Saturday, February 15, 2014

Ice Saga Day 2

I want to start this post off by saying - WOW!  The preacher tonight, though difficult to follow at times, drove one simple point home - treat others better than you treat yourself.   I thought to myself as he was preaching this, that he was preaching to the choir that surrounded me for today the embodied this philosophy in such a way that I was left breathless.

Last night during the earthquake chat Ashley asked if there was anything they could do to help to let them know.   I told her we would welcome a chainsaw and some hands... the conversation ended with that.   I figured if they could come they would but didn't really get my hopes up - figured it would be us, Ty and Alice working along.   Not that they aren't phenomenal, just assumed it would be us.   So this AM at 9:00 Chris, Ashley's husband, texted asking when to meet.  Talk about blown away, we had an extra hand coming - WOW, I was blown away at that and so thankful.

I did post on facebook, more in jest than for reals saying - Free Pizza for anyone that can come lend a chainsaw / hands, cleanup starts at 10:30 or something like that... I know everyone had their own yards to attend to so I figured it would be Chris, us and Alice / Ty when they could, but the text kept rolling in.  Rusty needed help so Ely and Tom went over there.  Chris stated Ashley and Haize would be by later and I well I can't just tell you the feeling.   Venee texted Jack offering to help... I mean it just kept rolling in.

At the end of the day there were 10 of us pounding away at this disaster of a yard: Myself, Jack, Ashley, Haize, Chris, Venee, Ely, Tom, Rusty & Ty (in no particular order).  We made more progress in one day than Jack and I could have made in a month.  All of these people had things they could have been doing, they could have been enjoying their families, catching up on weekend errands - anything but helping us, yet here they were - sweating and pulling muscles - almost flipping four wheelers - cleaning off leaves from my porch roof - pulling daggers out of my roof - picking up limbs - chainsawing like no ones business - wenching trees! These amazing souls who donated there time and effort for a friend.

Two of these people we had not ever even met face to face, only via the computer and knowing we were part of the same church family, yet they came.   One works for my husband and has a new wife at home, yet they came, two had sweated to death already at they gym, yet they came, others had business and yards to clean up of their own, yet they came.     I am more grateful to them than they will ever know.  I can pull into my drive now without looking at it in misery - I know there is an end, we will get it back to where it was, all will be ok.  I love them and I will never forget them taking the time to lend a helping hand - whenever and wherever they need us we will be there, just say the word.

There is still much to do, but I now have faith we can do it.  The roof is going to have to be replaced, given there is a 4 to 6 inch hole in it, but God knew I needed a new one.  I prayed - God protect the house and protect the cars and he did just that.   He kept the promise that whatever we ask  in his name he will give - he knew our needs and he covered us in his umbrella of protection.   I know there are many suffering now and I don't mean to demean that in anyway - this has been a true disaster down here in many ways, but for me it was a lesson from God.  One I will treasure and remember forever.

Cleanup to be continued, but with a smile on my face and hope in my heart.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Ice Quake

Just have to add this - we are sitting here chilling in Wade's apartment grateful for the warmth and an earthquake hits - shakes the entire building.   We thought it may have been a train or something, just kept shaking - a good 30 seconds or so... seemed like a washing machine but it was shaking the entire building.

I walked outside, no one was poking their head out or anything... come back in shaking it off as a train or something and then I get on Facebook.   It was a Quake - 4.4 that was centered in Edgefield SC (about 45 min down the road).   Felt it all the way to Cumming and Dawsonville according to friends on Facebook!  Absolutely nuts - Snow Thunderstorms and Earthquakes!!!!  

I don't know when Jesus is coming back but I do know that I am saying my prayers.  I don't  normally use this blog as a religious post, but if you don't know - Jesus came to this earth to die for your sins, so that you could be reconnected to God - so you could have a relationship with him.   John 3:16 - For God So Loved the World that he gave his only begotten Son that you may have everlasting life.   It doesn't take a magical prayer or a magical ceremony - just asking God to come into your life, forgive you of your sins and start walking with him.  Maybe get in a church long term so you can learn and grow in him... but at the end of the day it boils down to your heart, not your deeds.  If your heart is truly changed your deeds will follow, though you will never be perfect - there was only one perfect sinless man - Jesus.    Ask him into your heart today... Need guidance?  I'll be glad to help - I'm not a perfect person by any means and I'm still growing in my walk, but I would love to help you.

Saying my prayers and enjoying the heat - clean up starts tomorrow!


Ice Adventures

Good evening folks - I want to record the events of the past few days before I forget.

Tuesday we knew snow was heading to Augusta and our boss went ahead and preliminary closed the office for Wednesday.   Wednesday I thoroughly enjoyed my day off watching the sleet/snow come down and played Everquest II all day - around 5 pm our power started having brown outs, Jack and I worked to get my computer and the router on the battery backup so we could play through the brown outs - right when we thought we had it all set, bam, no power at all.

So we broke the candles out, got the fire going and settled in for the night.    We were laying in the bed and started to hear the trees breaking all around us - it was a cross between hearing fireworks and a war zone.   We had a couple hit that we went out and looked at, careful not to leave the roofed area of our porch - it was a little freaky.   We went back to bed and finally Jack went upstairs to sleep because his snoring was drowning out the trees = no sleep for me.

Once he got upstairs I fell asleep only to wake up at 2:00 sick at my stomach - I got really sick and end up violently vomiting for a good 20 minutes, I finally got back to sleep around 3:30.

When we got up it was Thursday, around 9 am, both our offices were closed and it was nutz outside.  We had a tree limb hit the front of the house, luckily no major damage.  We had a tree collapse in the back yard, luckily hitting nothing, four sections of the fence are damaged from tree limbs and that isn't to talk about the front yard.   We had one pine tree fall across the yard to hit the road and rip our power line out of the pole, our Internet line was also ripped out leaving us powerless and internetless.

Billy stopped by around 9 am to check on us, cell phone service was shotty at best.  Him and Jack went to Home Depot and bought a generator and some other items.  We were hoping to not have to use it, but he bought it just in case.   I went back to bed while they were in town - it was warmer under the covers and I was so tired.

Once they got back and Billy left - We tried to head over to Alice and Ty's to check on them but we couldn't get the car out of the driveway.  We started to walk, but it was too cold so I called it and went back in.  I laid on the couch - While I laid down Jack got went outside and got the little generator we already had out, he got the fire going and moved the freezer outside and hooked it up to the little generator.  The entire time I was asleep on the couch and/or chair, just couldn't wake up - I can only assume looking back that my body was still fighting whatever made me so sick the night before.     I did turn my chair around at some point so my feet pointed to the stove - they were so cold.    Jack also cut some wood up outside while I slept under my 7 or 8 blankets...

Around 5 I woke up and we were able to get out of the driveway - we drove over to Alice and Ty's to check on them. they gave us some more firewood and we discovered their large generator had failed.  We let them use the little one and broke out the new one Jack had bought as the little one wasn't providing enough power for the freezer anyway, but would provide them with a light and something to charge phones.

After we got them the generator and visited for a bit we left to go home.   However we decided on the way home to grab a bite to eat.   Waffle House had a line out the door, but Applebee's was also open so we went there.  Their food sucks, but at that point we didn't care - We had a hot meal and thanked the staff for being kind enough to open. They were way understaffed and people were coming in groves as most didn't have power.   I was grateful to them.

We then went home and Jack got the big generator going - wow is it loud.  We got the freezer, the refrigerator, some lamps and the tv and media server hooked up.   It was awesome - I was watching some tv while he went to get some more gas.  All things considered we were doing well... then the server died, the hard drive failed.    Murphy's law but we are still blessed!    So we called it a night, I went into bedroom and got under my 8 blankets and Jack slept in the living room so he could keep fire going - super man I tell ya :)

We got up this morning around 9, my office was closed again due to no power and Jack didn't go in due to the mess at the house.  We called Alice and Ty, to see if they wanted to get breakfast - they said yes, they brought some food for the freezer to keep it safe and we headed to Waffle House.  We ate and while we were there, Wade, Jack's boss called.  He keeps an apartment here, but goes home to Atlanta on the weekend, so he offered us his apartment while he is gone!  Can you say awesomeness?   We stopped by Jack's work and got the key and then headed back home.

Alice and Ty dropped us off and Jack went to get more gas for generator and some oil.  I got the house straightened up while he was gone.  He got back and we loaded up chainsaw and headed to Alice/Ty's.  Plan was to get the chainsaw working and go over to Janine and Gordon's to get tree off of their house.  though when we got there - Ty and Gordon had gone to get gas so we just hung out for a bit.   Sat in the sun and chatted.   When Ty got back we learned that the tree that was on Gordon's house had fell and they weren't going to work with it today so we decided to go ahead and fix chainsaw (actually Ty fixed it - we thanked him, awesome handyman), get some wood and then head to Wade's so Alice/Ty could get showers.

When Ty was fixing the chainsaw Alice and I decided to load some wood.   Alice went to move Ty's truck and scraped it against the side of the tree - pretty bad.   Murphy's law I tell ya - once hugs were given, Ty went on to fix chainsaw and Jack, I and me loaded some wood.

Jack and I took Ty's truck back to the house (along with my Rav4) and unloaded the wood.   Jack also changed the oil in the generator (needed to be changed given it was it's first run) - while he did that I loaded up pillows/bag etc... for visit to Wade's.      I walked next door and checked on neighbors, they are fine - heading out of town tomorrow.

I also called my brother Bobby to see if he could help - it was funny, I asked what he had going on next weekend and he said he didn't know, needed to check with DeAnn.  I then told him I needed a favor - I needed his chainsaw and some help next weekend.  He didn't hesitate - said I'll be there, in fact I can come tonight if you need me.   I told him to wait and just come next weekend, we have to get power etc... before we can start making repairs, but the fact he was willing to drop everything brought tears to my eyes.   Family is family and I just can't say what his response meant to me.

Ty and Alice headed to our house and we caravaned over to Wade's.  They got showers and we relaxed on his couch - his apartment is very homey.  I thought given he lives here only in the week and without his wife that it would be bland, like Jack's was when I moved in, but it is decorated and very cosy.   He has books everywhere, leadership and christian reading material, pictures of his family, a keyboard ... I don't know why but my thoughts of the man have really increased.  I liked him before, but his thoughtfulness and his obvious dedication by his reading material just makes me think more of him.  I just want to give him a bear hug.

Once they got showered we headed back out, them for home (Janie and Gordon had loaned them a big generator) and us for dinner.  We ate at Cracker Barrell then went back to check on house, gassed up generator, made sure fire was still going for the fur babies, let the neighbors put some food in freezer, checked on the other neighbor's and headed back to Wade's.

I now sit here after getting a bath, in a heated apartment and am just grateful.  Grateful as it could have been a lot worse!  I prayed God protect the house and the cars and he did - I grateful and overwhelmed.    I'm hoping we get power tomorrow and I know there is alot of work ahead of, but at the end of the day - I'm simply grateful

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