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Bed and Breakfast goes black after storm

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Photo by The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast

My bedroom after the storm.

It’s amazing what we take for granted now days.  With a flip of a switch we have power and all the things that go with it such as hot water, air conditioning, computers, televisions, stoves, washers and dryers and much more.  All that changed suddenly last Friday (June 29th) about 9:30 PM.  After taking Kathy out for a birthday dinner we headed home and were relaxing until the wind picked up and we ran outside to secure all of our front porch furniture.  The wind got worse the power flickered and then things went black. Finding our flashlights we wandered around the house to see if there was any damage and noticed a huge tree limb from across the street had fallen and was blocking the street.   As storms go it wasn’t much of a storm, only about twenty minutes of high winds with some thunder and lighting and an insignificant amount of rain which did nothing to ease the drought.  It was the hottest day of the year with temperatures reaching 103 degrees and this little wind storm dropped the temperature about 20 degrees.  Without power we called it a night and we expected things to be back to “normal” the following day.

Saturday morning we woke up and still no power.  The forecast was for another 100+ degree day but I had confidence that things would be restored quickly now that it was daylight.  Fortunately we didn’t have quests that weekend so we thought it would be a great day to do some exploring around town, but first we decided to go to McDonalds.  As we approached the golden arches traffic came to a complete stop.  As we inched our way closer and closer it was apparent that we were not the only ones without power.  The line of people waiting to be served was out the door, every parking spot was taken and people were parking blocks away and walking…we didn’t stop for breakfast that morning.

The phone started ringing.  “Do you have rooms available for tonight?” the caller asked.  “Our power is out and we aren’t taking reservations until it is restored,” Kathy replied.  I can’t blame people wanting to get out of their hot house but I thought they were over reacting as power would surely be back on by mid-afternoon.  As we drove around and saw trees down, streets closed, power lines in the road I realized that we may not have power today.  Every couple of minutes the phone would ring….”Do you have any rooms available?”  After about the 30th calls we changed the message on our phone, “Due to the power outage we are not taking reservations until our power is restored.”  We, like the 70+ percent of Lynchburg that didn’t have power, just made the best of a bad situation until we started hearinig that it could be a week or so before all the power was restored.  Deciding that it might be prudent to get a hotel room with air conditioning I started making calls.  The front desk person, if they even answered the phone, would laugh when I asked the question so when it was obvious that there was not a room available within a 60 mile radius we made the best of a bad situation and went to bed early.  That night it was a little warm in the house, but I was still confident that we would get power the next day.

Sunday we woke up to no power and Kathy went jetting off to Michigan to visit her mom.  I called people that had reservations with us this week and explained the situation (no power, but I’m optimistic that it will be on before they arrive later in the week.)  Every one cancels their reservation.  The phone continued ringing and ringing and ringing, locals looking for a room with air.  By the afternoon I decided to go to the movies to cool off.  On the way home I had the brilliant idea that I could get a generator and hook up a window air conditioner that was stored in garage and be able to sleep in air conditioned comfort.  Stopping at all the stores in town I quickly found out that no one had generators, but I could order one and have it in three weeks.  That reminded me of looking for a snow blower two winters ago before the third major snow storm hit us.  To make a long story short, I bought a hammock since I couldn’t find a generator and hung it over the covered driveway.  Even though the drive is covered it does get a little sun in the late afternoon so I would cool down the asphalt by wetting it down at dusk and then settle in for the evening.  It’s amazing how many cars drive up and down our street all night long!  Where are they going?  There isn’t anything open at 2:00am and no one has power.  Why aren’t they at home sleeping?  Some day I’m going to stay up all night and follow all these people to see where they are going.  There must be something really interesting at the end of our street for all these people to be driving there.  That’s a project for another day, for now, I’ll just put a pillow over my head and try to sleep.

Monday morning.  Another HOT day!  I’m not going to waste my time calling hotels; I’m going there in person.  Someone has to be checking out of a room and I was going to be there to get it.  Well that plan didn’t work, but at least I was able to recharge my cell phone…yes, people were still calling and no, I don’t have any rooms available but at least I now had a fully charged phone.  By the afternoon I decided that I needed to clean out our three refrigerators and our free-standing freezer.  Rather than just throw things away I decided to have a cookout and feed the neighborhood before things went bad.  We had wild Alaska salmon, pork chops, steak, hamburgers and pork loin as the main course and had a feast.  Thankfully I had a full tank of propane for the grill.  Dinner was a big hit.  It’s always good to connect with your neighbors.  As I was cooking the power came back on.  Life is good again.  I rolled up the hammock and moved indoors to our bed.

I was one of the fortunate ones.  Our power came on but there are still lots of people without power.     Tuesday morning I start getting calls from all the hotels in town letting me know they now have a room available for me, but no one is calling me looking for a room.     As I sit in my air conditioned office writing this post there are hundreds of electric workers in the hot sun on this 97 degree day working to restore power to more neighborhoods so that other families can get back to normal.  The City workers that had July 4th off are working hard trying to clear streets.  The land fill is open (I took a truckload of brush there).  Later tonight I’ll pick Kathy up from the airport.

If you are reading this post, I want to assure you we now have power AND we have rooms available.  Please feel free to call us and make your reservation.   To put it another way, The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast is open for business.  We have cool rooms and cold beverages!  Call now to reserve your room!

I hope everyone has a great 4th of July.

 

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