Yesterday fall literally fell on top of Sacramento.
50mph+ winds and torrential rain pouring into blocked storm-drains was a recipe for a pretty crazy day. Last night's news was full of flooded streets (particularly the I-5, downtown, which was supposedly fixed for this exact issue to the tune of $40 million last year), downed power lines, and cars or homes crushed by falling trees.
Sometimes it is NOT an advantage to be the city of trees!
Photo by Andy Alfaro / firstname.lastname@example.org
Of course, it happened to be the ONE day every two weeks that I had to head into the office for our management team meeting. Yup. One day out of 14 and we're experiencing a 40 year storm. That's my kind of luck.
Unfortunately the "good" day did not start and end there.
First, I couldn't find a SINGLE umbrella as I head out the door. Now, I know that we have at least 100 umbrellas lying around in our house somewhere because, when it's not raining, I run into them all the time. But, of course, when my hair is done, my make-up is on and I'm trying not to get soaked in a torrential downpour, not a single one of them can be found. (Also, as usual these days, I'm running late, so I don't have time to instigate a full-on search.)
Then, just as I was about to fly out the front door and into my car as fast as humanly possible, I realized that I had left my wallet in my mum's bag from the other day. Since it seemed entirely possible that some idiot in his pick-up truck would go slamming into me that day, I thought it only prudent that I have my driver's license and insurance info on me. So I jumped in the car and head-off to mum's, where I also hoped that I would be able to snag an umbrella. (My parents did, after all, just move out from England.)
Mum had the umbrella (a nifty aqua-striped number that went sooo well with my pink car coat) but not the wallet. Ack! Oh, but she remembered me taking it from her at the store on Sunday! Back to my house to check my "evening" bag (which is anything other than a diaper bag these days). Score! Found wallet but now was VERY late.
Then I drove all the way to the office in torrential rain, braving the 50 freeway which was basically hydroplaning all the way - it was coming down so heavy and the ground was so saturated that the spray from the cars made it almost impossible to see more than 10 feet in front of you. It was like thick fog. Fun.
It was as I was toodling along uncharacteristically in the slow lane when I realized that my stomach started to grumble. CRAP! I forgot to eat breakfast! Fantastic. I was heading into a 3 hour meeting with nothing but caffeine and sugar in my stomach.
Despite the rain I pulled into the office with just a minute to spare. Whew! Ran through the front door and.... stopped. Everyone was sitting in the lobby lit in only emergency light. The power was out. Great! The big boss was sending everyone home because the storm was supposed to be in for the day and, if the power was already out, it seemed unlikely that it would return with any reliability.
A power outtage for our company = all servers out. All servers out = no service to our customers, no website, and no email. (Yes, we need off-site back-up servers... it's in the works.) Since everyone was in the office and the phones work on electricity only, I had to call my brother in law (who also works off-site) to get him to send a message to all our customers to alert them of the outtage. Only, my cell phone had no signal. I had to borrow a phone on a different network and call him.
Our management team decided to meet anyway and offsite. Since I skipped breakfast, I suggested a local cafe and off we went. Things had started to look up. Hot coffee, ham and eggs... ahhhh!
Three hours later we were still meeting. I called Brandy, our nanny, to see how Daisy was doing. Unfortunately, the answer was not good. She was fussy, irritable, would cry for no reason, and nothing could satiate her. She wanted to be picked up but then she would cry and arch her back to be put down. She would lean forward to sit but didn't want to stay there. She would lunge from sitting to her tummy and then get mad. No temperature, eating good, pooping good... the cause of her "issues" were a mystery. So, then I started to have mommy-worry, even though our meeting had yet another two hours still left in it.
I finally got out of my 9:30am meeting at 2pm and zoomed home through the still-crazy weather.
By the time I responded to emails it was 3:30pm and I had only 30 minutes of baby-sitting left. One of the emails was from Hubby who was communicating with our new tennants at our townhouse. As "luck" would have it, they had taken their first shower and it had busted a leak that resulted in water dripping through the ceiling. Fantastic!
It was at this point that I realized I had skipped lunch, so I went to put and English Muffin in the toaster to tide me over until dinner.
That's when the power went out. (So much for the English muffin)
Brandy left at 4pm and I started to pool my candle resources in the living room. No TV, no radio, no light, and a cranky 6 month old. Going for a walk or a drive was also out. To top it all off, Hubby was working late. (I was trying real hard not to let the panic set in.)
Fortunately, Hubby's late appointment cancelled and he came home to participate in the all-out attempt to figure out what the heck was wrong with Daisy. By 5:45pm, we were out of ideas, out of light, and HUNGRY, so we packed our screaming munchkin into a fleece hoodie, strapped her into the car seat and started to head out to my parents' house (which already had power restored a couple of hours prior.)
Just as we had our handle on the front door, the lights came on.
Since we had already put so much effort into getting Daisy in the car seat, we certainly were not going to let it be wasted. We went to Mum and Dad's anyway, where Daisy returned somewhat to life, riding her pink pony and smiling at her Grandad. Meanwhile, Mum made us a ham and cheese omelette (ok, not a varied diet for me yesterday) and we got to eat it hot, together, at the same time (quite an achievement in the world of parenting, we have discovered.)
And so our wet-and-wild day ended better than it began, thank goodness.