Update: I’m alright

Holy cow. It has been quite a weekend. I'm sure you can tell what's happening around here from the news. Needless to say, I had a hard time sleeping Thursday night. It's really unnerving to see massive trees sway in the wind like they are made out of rubber. I appreciate the well-wishes of those that have left comments here or have e-mailed. Here's what's happened since last I blogged:

Thursday night, the lights started flickering. I believe the electricity went out around 10 or 11 PM. I woke up at about 2 because of the noise outside. The rain was coming down sideways and hard. I moved to the back bedroom because I was a little worried about the trees on the front side of my house and the big window in the front. The first night wasn't too bad. When I woke up, I was just trying to get a sense of what happened, when we could expect the electricity to come back and what I needed to do to get by. I'm extremely fortunate to have amazing neighbors who have "adopted" me into their family. They have a gas fireplace and cook top. So I was able to have coffee (so necessary). I had a bunch of burgers in the freezer so we fired up their grill and had dinner by candlelight. I went home and slept in front of the fireplace. That was Friday.

Saturday, i took a shower (my hot water heater is gas....getting out of the shower is tough when it's so chilly) I went over again for coffee and we drove around. It's odd how one side of a street has power and the other doesn't. As of yesterday, parts of Redmond had electricity and we went out to eat, then went for dinner at my neigh ors' sons family's house (did I mention  how awesome my neighbors are?). I got my emergency radio and went to sleep in my living room cuddled up with Jonas (he never was that interested in cuddling before....I guess when the house is 45 degrees, he gets interested). I slept in a fleece jacket, hat, sweats, wool socks, etc.

This morning, I started to worry about my family being concerned and not knowing if I was OK. So I left a note on my door, packed up my laptop and my dog and started driving. My intended first step was the office to see if there was electricity and there is! What a relief. I came in and called each set of parents to let them know I was OK and logged on to make sure that the people I had conf calls scheduled with on Friday figured out what happened (some did, some didn't). Jonas is curled up on the floor next to me in my office. It's entirely possible that I will sleep here tonight as I am starting to run low on fire logs. I'm going to see if I can find an air mattress. I can come in here and close the blinds and snuggle up with my doggy. There's also hot coffee here (they have those iCups machines in the kitchens here) and I believe there's a shower on the third floor. Evidently, desperate times call for desperate measures.

Listening to the radio, there are people in worse shape than me; people that have no fire wood and aren't close enough to someplace that has heat. I at least feel like I have some options here since there's electricity close by. I've got about 6 layers of comforters and blankets sitting on my living room floor and i can sleep there in 45 (or less, by tonight) degrees or I can sleep here in the office. Weird.

My neighbors and I are going to make a little party tonight. My mom sent me steaks for my birthday. I also have that BBQ that Doug recommended. Well, the stuff in the freezer is not longer frozen, just cold. So it must be eaten. We are going to fire up the grill and grab some wine and make the best of it. I'll let you all know how things turn out and when we get our electricity back. This has definitely been the weirdest winter ever!


PS: if some of this doesn't make sense, I am going to blame it on the few hours of sleep I got last night on the cold floor : )

Comments (12)

  1. It sounds like you had it tougher than we did in Auburn. Our power was out from Thursday evening till about 12:30 am on Saturday. I came back from the Seahawk’s game and found that two roads leading to our home on Lea Hill were closed due to large trees in the road. A kind police officer told us about a road we didn’t know about and were able to make it home that evening to a very cold house.

    It sounds like you have some very cool neighbors.

    If you haven’t already bought a mattress you’re welcome to borrow my Aerobed. It inflates itself in about 2 minutes. If you’re at MS, I’d be happy to deliver it to you.

  2. Francesco Esposito says:

    Well I am gald to hear you are ok! What a wild windstorm. It seems like some of your fellow Microsofties got hit pretty bad (apparently Major Nelson’s Skylight got blown off!). BBQ steaks and wine doesn’t sound to bad though, apparently people in Seattle really know how to ‘rough it’. Ha 🙂

  3. JayG26 says:

    Glad to hear that you are ok.  I have been reading through the main blog index and it seems that a number of people are sleeping in their offices  in Redmond this weekend.

  4. Microsoft slumber party? 😉

    Seriously though, glad to hear that you’re alright, and also glad that we don’t get that kind of weather over here in ole’ Europe. Though I do remember how my parents balcony was taken out when lightning struck a maple tree in the garden a few years back. Trees can be dangerous things to be around…

  5. HeatherLeigh says:

    Brett-that is so nice of you. I just bought a Coleman one. You should have seen me just now blowing it up in the parking lot. Crazy!

    Francesco – yeah. mostly because the freezer is defrosting!

    JayG26 – that is good to hear. It feels weird to be planning on sleeping here but I don’t know what else to do!

    Cornelius – I bet it sounds more fun than it is. We don’t get this kind of weather here…that is the weird thing. I thikn I am buying a generator and getting my fireplace hooked up to gas.

    Man, weather sucks!

  6. mrscrooge says:

    Hey I had a feeling you were doing the MSFT slumber party thing too :). I got tired of nomad-ing thru downtown seattle with friends and came back to the eastside , grabbed a bag full of stuff and camped out at one of the main campus buildings which had full power. Felt REALLY fortunate, sleeping in the warmth on a nice comfy couch in the hallway. Good to know you’re safe and sound!

  7. HeatherLeigh says:

    Aha! I guess I wasn’t the only one. There were a couple of cars parked outside my building as well. My office was pretty comfortable…very warm! And now I soooo appreciate the iCup machines.

    So despite the fact that I had moved most of my office stuff home (which actually made more space on the floor for my bed), I have a pretty good set-up and think I could stay here for a while if I absolutely needed to. I have a mini fridge (which was defrosting, but I can plug back in). I need to go check out the shower on the third floor.

    I started making a list of other things I should bring here if I stay another night. The one good thing is that the buildings are quiet because many are on vacation. We are generally OK with people bringing dogs to work but I am keeping my shades drawn so nobody finds it weird what is going on in my office.

    Scrooge – you could also go to the library if you just needed a space to hang out. I have offers to stay with friends but it’s complicated by the fact that I have Jonas and he doesn’t get along with other animals. Did you see any other people doing the same? I’m bringing a TV tonight if I don’t get electricity. Haven’t seen TV since Thursday….

    I’m just saying that my emergency kit doesn’t seem so crazy and paranoid now! Really, the timing was interesting!

  8. mrscrooge says:

    Is the library quiet? My second nite in a row at the sql server bldg and I unfortunately picked the floor with some conf room construction which started at 5am. Oops. Saw maybe 1 or 2 other people but its a big bldg. I have to say though, I felt like I was getting *real* work done last nite – amazing how productive you can get when you have uninterrupted time. Hope Jonas is coping well with the changes.

  9. eR0CK says:

    Glad to hear you’re alright!  When I lived out west, we had quite a large fir tree fall behind our house.  The tree, only 10′ from out house … luckily fell the other way.

    I’ll always remember the windstorms.  Many people on the east coast asked me if they were common and I always say the PNW gets a good one almost every other year.  I remember leaving school early because of a incoming windstorm!

  10. HeatherLeigh says:

    mrscrooge- the building was very quiet but there aren’t couches in the library, just arm chairs. They have air mattresses at the Fred Meyer on 148th. If you do that, let me know…we can order a pizza or something.

    eRock- this was really the first storm of this type that I have seen and I have been here since 99. It may have been bigger than you think. I e-mailed my directore and the leader of our division and neither of them knew it was this bad from the reports. My mom didn’t know anything was wrong until i called her yesterday- which I am kind of glad about because without any phone service, I didn’t want her to worry about me. I’ll get some pics taken so you guys can see some of what is going on.

    Some holiday break! So thankful there’s electricity at Microsoft and it’s pretty darn comfy here. I don’t think I’ve ever worked someplace where I would feel this comfortable sleeping at work.

  11. tlamothe says:

    As much as it sucks to lose the food in the freezer, I am glad to hear that the freezer is defrosting and not that the house is frozen.  The reason I say this; I was talking with a Microsoft TAM last week after the Vista Launch in Ottawa and we got talking about the ice storm in ’98. His sister was in Montreal was without power for 20 days and during that time the house basically froze and all the paint on the walls flaked up and fell off the walls. I guess when they say indoor paint, they really mean it.

    Don’t worry, the emergency kit isn’t paranoid, it is good proactive planning. I am sure that by having the kit, you are not feeling as over run by this then you would have had you not had your kit.

  12. HeatherLeigh says:

    tlamothe – I have a fucet running to keep the pipes from freezing. i went by the house this morning to pick up some stuff and it was quite chilly. I just bought a portable DVD player and a bunch of DVDs. I’m going to consider it an early birthday gift to myself.

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