Mean Irene

As many of  you know, Hurricane Irene swept up the east coast on Saturday afternoon and evening, bringing lots of wind and rain along with it. Sadly, our neighborhood didn’t fare very well with high wind gusts slamming a bunch of giant trees down on power lines, roads, and even homes.

Thankfully, our house was spared. But many of our neighbors and friends weren’t so lucky. It broke our hearts to look out from our patio to see that a tree in our neighbor’s yard had fallen onto their home (it easily could have hit ours if it fell in the other direction).

Thankfully although they were both home with their two dogs at the time, no one was hurt. But parts of their house are flooded and shattered, and we’re so sad for them – and anyone else whose family or house has been affected.

When it came to what we did during the storm, we just hunkered down at home between 6pm to midnight when the winds were at their worst. And after hearing/seeing a few large trees come down on our block we decided to sleep in interior rooms, just to have a bit more protection in the event that something fell on our house (since our basement is below grade, we worried it could flood – which is why we opted for interior rooms over lower level spaces). Clara slept in the hallway in a pack and play (since it was insulated by rooms on all sides)…

… and John and I dragged the not-as-heavy-as-ours mattress from the guest room into the kitchen (which is also in the middle of our house).

Thankfully our basement didn’t flood and although we have a bunch of branches and debris to clean up on our yard (along with a few larger tree limbs in the back) we feel incredibly fortunate.

We’re still without power along with what we hear are around 800,000 other Richmonders (ours went out around 5pm on Saturday, so we’re on our third day without it). We’re hoping to have it restored soon, but realistically know that it could be a few more days or even one to two weeks (a statement that they just released alludes to the latter of those timelines). A number of trees on the power lines in our neighborhood means that it might be a while for us, so our blogging schedule may be a bit irregular until our area is back up and running. We also might not be able to keep up with comments, facebook, and twitter as much as we’d like (since you know we’re usually so chatty), but we do have plans to stop in with the afternoon giveaway as usual, and hope that everyone else who is dealing with any sort of storm repercussions is doing ok.

Oh and we felt compelled to check on our first house and were so relieved to see that it appeared to make it through. Although there was a huge tree on the house across the street. Scary stuff.

Between this and the earthquake on Tuesday, we’re ready to be done with natural disasters for a while – especially since it’s rare for either of them to affect Richmond so much (the last major storm in our area was Isabel in 2003, and most Richmonders were without power for about a week). Let’s hope we’re back up and running sooner than that. Luckily a few of our relatives do have power and enough food/water to go around. In fact here’s Clara on Sunday morning after the storm passed and we headed over to Grammy’s house, where there’s power, glorious power (which seems to be a rarity in our city). We joked that all of the chaos drove her into the arms of her cousin John…

… where they watched a video together and had a grand old time.

Thanks so much to everyone on twitter, facebook, and here in the comments who checked in on us this weekend. You have no idea how much we appreciate the love and send it right back atcha. And for anyone else who was affected, we’d love to hear from you about how you’re doing.


  1. Aya M says

    Shew! Glad everyone is okay. A lot of us are without power and cleaning up damage and debris here in NC, too. So thankful Irene lessened to a Cat 1, instead of making landfall as a 3. Could have been so much worse!

  2. says

    I feel your pain! We are in Alabama and when the tornadoes came through we didn’t have power for 5 days! It was so rough! People were waiting in line for gas for hours! I myself spent 3 hours in a gas line just so I could get enough to get us through if there was a shortage! Stay cool y’all

  3. Maky says

    Scary stuff but all that matters is that the four of you (and your families and friends) are ok. Homes you can rebuild, lives not so much :)
    Hang in there – I bet you’ll find ways to make the power-less time more entertaining than most!

  4. Lisa Riley says

    Glad to hear you are all safe and sound! My family and I were also very lucky to have missed fallen trees (we’re south of Boston) and we didn’t lose power. Again, super, super lucky!

  5. Kim H says

    So glad to hear YHL is unharmed after the hurricane!

    I noticed the tape outlines in the kitchen, are you thinking of replacing your table?

    • says

      Oh yeah- that’s a big long story that’s partially written (I hope to finish it when we get power back). Just considering a few built-in options there.


  6. says

    this is sad. i thought about your family all weekend! I wondered how you were doing after your facebook post :) glad you are all okay-i wouldn’t know what to do whatout your blog!

  7. Rachel says

    Oh, I’m so glad you guys are OK. I thought and prayed for you and countless others.

    That’s so unfortunate about your neighbors. I’m glad they weren’t hurt.

  8. Pip says

    Thanks for sharing pics and your updates. My heart goes out to those who’ve lost so much. But strangely – I was worried about your recently ORB’d letterbox and mr squirrel – who seem to have made it through ok!

    • says

      We are amazed at what made it through and what didn’t – it’s just all so random. A gorgeous home on our street who just completed an entire second story addition got slammed by a giant oak. Such a sad time for our neighborhood. But the homeowner had such a great sense of humor about it. She said she’ll just rebuild it again and joked that she was glad it didn’t hit her new kitchen.


    • Erin says

      Nature definitely doesn’t discriminate. For me, scary situations like this serve as a painful reminder about just how temporary this earthly stuff is, how we can spend all our lives making our homes beautiful, but at the end of the road (and sometimes sooner) it’s not ours to keep or take with us. Kinda makes all of my decorating seem in vain.

    • Beth says

      I’m so sorry that you had to go through this disaster, but glad that you are all safe!

      I don’t mean to be a debbie downer, but it starts to make a person wonder what is up with all these natural disasters lately…the earthquakes and tsunamis killing thousands in Japan, droughts in East Africa where millions are starving, the stock market dropping drastically which is making people worried about the world economy, terrorist attacks, major flooding that has taken place in the midwest and beyond, earthquakes all over the place, etc… :(

  9. melissa says

    Glad you are ok! We’re waiting out the storm on east coast in Canada (PEI).. things just starting to get windy here this morning..

  10. Vanessa says

    So glad you are all okay. This is very scart stuff, but I am happy to hear your neighbors are okay and you have family to stay with. Take care!

  11. Barb says

    Reporting in from Dover, NH where the hurricane came through also. Lots of wind and rain and tons of debris in the yard. Clean up today will entail raking and picking up lots of branches like your yard. The problem in NH is that the rivers are overflowing and lots of towns are under water. I feel so bad for those people.

    Power was never lost…just kept flickering on and off. We are lucky with that.

    The neighborhood had some trees on houses but doesn’t seem as bad as your neighborhood.

    Like you…I am done with Irene. The sun is out today and it is down right chilly out. Out I go to rake. Glad you are all fine. Clara with cousin made me smile. What is it about that child that always brings smiles to people’s faces? She is a dear one…


    • Rory says

      That’s good to know. Dover’s my hometown, though I live out west in Denver now, and I haven’t had a chance to talk to any family yet (I just know they are okay). I used to live right by Tuttle’s Red Barn, though I hear it’s been sold now. Glad to hear there isn’t too much damage!

  12. Ashley says

    Oh my word, craziness! It looks like half of your shingles are gone! I grew up in Bahamas and I feel like we had to replace those things every other hurricane, glad you’re all ok!

    • says

      Our roof actually made it through (well, as far as we can tell)! It’s funny that it looks two-toned like that though. That’s a long shadow from the sun playing tricks. So strange!


  13. Amanda says

    Wow! Glad you guys are ok! I’m in Virginia Beach, and we have limbs and debris to pick up, but, luckily, we still have power. Looks like your neighborhood got it a whole lot worse than ours did. Stay safe (and cool)!

  14. says

    So glad you are okay! Sounds like your area took the brunt of it! By the time Irene got to Brooklyn, it wasn’t too bad – particularly in the higher areas (where we are). Most of the trees that would have been affected were knocked down it last year’s tornado so it wasn’t too bad. Hope your power comes on soon!

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