Saturday, June 18, 2011

June 18, 2011, Most Annoying Day On Record

It was supposed to rain today, starting sometime late in the day. A few weeks ago, we got a dire rain forecast, and not much happened (we got 5mm of rain) so I prepared a little less this time, figuring this would be about the same. But I awoke at 9am to rain that had already begun. I had planned to run (IKR? I'm trying to do Couch-to-5k) but honestly it doesn't make me sad when I can't run. So I made a cup of coffee and settled on to the couch to catch up on the news and my emails, when--ZAP--hummmmm--ZAP--hummmmm--ZAP the power started flickering.

Great. Power outages here are no small problem. After the earthquake, we didn't have power for almost 2 weeks. But it was daylight, I figured I could make do. I turned on my Nook and cuddled up to read this dry-but-witty piece I'm reading about the British Museum. Not 10 minutes later I hear a violent roar. The cats went berserk. I knew exactly what had happened somehow. The roof blew off.

I should clarify that we don't have a traditional Ohio-style roof, and it's not structural, but it does the job. The winds were pretty bad, but we've had them before and hadn't had problems with the roof, but this storm was no match. Luckily our house is sealed on the inside so it wasn't like I was without a ceiling, too, but it was definitely leaking in spots. I called Nick to let him know, donned my finest rain gear, and went out to try to do something.

But the ladder was gone. I don't know where it had gotten to, but there wasn't any way I was going to get on the roof without one. I tried to gather the roof sheets (the roof is covered with zinc sheets) but every time I'd get one back to the house, it'd blow away again. Not only that but it essentially became giant shrapnel. I had to go back inside.

Luckily Nick got home with 3 of the farm employees to put things back together. They had the ladder, and I just had to move the car out of the way. I got in and turned the key-----nothing. Sigh. So with the guys tied up with the roof, I figured I had to go get the cables to jump the battery. They were down in the farm truck, a 10 minute walk away. So I faced the lashing wind and got them, and when I came back I decided to try the car one more time and ... what do you know? It started.

Por fin, the guys got the roof back up and they actually tied it down to the house so it couldn't blow away again. It's very attractive. I wish I had gotten to take a photo of the whole incident, but what else goes with an annoying day than a phone that dies right after I make the SOS call to Nick?

But wait! There's more!

Thinking the storm madness had settled, and with the power still out, Nick and I decided we were going to fly the coop back to Santiago. We had a few chores to do before we could do that, which left us soaking wet. When we were back at the house changing into dried clothes, ZAP! The power went back on. By this time we were pretty exhausted and it was going to be dark soon, so we thought this was a sign to stay in our cozy, warm house, rather than drive in the dark and rain back to our cold apartment. Plus I had planned on making lamb ragu and homemade gnocchi, and who wants to pass that up for take-out????

So we decided to stay. I put the ragu on, Nick stoked the fire and we cozied in with the rain still falling outside and the wind having calmed a bit. 2 hours into cooking..... ZAP. At this point, I just silently started packing everything up. But what do you do with a half-cooked, piping hot pot of sauce? We hemmed and hawed over what to do for about a half an hour. If we stayed, we could have dinner by candlelight but it would be kind of creepy up on the hill, in our house, with no power. Somehow electricity feels safe. If we left, we could be in town by 9pm, in a bright (but cold) apartment and could pick up a pizza along the way.

Hem, haw, hem haw.

Finally I said, ok, let's just GO because then we can't second-guess ourselves all night. We'll have made a decision that we can't go back on. Nick agreed. We finished packing everything. I put the food in the cooler. I even tied up the half-cooked pot of sauce and wrapped it in a red towel (I figured then the tomato couldn't stain it?) Nick looked hesitant like he really didn't want to leave. But we made up our minds. We were in the mud room, getting ready to lock the door when -- ZAP. Back on.

And that's when I decided that June 18, 2011 was the most annoying day of the year.