It seems a quick update about good ol’ Camp Davis is in order. When we last checked in post-Derecho my Dad was busy cleaning out liquified rancid pork shoulders as I dry-heaved in the courtyard. On Friday, for some reason Natalie and I figured that we just absolutely had to bring the kids out for the weekend for the first test run since the initial cleaning. Because…I don’t know; we’re idiots sometimes.
In any event, we gave it a go. We loaded up the car knowing full well there wasn’t a crumb of food in the house, knowing that we’d be banking on Loren napping during the ride (always a bright idea), and not really knowing whether the power was actually back on since the power lines were reconnected in our absence.
And well, I’d say the trip went about as well as we should have expected.
First, the good news: The power was in fact back on. That was huge. We were able to get the water running, wash a bunch of dishes and otherwise clean a little deeper than we could before. Also, the giant tree that almost laid waste to our 100 year old farm house was cut and stacked in a neat little pile by the side of our driveway. The ten pack of sticky fly paper I bought was worth every penny, it seems, as each strip was about covered in flying insects of all kinds.
The smell – public enemy number one – seemed to be gone for the most part.
And the bad news: The smell only seemed to be completely gone. After cleaning the insides of the refrigerator three separate times once we arrived, but then I flipped on the motor and it began pumping that noxious stank again. Also, it looks like the power surge killed our oven, microwave and our main radio, and possibly our baby monitor. As far as major appliances go, that only really leaves the fridge in a working state – and as I just mentioned, the stink it’s radiating means we’re letting that one air out a little longer than we thought.
So while the house survived with only minor scratches, we weren’t without some sizable losses. Nothing catastrophic, but a pain nonetheless. For replacements we’ll begin our search at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Gaithersburg, Maryland. On top of used building materials and furniture they sell used (and tested) appliances. And the prices are incredible. A perfectly functioning dishwasher will run you $40.00. No, I didn’t misplace the decimal point or forget a zero. That was “forty” dollars.
Best of all, all the proceeds go to the excellent Habitat for Humanity cause. It’s a win-win.
Despite it all, we thought maybe, just maybe, with windows wide open, fans blasting, cleaning product sprayed everywhere, we could run into town for an early dinner and when we returned the place would be magically ready for us. So we loaded back into the car, drove to Main Street and grabbed ourselves a table at the Ambrae House for some burgers, beers and a little live music.
[Insert obvious foreshadowing here.]
It didn’t work. The smell wasn’t killer. If fact, we still thought we could manage. We put Loren down to bed, then sat down in the living room to chill out. And eventually the smell just sort of won out. It was a combination of the heat, the beers wearing off, the general feeling of unease that comes with the house not feeling “right” for some reason.
I convinced myself that I could push forward, and after a good night’s sleep we’d be able to re-assess in the morning. That’s when it dawned on me. Sure, I’d be able to fall asleep once and make it work. But could I fall asleep on at least three or four separate occasions that night after each time Ruthie was destined to wake up for a feeding and diaper change? Unlikely.
So we swallowed our pride, loaded the car, woke Loren and hit the road for DC…at midnight. Ouch.
It’ll come around. Just needs a little more time before it’s sleepover ready.by