Monday, January 6, 2014

One Christmas I'll never forget!

We were hit with an ice storm on Dec. 22nd which was also my husband's 66th Birthday.  As a result there was a lot of trees damaged which in turn brought down power lines.  Our power was out for 6 days as Toronto Hydro was unable to keep up with all the outages all over the city.  Lucky for hubby and myself that our daughter who lives in Milton (about a 50 minute drive from us) let us stay with her.  Hubby went to work on the 23rd and 24th downtown Toronto and would drive to our house to check on the house and then would drive to Milton to spend the night.  My daughter's power is provided by underground cables so her power only went out for about an hour or so.  There was also a lot of tree damage in Milton.  Here is a picture of the tree that was blocking her driveway:

Her house is the one on the right.

The day before Christmas, my SIL still needed to finish his Christmas shopping and my daughter was working.  Amber went to Daycare so I got to spend an entire morning playing with Brooke and Sierra.  We played Monopoly Jr. and also told stories and read books.  I wanted to entertain the girls so they didn't play on their IPads.  However, when my back was turned, or when I went pottie, out came the IPads so I took them away from them and hid them.  The girls didn't really mind at all.  I think it was a novelty to have me playing and reading with them.  One of the gifts that Brooke got earlier in the month from her grandmother in Ottawa was a book - The Canadian Version of the 12 days of Christmas.  We had a blast singing the song.  The 1st day of Christmas in the Canadian version was a porcupine in a pine tree which Brooke quickly changed to And a porcupine gonna poke you in the butt amidst peels of laughter!

Christmas day, hubby and I drove to Toronto to pick up our son so he could spend Christmas with us in Milton.  We had so much fun watching the girls open their stockings and gifts.  3 yr. old Amber in particular was so excited!  Every time she was handed a gift, she would exclaim, "Another present?  For me?"  She was totally blown away by all the gifts everyone received.  She enjoyed helping the rest of us open our gifts as well.  Here is a picture of Princess Amber and her 2 sisters, 6 yr. old Brooke and 8 yr. old Sierra:

  Here are Sierra and Brooke helping my daughter Janice cooking Kraft dinner and Peameal Bacon one night.

On Christmas night, hubby and I drove our son Mike to his girlfriend's cousin's house in Brampton where there was a lot of damage from the ice storm.  We then went to a hotel to spend the night to give our daughter and her family a break.  On Friday, hubby was back at work and after work, when he checked the house, our power had come back on.  While the power was out, the pilot light from our 18 yr. old gas furnace had gone out.  He tried to light it several times but finally gave up and called the gas company to come and light it.  The repair man from the gas company finally came over on Saturday afternoon but he was unable to light it as well.   The heat exchanger had bit the dust.  As it would have cost just as much to replace and repair the heat exchanger, we opted to buy a new furnace.  I went home Sunday as I had to be there to meet up with the sales person from the Heating and Air Conditioning Co. which is owned by a friend of ours so we could pick out a furnace.  We stayed warm by dressing in layers and we also had 3 heaters in the house to keep us semi-warm.  We would move a heater in the bathroom to heat it up so we could shower and we also slept with a heater in the bedroom.  I sure hated that cold  toilet seat first thing in the morning though!   Our new furnace was finally installed on Thursday.  The following day, turned out to be the coldest day in 9 years here so we were very grateful to have a working furnace!  Our terminal box for the cable TV also bit the dust as had a lot of other people's and we were finally able to pick up a new box on Friday.  Hubby reserved one at one of the stores.  The cable company could not keep up with the demand for the terminal boxes.

This whole experience as horrendous as it might sound turned out well and has made me appreciate modern conveniences and the hospitality extended to us by our daughter.  Although, my daughter did say that if we hadn't come to her house, she would have been very worried about us.  When I think of the devastation that the people in the Philippines experienced with the storm that they weathered in November, makes my experience pale in comparison.  Our city did everything they possibly could to keep everyone safe and warm.  They opened up community centers and provided food and cots for people to sleep on.  Hydro workers came from other provinces and gave up their days off on Christmas to help out Toronto Hydro to restore power.  The city and province also provided grocery store gift cards to help people replace the food they lost to the power outage.  We were lucky in that we only had to throw out some chicken from our freezer which had thawed and then started to freeze again.  Even the milk in the fridge did not go bad.  We did not line up for one of the gift cards as we felt they should go to other people who lost a lot of food.
Thanks for stopping by!


Wendy L said...

Wow, what a Christmas time. My niece lives in Toronto too. People are bad in UK with floods and high tides. A really bad time of year for it to happen. Glad you are OK though. xxxx

Amy Johnson said...

I see I'm not the only one with a bad experience with the cold weather we've been having. I've heard of many people in my area whose pipes have frozen or bursts, or septic systems have stopped working because of the cold. We also had three house fires in our community in one week due to wood stoves overheating because of the cold. Spring come quickly!