Let It Blow, Let It Blow, Let It Blow

Well, we survived yesterday, though there were a couple of times when I thought I’d be saying, “Isis, I don’t think we’re in Connecticut any more!” The prediction was for a blustery overnight from Sunday to Monday with bad weather for the early morning and clearing later. Things were still fairly quiet at 8 a.m., just sprinkles of rain and a few wind gusts. Then the pace began to change.  By about 10 a.m. when I got up to pour cup of coffee No. 2, the rain was coming down sideways and covering the windows so that I wasn’t sure how much the trees were swaying. Reminders from the last storm were still in full view in the neighbors’ swimming pool, so I really didn’t want to gaze at the trees too much.

It would have been a great day to stay in, but I had decided to go to the hospital to do Reiki on Monday because of a commitment on Tuesday. I told Larry that I should probably think about taking a boat instead of a car. As I was getting ready, I realized that an umbrella would not survive and that I shouldn’t carry it unless I wanted to do a Mary Poppins number over the hospital parking lot. So I hauled out my long raincoat with the hood. As long as I fastened it from top to bottom I would be spared any involuntary elevations, or at least I hoped so. The one blessing was that the temp was 55 degrees so there was no danger of freezing.

I struggled out to the car with two bundles wrapped in plastic, one containing my volunteer jacket and the back issues of Newsweek that I donate; the other containing my purse and a package that needed to go in the mail. The wind was supposed to be from the southeast, but the rain seemed to be blowing right at me no matter which way I faced.

The trip to the hospital went off without incident. Of course it’s only about a two-minute drive. Once out of the car, however, I had to lean into the wind to make it to the door. Having reached the lobby, I thought all would be well. The building as far as I knew had solid construction and certainly they’d do everything to keep the patients safe.

In fact all was well until I hopped on the elevator and could hear the wind howling in the shaft. I arrived safely at the fifth floor and took the stairs for the rest of my visit. Started my rounds on the seventh floor, and as I began treating the first patient I could hear the windows in her room rattling and the wind howling, not exactly the most relaxing sound and it nearly drowned out the music.

After I finished I found the unit secretary patrolling the halls – asked him what he was doing. He said the roof leaks during bad storms and he was checking the corridors and the patient rooms to see if water had started coming in. Oh, great! Then I took the stairs down to five again and discovered that the engineering crew had towels all over the floor and had wedged pieces of a sheet around the window frame. Could hear the wind whistling through that one, too. Back up on seven, someone said that the top floor was fine, but the brand-new (less than a year old) emergency room was under water. How could they?! That’s got to be the place with the maximum amount of electrical equipment that absolutely could not be allowed to short out.

As I walked back down to the lobby from the seventh floor I discovered that engineering had missed a few floods – on floors four, three and two to be exact. I think the only reason first floor avoided the deluge was because of some big compressor or other that blocks the worst of rain and wind. Either that or the water just hadn’t dripped down yet.

Larry’s uncle, who used to work at the place, said that the entire south side of the building which was renovated or constructed about twelve years ago is plagued with leaks. So much for state-of-the-art.

Here at home, our basement got some water, but I’m pleased to report it was nothing that didn’t disappear within a couple of hours. And all trees are still vertical. Plus, the guy that took our tree down last winter (“Crazy Day,” January 23, 2009) came today and removed the pieces of the last disaster. Kind of depressing to see the swimming pool all bent and broken. I just hope the guy doesn’t think he’ll be making an annual visit along this part of our street.

Thunderstorms were the only part of the forecast that didn’t materialize. All I can say is thank God we had rain instead of snow.


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