep downstairs. Sue and I headed upstairs under a pile of blankets to attempt to stay warm enough for the few hours we would be in bed.

This year, we are only a bit more prepared. We have water stockpiled and we have both neighbors with generators for their wells and a local place to crash if needed at my Mother-in-law’s home in the adult living facility. They have a large generator and shouldn’t lose power for long given the elder population and in-town location. So at least we have backups for short showers and power. While we will eventually purchase a generator large enough to power a few appliances, a few lights, and the well and furnace, we haven’t made that a priority in our lives yet. Maybe this storm will be the motivation to get that done before winter is through.

We do have a challenging week coming up with the combination of the storm and inbound visitors starting on Friday. Sue’s Mom turns 90 on Halloween. We won’t be there because of a few young visitors and the fact that her facility has a Halloween celebration. She’s really enjoying the company and the fact that she interacts with her peers on a daily basis. She also knows that she is in better health than 90% of them, and certainly in better health than anyone else in their 90s. We are putting on a surprise birthday party for her next Saturday that will include a few out of town guests. Two of Sue’s brothers and their spouses, at least one nephew and his family, and perhaps a niece and part of her family including her husband that most of the family has never met. Needless to say, this is making Sue nuts with everything that needs to get done in combination with the impending power outage and storm clean-up. But, everything will get done, or it won’t, and the party will go off with only it’s normal collection of hitches.

My priority today is to complete a huge body of work for my real job so that it can get reviewed and approved on Thursday. Once I have that submitted, I can actually dedicate myself to helping around here. The work here yesterday wasn’t enough to feel accomplished in any aspect – work or home. But, we did get a great jump on the work at home. Today, we’re hanging pictures, moving furniture, and then trying to batten down the hatches to prevent outdoor items from flying away in the wind!

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