Post-Tornado Stress Syndrome

Yesterday I felt like a damsel in a cheesy summer apocalypse movie. I stood at my sliding glass door and stupidly watched as three 30-foot pine trees from our neighbors’ yard came rushing towards me. They barely missed the house, took out a beautiful Japanese maple tree we love, but kindly missed the kids’ wooden swing set and the shed. And there those pines will lay until the tree guys in the area finish counting all their cash and finally return our calls.

Today I feel like the leader of a band of wandering winos as the kids and I hide out in the local library for the blessed air conditioning and Internet connection, our bellies full of two Slurpees each and the gas tank almost empty from driving around in the air-conditioned car.  Earlier today we huddled three to a chair at Starbucks so I could send a document to my supervisor, as others all around me waited in line at outlets to charge their phones and log on for work.

The McDonald’s in our area, with its free Wi-Fi AND children’s PlayLand, looked like a college bar on Dollar Beer Night. (And speaking of beer, what’s with all the wine and beer shops closing due to no power?  THIS IS WHEN WE NEED YOU MOST!)

Even our pool is closed.  I don’t know why we can’t just make all the kids promise not to pee in it-just for one day!-and then swim around in unfiltered water and turn this tragedy into a mini vacay.




Bad cell phone service.

No power during heat waves.

No power and unplowed roads during snowstorms.

I know most of these complaints are due to acts of God, but still, I’m seriously ticked.  (Oh, speaking of God, the reason I didn’t post last week was I was deep, deep in the depths of vacation bible school at our parish – sorry for not sending out the 411, but I could barely spell my name by the end of the day.)

Anyways, Montgomery County, 99.9% of the time I adore you. But your sucky weather and infrastructure this year can kiss my



library-carpet scented


How about you guys – how are you all surviving?  Is your power back on?


  1. jessica c says

    don’t forget to add the blizzards (there were 4, right?)!!! 

  2. Thanks Jess, I added. I have to admit it is nice to be able to get out of the house, but the heat is KILLING ME.

  3. Well, I have far surpassed my survival mode for living in Silver Spring! I’m barely over the freak out of my first earthquake and then seeing hail hitting our window and running for the basement “in case” of that rare Montgomery County tornado. I am thankful that even though our pool had debris in it – it was OPEN for business today!! That is how we survived. But I will say I’m on a role with creative names these days….I dubbed the blizzards “Shiver Springs” since we froze our butts off with no power, “Silver Shaking” in honor of our county being the epicenter of that rare earthquake….and today, I’m sure whether to call it “Silver Sweating or Sweating Springs” for the lack of power and a/c. Hope you get your power back soon!


  5. Dawn Courchaine Mooney says

    PG County’s not looking so terrible in times of storms.  🙂   We had a flicker of our power, but that was it.  Our internet connection was out for some of the morning, and the phone didn’t come back on until early afternoon- the was the extent of our troubles.  Our HOA’s crews even came by already to chainsaw up the big branches that fell all around our house (thankfully ALL in the opposite direction of the house), although, as usual, they seem to only work in our area during nap time. 

  6. LeticiaTechSavvyMama says

    No power for us either and at this point, I’ll start drinking room temp beer and wine during the ginormous neighborhood BBQ we might have to throw to empty our fridge and freezer of their contents. Sigh.  Hopefully power will come back on by BlogHer for our poor hubs who will be dads-in-charge but if not, I still plan to flee the area with you and my fellow DC blogging gals!

  7. just waiting for the frogs and pestilence…

  8. Dawn Aumiller says

    ours came back at 10pm last night…. sorry :-[

  9. Lori Schwartz says

    Super funny account of the storm.  Thanks for making me laugh about the whole thing (okay maybe I am also smiling a bit because my power just came back on!!)  Yay for me, I know…

  10. We’ve decamped to the airconditioned climes of Northern VA.  You’d never know there was a storm this side of the Potomac.  Meanwhile, back in MD — no power, slowly thawing freezer food, and not a speck of ice to be found in the Greater Montgomery Co. area.  Maybe for days?!!!? 

    As my dear husband says, “Montgomery County — first world taxes, third world infrastructure.” 

    Keeping fingers crossed that electricity comes back soon.

  11. Papa Bradstein says

    Ugh. Over here in NoVa I had no idea it was that bad. We lost power for four hours, but made it through by napping and going out to eat. Sorry to hear that it’s been so unsettled up your way. Hang in there!

  12. A tree fell on our house and we got some flooding.  Major bummer.  Thankfully no one was hurt.  🙂

  13. Jessica — here’s sending good thoughts your way!  As a mom of a 6-wk old (and a 2.5 year old),  once the electricity went out, I was singularly focused.  No, it wasn’t the kids’ comfort in the heat.  Nor was it the possibility of water in the basement.  And nope, itt wasn’t whether our 50 year old trees weathered the storm.  The only thing I could think of when the electricity finally powered down from numerous brown-outs to eventual outage was “Please please please, don’t let the breastmilk in the freezer thaw!”.

  14. It’s liquid gold, that breastmilk!  Hope it’s all OK for future baby consumption.

  15. You’re so positive. Now I feel like a wretch for complaining. Hope your house is OK and not too $$$ to fix!

  16. Thanks Papa! Hopefully life in the People’s Republic will back to almost identical to the Commonwealth soon.

  17. Good call!  Hope you enjoy your mini-vacation. Wonder if your girls consider it an adventure??

  18. Woot Woot, your power is on!  S’wonderful, marvelous that A/C, ain’t it?  I’ll never take it for granted again!

  19. glad you’re back to normal life…and cold beer!

  20. sadly we actually have lots of frogs out here in the burbs, and I think those cicadas in 2004 count as a plague of locusts. as long as we dodge the boils, i’m cool with it.

  21. honey, i love my fam, but nothing will keep me from jumping on that train for the chick blogging event o’the year, with the best roommates and co-panelist EVER.

    besides, we’ll be able to blow dry in NYC. totally worth it.

  22. Prince Georges County, you’re a prince!  MoCo is sometimes a mofo.

    Sorry, that wasn’t very family friendly. Whoops. I’m punchy here in the heat.

  23. Carrie E says

    Had to pack up the 2 month old and 2 year old and take them to stay over at the in-laws to keep cool.  Shawn, I feel your pain.  I had to toss 72 ounces of breastmilk I had stored in the freezer *sigh*.   Good luck, everybody, with the clean up!

  24. Rachel S. says

    Sorry you still don’t have power.  I live in College Park and our power was out for about 18 hours but came back at 9 am on Monday!  Yay!  We only had to endure one night of heat.  It really reminds you how much we all rely on electricity for just about everything.  And how hard it must be for those who do without on a regular basis.  (And I’m not talking without internet connection!)  I hope yours comes back on soon!

  25. I got sent over here by Lolli from Better in Bulk (guest posting at Seven Clown Circus). Love this! We live in the upper regions of Tornado Alley so I feel your pain. I’m not a fan of Nebraska weather either: too hot, too cold…hardly ever an inbetween.

  26. Word. Everything you just said.

  27. says

    I agree- i just moved here last year from a tropical country, didnt have enough warm things (as we’ve lived without winter for 10 years) and froze when we lost power in February. Then this week which i took off work so that i could go and apply for my drivers license, for the first two days we had no power and the licensing centre at White Oak wasnt open until today. Unfortunately i then discovered that in the interim i had lost my social security card, drove to my office in DC to see if was there, then drove back to Glenmont to drive over to Hillandale Social Security Admin to while away a couple of hours of my life….so now i have to apply for the drivers license on monday while somehow fitting in a conference call for work. Also on monday night when we had no power we had someone trying to steal our kids bikes off our porch (luckily they were locked) and had to call the police. Cant wait to get back to work because this holiday has been very stressful but on the other hand would like to spend the time with the four kids…
    Finally – we were lucky – a power pole broke off behind our house but fell in the opposite direction.

  28. Corey Feldman says

    It’s been a year. Sad how dependent we are on technology and scary when we reminded just how powerful mother nature is. 

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