Sunday, April 30, 2017

Generating Memories

This is the honest-to-God truth about our power outage struggles this weekend. I will say though, since we didn't need a Bobcat digging up our yard, it did feel like a win for the Hamlin's. 

Here's how Sunday played out for us. 

Saturday night (or technically Sunday morning) was the night the Hamlin's have been waiting for. I feel like we've been training for this day for the past four years. 

You guys I'm serious. We train for these events. Physically. 

At approximately 1:30am our power went out. 

In the 22 years I've known Dan, I have never seen him jump out of bed faster. By the time he had the generator started and the electrical cords running to the sump pump our water level was dangerously close to the top. I'm gonna say two and a half minutes TOPS it took him to achieve running to the garage, pulling out the generator, starting it, plugging very tangled extension cords in, running back into the house while unraveling cords on his way to the basement and plugging in the sump pump, just in time to save us from the Hamlin Flood of 2017 (part 3). 

It was so impressive to watch. Which is what I did. To be honest I would have been in the way and I'm pretty sure Tommy was still standing in front of the open powerless refrigerator while all of this was going on {insert eye roll}. 

Side note: This past summer DP&L changed out all of the power lines along our road. They left huge ruts in our front yard and now every time it so much as rains, our power goes out. Thanks DP&L. Stern phone calls have been made. 

After we get the essentials plugged in, basically the sump pump, the boys decide to "go to bed early" since there was nothing to do and Dan and I fall asleep on the couch so as to listen to the wonderful hum of a running generator. 

At 3:30am the power comes back on and Dan is back at it, undoing all the work of putting cords away, resetting clocks, etc. we finally head to bed. 

Less than and hour after all that his alarm goes off and he's getting ready for work. I feel so awful for him that I don't complain when he doesn't turn the annoying alarm off right away. He's a hero at work and in our home.

But here is where the story gets better.  

After he gets home from work on Sunday, he decided that we needed a full blown "disaster drill" to teach the boys how to prepare for if this ever happens again. It included eye rolling and lots of yelling. We go through ALL the motions of an actual power outage crisis (in the event our battery back up is not functioning properly or is not hooked up because it's being returned, such as was our situation the previous night...). It sounded a little like this and was acted out as such: turn it to "run", pull the choke, turn valve gas on, pull the cord as hard as you can, put the choke back in, plug in cord, come on! RUN the cord to the basement, unplug pump from the wall and plug into extension cord, run back upstairs, now we are dead because no one opened the garage door, it's the red cord pull hard and throw the damn doors up. Let's start from scratch. 

Insert eye rolls and heavy sighs..... 

Not more than an hour and a half after said drill Dan and I both leave the house to run errands and Max leaves to get his haircut, three cars pulling out at once. 

As I'm driving home, I get a phone call that went like this: 

Dan: Max called and the power is out! #%*! 

Me: Are you kidding me?

Dan: No! I thought he was messing with me too. He said the generator isn't starting. 

Me: But we did the drill. I'm about 2 miles away. I'm hurrying. Tell him to plug it into the battery back up. 


Me: %#*! %#^! 

Dan: %#*! %#*! 

Me: *passing cars on country roads* ok, ok, ok.  This will all be ok. 

Dan: I'm almost home. 

As I pull into the driveway I see Dan hugging Max.

 Max did it. Our kids listened and learned!!! When it mattered! 

He managed to tinker with the generator and got it started and ran the cords to the sump pump. He saved the house. And although he forgot to open the garage doors first, he remembered and put his shirt over his face so as not to die, like we were told would happen, and went back into the garage and pulled the red cord and so on and so forth. 

This earns HUGE points in Dan Hamlin's eyes. You don't just listen in the Hamlin house. You learn something that is far more valuable than algebra or reading.  

Max is named a hero that day! I see a twenty dollar bill go into Max's hand "just because". 

It's all smiles and rehashing the events,

 "So you pushed the choke in?" 

"Yeah I just pulled the starter cord so hard the generator was flying off the ground" 

"I knew you'd do it!" 

High fives all around. 

People. This was a big win for us. We are in the middle of reorganizing our sump pump setup. It has included replacing all pumps, digging all new drainage lines, and our last step was to replace the battery back up pump system. We are so close to never, and I mean never, having to worry about this again. So close. 

Poor Dan is exhausted. He's been working his ass off on this project for weeks now. 

By the way, Tommy enjoyed a movie with friends.  🙄 

Good times. Good times.