Home again, home again.

Time to return to the US.  On our way, we had a layover in Toronto on December 30th.  Two days shy of Max’s 19th birthday.  Sad – he was once again too young to hit the pubs.

Rachel's back in North America!

Happy birthday, Max!

We spent some nice days back (Happy birthday, Max!  19!!!) at home before Max headed back to WSU.  Shortly after he left, Rachel, Chris, and I visited him.  Well, Rachel stayed with Max (and his roomie Adam) and Chris and I bunked at a local Pullman hotel.   A fun time was had by all.

We drove home and enjoyed a quiet night at home.  And the snow started.  Yay snow!  In Seattle terms, we had a lot of snow.  Luckilly, Chris was able to make his flight and safely depart for Nashville.

Rachel and I had some fun girl-time planned.  And the snow kept falling.  Then the ice came.  And that, unfortunately, led to a power outage.  Rachel and I piled on the layers, broke out the candles, and settled in.  Little did we know that we would be out of power for days… and that the house temp would drop to 46 degrees.  Ug!

Snow and ice

Our pine tree before the top broke off from the weight of the ice. It landed right next to the fence (not on our neighbor's house or our house, not even on the fence).

Luckily, we have wonderful friends and neighbors who checked on us, brought us to their house when their generator ran their furnace, charged our cell phones for us, made us tea and soup, …   And Rachel and I actually did have some fun.  And then it was time to take her to the airport.  Friday ended up being quite a full day.  Rachel and I got to the airport early; we weren’t sure how icy the roads would be.  We made it to the airport in fine time, so that left lots of time for us to share a HOT latte.  In the warm airport.  Aaahhh. It was relaxing.  And oh so warm.  Rachel headed off to security;  I hung out a bit, giving her a little wave and staying warm.  She chose what seemed like a fast moving, short security line.  There were just two people in front of her.  So I thought.  Suddenly, their two(?) year old son ran over (from where??) and they could not get their sh#t together to get through the scanner.  Holy moly – what a production.  I stood there, watching this whole situation unfold.  They had jackets, computers, shoes, carry on luggage, a purse, toiletries,…  They had 13 tubs on the conveyer belt.  THIRTEEN!!!  Yes, I counted.  I had to giggle upon making eye contact with Rachel.  Thirteen!!  And they were completely disorganized as well.  Oh well, Rachel finally made it through the scanner and headed off to Oxy.

Since we still did not have power at home, I had planned to hang out at the airport, stay warm, and wait for Chris to return from Nashville later in the day.  But, as we walked in to the airport, I received a phone call from a classmate.  Even though school was closed due to the ice, we still had to make a wedding cake that day.  Our instructor was already at school and he asked the two of us to come in and help with the cake.  So I did.  It was great fun.  The cake turned out quite nicely.  I felt sorry for the bride – trying to have her wedding amid the ice and outages, but I was glad that I didn’t have to drive the delivery van with a wedding cake on the icy roads!

Once the cake was done, I headed off on some errands.  I checked in with our next door neighbor and learned that we had power!  Yay.  Or not.  When I drove home, I saw that our neighborhood had power.  Well, part of the neighborhood had power.  Chuck and Liz’s house was the last with power and ours was the first without.  Waaah.  Puget  Sound Energy comforted me by telling me I would have power by 7pm.  Okay!

I picked up Chris from the airport and came home with high hopes of high indoor temps.  But no.  Our part of the neighborhood still had no power.  Waah.  PSE assured me that we would have power by 1am.  Although I had planned to go to a hotel rather than spend one more night in the cold house, Chris and I figured that we would go to sleep in the cold and wake up with power.  I could brave that.  Except … still no power on Saturday.

Chris and I made the most of the day.  We cut up the fallen tree limbs and emptied the fridge and freezer.  By the end of the day, the fridge was beautifully clean and empty while the garbage  and yard waste bins quite full.  And then…about three pm… POWER!!  Glorious electricity!!  Tuesday to Saturday without power (but we did have hot water).  And now we had the power!!

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