Dysmey Blog Archives  >  late spring vacation 1 & 2

late spring vacation 1 & 2

[I posted these two entries on the same day, so I have combined them into one archival post. — Andy West, 13 August 2008.]


Last Friday was the first day of my vacation. And I spent it mostly in the dark.

As I returned home from work a very dark link of clouds appeared on the horizon. Those clouds brought gale-force winds and heavy rain. The winds were such that they tore off a piece of my siding. It also blew a neighbor's trashbin apart. I grabbed the lid out of the middle of my back yard and the bin itself from two houses down.

Then the power went out.

This is more of a problem for me than it would be for another because my house is all-electric. For that evening until almost noon the next day I had no lights, apart from a battery-powered lantern and a flashlight; no ventilation, apart from opening windows when it was not raining; no refrigeration, so I had to throw out the food inside the icebox; and no cooking. I had no computer, either; I had to turn off the backup battery to keep it from running down. And I had no radio apart from the walkman I use as a car radio.

I could open a window or two to allow for ventilation when it was not raining. Out the window I could hear the sounds of generators from scattered homes around the neighborhood. It was a dark and noisy night: The growls of the generators vied for the roars of the winds through the trees. And some trees did not survive the winds, being torn down in the gales. One such tree was probably responsible for the power outage. And the gale also torn down branches from my maple tree, most of which I picked up before the darkness became total.

Anyway, power was back up by a quarter to noon the next day. I nailed the siding back into place.


On Monday I intended to drive to Muncie in order to buy a larger pet carrier at Petsmart. I never made it past Gaston.

The weather looked innocuous when I left home. I knew it may rain, but did not suspect the severity of the weather. It looked more more menacing when I reached Matthews. As I drove down 600 W from Matthews to Gaston, the downpour came. It flooded down from the dark sky. And to make things worse, my windshield wipers decided to get stuck on the side of the windshield and break apart. I had to drive slowly down the road, just able to see through the streams of water and hoping that I did not crash into something before I reached the gas station in Matthews.

Luckily, I did make it to the gas station. I bought something to eat, figuring I would be in my car for awhile. I could not buy wiper blades at the gas station. It was a half-hour before the rain subsided enough for me to check the damage to my wipers. The driver side blade was trashed.

A little mom-and-pop store on the corner of Gaston's main streets sold two sides of wiper blades. I bought the size closest to my car's and paid with the quarters from my change tray because I had no other money and the store was so simple that it had no way to handle debit cards.

The blades were too small, but I could use them to wipe the water off the windshield just before I started off for home.

The next day I bought a much better quality of wiper blades at Jiffy Lube so that they does not happen again.

Posted on the Dysmey Blog on 10 June 2008.