Thursday, July 03, 2008

Electricity is Nice

Other titles considered for this blog were: The Ecstasy and the Agony and Michigan Adventure. Yesterday afternoon David was having the time of his life (see recent previous post). As the rain came down in sheets and then became mixed with hail, as the thunder and lightning edged closer and closer to simultaneity, as the children were heading for the basement for safety, and as sister-in-law Stacey was checking the computer (on battery, of course) to see if there was a tornado watch, David, glorying in the Michigan summer storm, was OUTSIDE trying to get pictures of lightning! (He got some too - although the one currently posted is not one of his.)

On the way back to Grand Rapids from Grandville we were traveling at about 30mph on the highway due to the deep puddles and the difficulty seeing because of the intensity of the rain. This wasn't helped by the fact that the streetlights on the highway went out as we were driving. We were grateful to make it back to Grandma's house safely but arrived only to find out her basement was flooded and the electricity was out.

The kids were calling this "The Michigan Adventure" (the name of a theme park out here), and it got more adventurous as time went on. About 100,000 homes and businesses in the Grand Rapids area were without power, and it is projected to stay out in some areas until Saturday.

Although it's kind of fun to "rough it," although candle-light provided interesting atmosphere for showering last night, although the liquid ice-cream we had for dessert today was almost palatable, although I feel like a wimp when I realize that for the vast majority of human history people lived without it (and still do in many parts of the world) . . .

I've decided I REALLY like electricity!

We had no idea when electricity would come back on at Mom's house - if we would be without for days. It was finally restored today at 3pm (15 hours after having gone off), and as it did, the stereo came on, and the song that was playing was The Theme to Masterpiece Theatre. I guess it was a "you had to be there" moment, but it was awesome to have that majestic fanfare play as the electricity came back on and we celebrated.

I guess talking about the weather is a boring cliche, but we were anything but bored, and it really was quite a storm, at least for us California folks. Gusts of up to 87 mph were reported in Grand Haven, and I learned a new word: "seiche." The winds were such that the water level in Lake Michigan dropped 4 feet on the opposite side of the lake.

I'm hoping there are no more such "adventures" in store!!

PS Happy Sweet 16 Anthony!

PPS Notice how popular the word "Grand" is in the names of cities in Michigan . . . hmm . . .


Anonymous said...

It looks like the Meyer Clan is having quite an adventerous time in Michigan. The smoke has cleared here and we had a beautiful cool evening at the Moband concert last night. Sitting next to us was the boys' piano teachers. Anthony we hope you had a wonderful birthday in spite of the weather. Your taxi will be waiting when you return.
Love Grandma and Grandpa Fernandes

Heidi said...

Anthony was glad to hear the smoke has cleared. He is now willing to return to CA!

One family member out here stated that reading this post was "scary," so it may be that my presentation of events was overly dramatic (but it is all true!).

Given that a few weeks ago in CA "trace amounts of rain" was a record breaking amount, 5 inches in one storm seemed rather dramatic to me!

It was also my first experience walking down stairs in the dark and stepping onto a basement floor covered with water!

Yesterday (2 days after the storm), I found that some stoplights at major intersections were still not working.

National disaster it's not, but dramatic . . . I think so.