Friday, February 8, 2013

"Then the clouds opened up and God said..."

Last week was a series of unfortunate events for our little family.  It started off with a small something gone wrong here or there, but by the end it seemed like I was sitting in a disaster zone!

On Saturday we woke up excited for Maggie's birthday party, only to find Ana asleep in the midst of a cot full of vomit - she'd been sick in the night and James and I never heard a sound, so she mustn't have even cried!  The morning swam by, giving Ana hugs and warm showers while she continued to be sick over and over, while trying to get things ready for the party!!  The party came and went.  Maggie had a lovely time, and we took turns with Ana up in our unit, separate from the celebrations.  A doctor came out that afternoon and said it was possibly an ear infection and it should go away soon.

On Sunday I stayed home from church so Ana could rest, because she was still being sick.  James and Maggie went to church, but everyone was sent home early because the weather was insane and it was getting a bit dangerous.  Apparently we had the dregs of a cyclone passing through over the next day or two.    Just before dark, our power went out.  We ate cold leftovers for dinner, put the children to bed, lit candles and chilled on our big bean bags by the back door, talking for hours and watching the storm.  Apart from worrying about Ana, it was a cool night with the storm and the candles, just relaxing!

On Monday morning we woke up to no power, still!  James went in search of ice to keep our fridge cool and there was wreckage all over the streets, and nothing had power!  All the servos around us were closed, fast food, everything.  He drove a while away and found a girl at a servo just closing up, and convinced her to let him pay her cash for some ice. It was the public holiday for Australia Day, so James wasn't working and we were planning to pack all day.  We called Energex and the hotline said they were attempting to have our power back on by "6:30 tomorow evening".  We thought it must be a mistake, but by the end of the day I had driven our meat and James' work shirts to Mum and Dad's place, 5 minute down the road where everybody still had power(!!!), to cook and iron there.  Eating by candlelight was a LOT less fun.  And Ana hadn't eaten a thing for her 3rd day running, and was still dry heaving, so we had a doctor out to our place Monday night, where he examined her by candlelight and again found basically nothing wrong but prescribed antibiotics just in case of infection..

Tuesday morning I drove James to work, and we stopped at a bakery on the way so he could grab some food.
  • Our kitchen was flooded from the ice, which had melted, and everything in our fridge was officially 'off'. 
  • The baby's nappy exploded and our sheets, his sheets, and a bunch of his clothes were covered in poo.  I rinsed them and put them in the powerless washing machine, along with a bunch of things covered in vomit from Ana.  
  • Washing situation getting desperate.  
  • I went to Mum and Dad's house and we ate some food and hung out in their air con for a bit.  Home was a little depressing.  I was HANGING OUT for 6:30pm so desperately!! 
  • Ana was still miserable, but actually ate a little! - first time since Friday night!  
  • My amazing little sister was bringing us dinner that night.  
  • I went home to wash our dishes and realised our hot water was off!! It had finally run out - we hadn't thought to ration it.  
  • I was meant to be packing.  We were moving in 5 days.  Our house was a complete mess.  I mopped up more of the water seeping from the bottom of our fridge.  It was 'stinking hot'.
  • Took our rotten food in bags down to our bins.  Many neighbors in the units surrounding us were out discussing the things that had rotted or been ruined for them.

Called Energex again (Okay, I got a little obsessed with calling Energex for updates) and the message told me they were attempting to restore power by "10:30 Thursday morning"


I hung up and looked around me.  Ana was lying down miserably, not playing.  Maggie running riot.  Our house was completely covered in boxes and packing tape, bits of half-packed things and other mess.  We had no sheets on 3 of our beds.  They were in the washing machine covered in poo and/or vomit.  There was no hot water.  Our kitchen was covered in dirty dishes.  We were all dirty and hot, and running out of clean clothes.  I had a beautiful newborn sweating nearby (who knew how efficient and awesome fans are?!).  The roads surrounding us were flooding.  There were 2 roads out of our area and they were completely crazy.  All of the food in our fridge was rotten.  And it was so hot!  And the power wasn't coming back on until THURSDAY?!!!!! I flung myself dramatically on the couch ready to cry, when suddenly a line from that movie we all loved when we were 8 came to mind:

"Then the clouds opened up and God said, "I hate you, Alfalfa!"

I starting laughing instead.  "The Susan Hayward - the exquisite tragedy of it all!" (movie?!).  What a HORRIBLE week!!! And we were NOT remotely ready to move.  The next morning Dad came to pick me up and rescue me in their home for another day.  It took an hour and a half for him to come and take me back to their place, normally 5 minutes away.  Those 2 roads were carparks, and it seemed like everywhere was flooded.  Bless having the most patient man in the world for a father - thanks Daddy!  He's also the man who cooked up all our meat for us so it didn't go off, and Mum hosted us and fed us cold food every day! - thank goodness for kind family!! - and offers from my other sisters for more help.

Fortunately, and miraculously, our power came back on on Wednesday afternoon at about 2pm!  About 20 hours early!!! Bless Energex!!

I know we have so much to be grateful for, and even our 'disaster week' has nothing on many peoples every day living situations all over the world, and we didn't lose our home or anything... but boy was it miserable!!

So you can imagine my delight when I called our power company to transfer our power to our new home this weekend, and they told me they wouldn't be able to hook it up until 2 days after we moved in... !! - but that's another story :)

I hope everyone was safe and well - and not too miserable - through last week with the floods and the fires throughout this wonderful, crazy country we live in!!!!


1 comment:

  1. Hahaha, you poor thing Abs. I thought of you a lot that week and wished we lived closer so I could be more help!!
    I'm glad you lived and hopefully have clean sheets now :P
    At least it's a good story now, after the fact.
    Unless it's still a little too fresh?? :P
    Your little girls are troopers too. I'm glad Ana is feeling so much better now!!