Friday, February 08, 2008

Ain't It Grand?

Have I mentioned that every few months our gas appliances cut out because of residual floodwater in the lines? Each time, the power company comes out and pumps them clear again.*

At this point, we've lived so long with the big pervasive obvious consequences of the storm—the empty houses, missing neighbors, blight and disrepair—that they're something-like-invisible to us.

But every now and then, an unexpected little quirk of an after-effect pops up—like two-and-a-half-year-old lake water shutting off our heat—that reminds us just what a weird (and slow) business this all is.

It keeps things interesting.

* After the most recent episode, we received an automated courtesy call from the company's president apologizing for the inconvenience and enumerating exactly how many thousands (hundreds of thousands? millions?) of gallons they've already pumped out of the system. I wish I could remember the number, but it was something ungodly huge.


  1. Wow. I never would have thought of that.

  2. What a drag!
    Are there a lot of empty houses around you still?

  3. The water-in-the-gas-lines is, fortunately, a minor inconvenience. They're pretty speedy about clearing it out.

    As for the empty houses, yes. Our block is about half occupied. The unoccupied houses range from mostly repaired to just getting started to untouched.

    And it's about the same for the neighborhood as a whole: some houses occupied, some in the works, some decaying into nothing. (It varies block by block. One street will be crowded with parked cars and playing kids. The next will be freakishly empty with one lone occupant living among a dozen boarded up shells.)

  4. I noticed that when I was there. (It would have been hard not to.) It must be really weird, for the people living mostly alone.

    I don't get creeped out by much, but I think being alone on my block would worry me.

  5. Those blocks are creepy: one single lit window surrounded by complete darkness; it's like a horror film. (When we first moved back, our block was still pretty sparse—one other house—and it felt very weird.)

  6. I'll bet it did.

    I really enjoy your blog. I don't remember how I found it, but I'm glad I did.

  7. You're welcome. :-)