Back on June 13th, I blogged about our electricity going out and us having to bucket-bail our sump pit to keep the basement from flooding. This was at the same time that Cedar Rapids was having its very, VERY nasty flood. Shortly after that, we decided to buy a generator for the next time the power went out. We bought a nice one at Farm & Fleet in Davenport, and Carl got it all set up to be ready – everything except the very expensive power cord that runs to the 220 outlet in the garage. I mean, you could use the generator, you just had to run extension cords from it to whatever you wanted to power. You need the 220 cord to run power directly into the house.
Anyway. We put the system to the test Thursday. We lost power during a thunderstorm, somewhere around 5:15 AM. Carl was (fortunately) ready for work, but I needed to clean up and wash my hair, and without electricity it’s kind of hard to blow dry and curl one’s tresses. So Carl, darling that he is, started up the generator, plugged a 100′ heavy-duty extension cord into it, and ran it to the first-floor bathroom. I attached a power strip to the extension cord, and what do you know, it worked! I managed to get a pretty decent hairdo, considering that my light source was a battery operated lantern. I felt a little silly, though. I mean, using a 5500 hp generator to dry your hair? Sheesh! But once I was done Carl took the extension cord downstairs and plugged in the sump pump. The pit had just become full, and the only water coming into the pit was from the outer tiles, so his timing on getting the electricity down there was just right. He monitored the pit until the power came back on (around 6:30). I must say, this was a successful test of the generator. And yesterday, Carl bit the bullet and bought the 220 power cord. He’s got it all wired up, all we need to do is test it. That requires throwing the main house breaker, so all non-essential electricity users need to be shut down.
Now that I’ve related the light-hearted stuff, it’s time to get serious. I had been taking art lessons from a wonderful lady named Elaine Peyton. I had to quit a year ago because school and work were consuming all of my time. I asked Elaine to call me in a year when her new classes started up, and she said she would. Well, I hadn’t heard from her. I assumed this was because the Cherry Building, where her studio was housed, was affected by the flood. So, I Googled her to see if I could find her phone number. Not only did I get her number, Google showed me on their maps where she and her husband Larry lived. Their house was in the Time Check district, one of the areas that suffered the worst damage in the flood. I called her, and she told me that they had 8 feet of water in their house. The City issued them a yellow placard, which means that they can enter the house, but only on a limited basis. They were able to do some cleanup work, and they’re in FEMA housing now, waiting to see if the City will let them rebuild. Elaine is one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. She’s wonderfully talented, and fortunately for me she’s very patient. So I’d like to ask all of you out there to pray for her and Larry. They suffered a double whammy by both their house and her studio being affected. I can’t begin to imagine how hard this must be for them, but I can imagine how God can help them if we only ask Him.