Five days and no posts! Quality over quantity is the rule on this blog, but faithful followers will fall away if they check in and repeatedly find no activity. Busy holidays make it hard to post regularly, and our wonderful Western New York weather can sometimes make it impossible.
Last weekend it was the near-incessant shoveling of snow out of my driveway; yesterday it was 60+ m.p.h. winds which knocked out our power for over five hours, thereby disabling a sump pump that, even with power, had been just barely keeping up with an inflow of water into our basement from a 2-foot snow pack that melted in less than two days, thanks to near-60-degree temperatures on Friday and Saturday. That's right: Arctic to mid-spring (or so it felt) in less than a week! Then, back to near-Arctic in a matter of minutes Sunday morning, as a cold front blasted through with hurricane force winds and took down a power line a few blocks away. My son Rob and his wife Sheila, together with my wife Melany and me, ran a bucket brigade up and down the basement stairs for over three hours to keep the place from flooding completely. By 12:30 p.m. muscles and patience were exhausted, and Rob was frantically--and futilely--trying to fix our old generator, which hadn't worked in years, out in the hurricane. When all hope seemed lost, a kindly neighbor let us know that they had a generator up and running and that we could hook up to it with several extra extension cords that they had (I had sliced in two our only long cord this past summer, while trimming hedges, and never got around to getting it fixed or replaced). So, Rob and I plunged into the woods between the two houses, snaking cords back to our sump pump, while all around us tall trees were bending half-over in the gale, ready to snap and obliterate us (feel free to stop me when you think I'm getting too dramatic). The sound of a running sump pump was the sweetest music we could imagine at that moment, and we dragged ourselves upstairs in delirious exhaustion, there to play cards in the dismal house as we contemplated a coming night without power (save the sump pump), and, therefore, heat. Rob and Sheila went to get a propane tank filled so that we could at least cook some food on the grill out in the garage. And at the moment they arrived back, about 2:15 p.m., the power came back in a seeming miracle of coincidence! You can imagine the cheer that went up! I wanted to post something about this harrowing experience, but after snaking back to our neighbors' through the woods with the extension cords, trees still threatening to drop on my head, I was too exhausted to even think about it.
And after all that, the gang STILL insisted that I grill turkey out amidst the howling winds! As I stood over the grill (at least it was somewhat sheltered, radiating some heat, and I had Rob there for company), I wondered what Western New York had ever done to God to deserve the curse of such "interesting" weather. But if it weren't for that, what would we have to talk about around here--the Bills?