Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Post that I Had to Write but That You Really Don't Need to Read

Feel free to skip this post. I'm apparently way too whiny right now and I'm just not doing a good job of containing it.  Once this is out of my system I promise to be way, way, way less grumpy.  And again, totally feel free to skip this post which is basically a review of our experience in a particularly unpleasant Best Western in South Lansing.

I am not handling this whole electricity-less thing well at the moment.  I know you probably already know that, since I've been on and on about it on facebook, but let me get it out of my system (I understand if you want to skip reading this part and scroll down and look at the pictures).  We're going on  a week without power.  We don't know when it's going back on.  Our power company is elusive.  There are rumors that it will be on Saturday and rumors that it will be two weeks from Christmas Eve since apparently the power company can't fix the it-might-be-a-transformer that is blown on our street in a timely manner (Paul talked to two workers who said "We don't know why you don't have power.  Somebody who lives here said they heard that it was a transformer." earlier in the week).

I've been trying really, really hard to hold tight to what we do have right now.  We do have a room for the five of us, and it does have heat.  I've been trying to hold the image of Mary having baby Jesus in a stable and have been reminding myself of how much better this is than that every five minutes or so.

But my temper is so, so short right now.  We haven't had hot water in days (since Christmas Eve if memory serves), and yesterday they turned the water off for the afternoon and part of the evening altogether.  I was really hoping that the water being turned back on would mean that there might be both hot and cold, but alas, that was too much to ask.

Then there was the horrible request I made that someone come and actually clean our room.  After five days with five people in one room it was getting a little gross.  I'd been cleaning daily, but without having any cleaning supplies it needed a little extra help.  And so I cleaned everything extra well yesterday morning (two hours of cleaning), so that it would be easy for the cleaning person could come in with their tools and finish the job (because surely they would now that most of the guests had left!).

A housekeeper was just about to do our room when we left to go see if our power was back on... and six hours later we came back to a filthy room with salt and mud still  on the floors and salt and mud from little feet getting up and down on the beds, still on the sheets.

Paul went down to the office to ask them to change the beds and clean the floors and a woman who seemed to be some sort of housekeeping supervisor told the front desk in an annoyed tone that we hadn't asked for it to be done so they didn't do it.

I really didn't know we had to ask for basic cleanings.  Is that a special Best Western thing that I missed?

On top of that our keys cards keep getting deactivated.  At one point Paul stood in line for over half an hour to get it fixed(we later found out that when the man in front of us who was in line for the same reason got to the front he was told the machine was broken and they couldn't fix his card).  Finally I tracked down another staff member on our floor to let us in (and looked pathetic when I could tell he was about to say no).  It happened again tonight, which meant the outside door didn't work and we were stuck out in the cold until a person passing by opened the door (after he'd stood in line again to get it re-keyed already once today... it ended up taking three tries).

Tonight is our last night here (last night now).  We're finding someplace else to stay tomorrow (today!  Yay!)

We've had kind offers of homes... but one thing holds me back from accepting.

Mae is having such a hard time with all of this that I can't imagine imposing the current difficulties she's having with these changes on anyone else.

I'm really, really hoping that tomorrow we're going to go by and the lights will be on and this whole thing will be on its way to becoming a memory that we'll be one step closer to remembering fondly.

I've been feeling so silly and wimpy for being so dependent on power... but with the cold temperatures that have been moving through we're pretty dependent on our heater at the moment.

And I know I probably don't understand what's going on (according to the mayors comments on the news), but apparently all the counties around us have declared a state of emergency, but the city of Lansing is refusing too.  Which feels kind of strange to those of us without power for a week now.  I have a hard time believing with 400 lines down and thousands without power after a week that we don't qualify... but...

I'll just go back to figuring out how to pay for food because after a week of not having a kitchen my budget is completely and utterly destroyed.  I was so, so excited when I thought I had it all worked out for the month and the bills paid and then this happens and turns everything upside down.

And now for the pictures.  For those of you who read this I'm really sorry for being so whiny right now.  I'm just at wits end.  Anyways...

We've been very, very thankful for our museum membership and have been spending a lot of time there, to give the kids a chance to run around.  Here are some of my favorites from today:

Okay, scratch that.  The internet here is too slow to load pictures... so... maybe later.

Since I started writing this we found a cheaper room in a nicer part of town, closer to Paul's work and our home.  Thank goodness for hotwire.  I'm packing up and I'm actually pretty excited because in a few hours we'll be out of here!


  1. What a nightmare! I'll be praying for your power to be back on soon and safely home again.

  2. Oh Cam, I just want to give you the biggest hug. I can't imagine how frustrating that whole situation is for everyone - yes, having a warm room is a wonderful blessing, hands down. But to combine no house, etc. with Mae's issues and not feel comfortable going to a home.... are you sure? I just want to have you come here! Alas, I think NV is a bit of a drive for you.

  3. Hang in there ..I had 4 little children and no power for 9 days.The only blessing was the temp was high enough we got to stay home and had gas stove and oven.The juds still talk about that winter when I wake them up with hot chocalate.Wonderful to live in the mid-west.

  4. Thanks for the update. I have been thinking of you and wondering if you were home yet. Sorry to hear you aren't.
    I hope your new hotel is better than the other. Oh my! It's bad enough when hotels fail in service (like room cleaning, sheet changing, hot water or ANY WATER, and making sure keys work) but then to act like it might be your fault (not asking for cleaning!) is way beyond tolerable.
    I have often thought about how dependent I am on electricity, running water, central heat, toilets, and so on. I have often thought being able to get by without these things would be very difficult given how our society functions. But it is so true many of our comforts are just a bad storm away. I honestly don't think you are whining. I think you are in a very tough unexpected situation, right at Christmas, and you are being challenged in patience and trust in God, and it is HARD. I am praying for you and your family that getting though this will be a little easier.
    I know you are reluctant to accept hospitality at someone else's home right now, but that might be a better solution if this goes on too much longer. You might want to consider it. Praying for you. God Bless. ~ Bonnie

  5. It might not hurt to talk to the power company, mayor and/or other politician about your need to be back home due to Maggie's special needs. I've heard of that being effective at getting things sped up before. Good luck either way!


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