Sunday, August 28, 2011

Good Ridance to Irene...........

The sun is shining, and it's become a beautiful day here in Ocean City. Last night we listened to the wind howling, rain pelting the hotel, but it was like a bad northeaster'...not a hurricane. The tides were high but didn't come over the sea wall, and this morning there isn't as much sand on the boardwalk as is usually the case. So aside from guttering and shingles blowing off, we made out well. Unfortunately the mayor, idiot that he is, allowed business owners and property owners back into town this morning starting at 9:00 (this isn't the stupid part), but is allowing the tourists back in starting at noon. Why is that stupid? Well, they bussed all the foreign students out of town on Thursday leaving us with no help starting on Thursday and will not be bringing them back from Baltimore (where they have been in shelters) until Monday. So meanwhile, we have tenants who have already called and are coming in today, since the town will be open for business at noon, and we have no way to get all the units ready for them. Nor will restaurants be able to open with no employees, so thank you Rick Meehan. Keep in mind we now also have to get all the preparation we did, reversed, so storm windows have to be taken down and that is always a little bit of a struggle as they are screwed in and heavy, and all the other things that we've put in storerooms has to be taken out and put back where it goes, and all the apartments have to have their porch furniture taken back out and put in place and we have a limited crew here. So right now Sara and Mary are tackling the cleaning of apartments, and Anna and Toot, two of our housekeepers from Snow Hill, have been called and while they are not thrilled (thinking they were off until tomorrow) they are on their way to assist. All the men are outside trying to reverse the preparations and because I threw my back out getting something out of my suitcase on Saturday morning I'm manning the phones. Salty Yarns remains closed until tomorrow, and I'm O.K. with that. Anyway, we're all in good shape, relatively, I could stand to lose a few pounds, but Irene really isn't responsible for my weight, and aside from that we came through with flying colors, as far as we know. I'm sure we will have some leaks due to shingles being blown off, but nothing that can't be fixed. And as always after a storm it's gorgeous out. We did get a few pictures and Andre who stayed here with us did reports every couple of hours from the front porch during the actual storm which he then put on you tube. This was Andres first time in Ocean City, he lives in Baltimore. He came to help us out this summer and while one would think he'd be leary of a hurricane, he simply couldn't wait to get out into it. So if you have a chance, you can listen to his reporting on you tube. I hope everyone who saw the storm pass their way did as well as we did and we'll be talking to you soon. I'll get our pictures up on the blog as soon as possible.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Saturday Morning...things are looking up

Last night was uneventful...Lee's wife and daughter (from Malibu's next door) came over and we played games while Solomon camped out in an apartment and Izzie, well it was business as usual for him, running around and getting attention. Poor Vernon was so exhausted from boarding up that he went to take a nap early in the evening and we never saw him again. But this morning he says he woke up around 1:30 a.m. and went back to bed 1 hour later and he and I were both first to wake up and are now sitting here doing our thing. The good news is Irene is downgraded and is now a category 1 hurricane, which is frankly what it was suppose to be when it came by our shore anyway, but you just never know. The bad's still a huge storm and so we will be sitting here in the rain with wind gusts for almost 24 hours. But we'll take that and be thrilled that's all we're getting. The worst part for us is we have to entertain Solomon, Izzie and Michael for the next 24 hours inside. I'm not Sara will make it through this without plenty of alcohol involved....but you know I'll keep you posted on that! It's such a shame that everyone had to leave so early because Friday was gorgeous here. The sun shone, the beach was empty and the water was even calm. So it was really a perfect beach day. And last night the kids were able to stay outside and skateboard on the boardwalk, ride bikes,etc., which is not allowed in the summer. In fact skateboarding on the boardwalk is never allowed, so this was such a treat for the kids. I will say the police were vigilant and rode up and down the boardwalk all evening. And the best looters at the Lankford. And I don't expect any with the rain outside so I think "ole sparky" is going to sit dormant once again. The only threat we've had is Izzie's diaper and even that wasn't so bad. But today...well it's raining here and it's what we will be looking at all day. At this point there isn't much wind, but the ocean is churning up. The waves have not started lapping at the sea wall though so that's good. We all know that will be happening as soon as the gusts are here and then we will have the sand being blown onto the boardwalk so there will definitely be clean up going on as soon as this is over, but hopefully it won't be that much to do and the boardwalk isn't our responsiblity so we don't care how much sand ends up there. We will have enough to do just undoing all the preparations Vernon made. He got all front windows boarded up, signs down, etc. Our lobby looks like winter, signs were taken down and sitting here, some of the tools used yesterday sitting here, screen doors removed and sitting here...and that's the worst we have to get it all back up to get open again. We also have enough water bottles sitting here to take care of our thirst for a month, but better to have too many supplies as not enough. Well, I'm going to get some stitching done. Yes sir, this is a snow day for me and that means I don't get out of my P.J.'s and I stitch until Solomon gets up and comes down for me to play with him. Michael sleep in my room last night, poor thing has been clinging to Sara, Vernon or myself for the past 24 hours. While he wouldn't say it, he was scared to death of this whole thing. I'm sure it didn't help that I couldn't stop watching the weather channel, however, last night while we played games with the kids I did turn it off to try to calm Michael's nerves. Now that I know it's downgraded I think I can live with it off today. So today the Lankford Hotel becomes Sally's we concentrate on keeping children occupied. They are going to be playing hide and seek throughout the building and for the first time they get to run the halls and slam the doors. Hopefully they will also take naps! I know I'm going to take one.....but first ... stitching. Have a great dry day and you know I'll keep you posted. And for Rich, Staci's husband, I'm going to try to get some pictures.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Update #2....and all is not as bad as it was...

First thanks to all of you who are following this and offering your prayers and well wishes and also to Carolyn who offered us a room at her house...we thank you but our conditions aren't as bad as we originally were told so I'm feeling more optimistic... Renee called to check on us and she and Greenie are hunkered down on 6th street and staying. When they came by her house to get next of kin information they didn't say a word about electic or water being shut off so Greenie has gotten to the bottom of this as we all felt it was illegal to just shut off utilities like that. Now we are being told that the secondary water pumps are being shut down but the main water pump will still be on and the electric from 1st street south is being shut off since the lines are all underground, but that is it. Now I'm thrilled they haven't buried we are feeling a lot better about our circumstances. There are quite a few of us staying who have businesses for a very good reason...with the town officials ordering everyone out....we have become targets of the unscrupulous whose only intent is to loot from the empty properties. We're old school down here and we will not allow that to happen. So I know that Lee at Malibus is camping out for the duration there, and the owner of the Green Turtle up at the north end has 2 people sleeping in the bar to protect his investment. We are becoming like the wild west down here. Meanwhile I may actually be able to use Vernon's taser, or Old Sparky as he likes to call it, and Renee and Greenie are armed and ready as well. So if looters show up they better make sure they are picking on empty properties because I won't hesitate to spark them up and throw them into the storm. Yes, I'll be kicking butt and taking names. Hopefully "irene" won't be kicking my butt. I've already had my first accident. Sara brought up the computers from down stairs and put them in the lobby where I promptly fell over them to the floor as all the workers were in the lobby getting their lunch. The good news....they said I went down very gracefully. The bad news...getting up was a red hot mess....and my knees are still killing me from the experience. But I lived through it and hopefully that is the last unpleasant experience I am going to have this weekend. The hotel is finally empty except for you know who, but the police did go up and spoke with them and the kids tell me he is loading his car, so by 5:00 it should be just us chickens here. Mary and Brian had decided to go, when we thought we wouldn't have electric and we're now trying to locate a place (Brian thought the Great Wolf Lodge in Pennsylvania would be a good waiting out place but they are full so we're back to the drawing board). After calling Mary who was home packing just in case, she's informed me that Solomon wants a night of camping out in the lobby so I think Brian is being voted off the island alone. We'll see how this turns out. It's like playing Survivor down here...groups forming, people teaming up...oh, this could get ugly people. But you know I'll keep you posted. I will say's eerie one on the boardwalk and the beach is closed. They've worked for 2 days clearing the beach of all objects like the beach stand boxes and trash cans. The only thing you see are the life guards sitting on our porch to make sure no one goes over the sea wall. And there is an air of anticipation here....humid and every once in a while a breeze. The water is calm as it ever is and you just know it nots going to stay that way. Yes, folks we know the storm is coming but we just don't know when, and we don't know what the winds are going to be like. I only hope at some point I can sit down and stitch without feeling like I should be watching kids or cooking or blogging. This is like a snow day....only we're actually having to do a whole lot of work to prepare. And they've called off the first day of Michael is thrilled and when Solomon finds out he is going to be so upset as Monday was his first official school day and he can't wait. Well, I've got to go get busy looking busy...I'll keep you posted.

It's 10:30 a.m. and all is not well.....

While we are preparing for the worse, covering windows with plywood, etc., the man who's children called the police is refusing to leave. Thanks so much buddy, we are on the police watch list because of you and you are now refusing to leave....well, interesting but we are going to have to call the police on him to get his ass out! In any event, they are going door to door to tell us that they are turning off water and electric as of 6:00 p.m. and it will stay off until Monday. Well, isn't that lovely for all of us that have food in freezers. They are also taking next of kin names. Are they watching a different report than we are. Supposedly, according to the national weather service, we are scheduled to have category 2 winds....which we have had many times before...and during which they didn't turn off electric and water. Now they are just plain making me furious. But, I'm now asking the children to leave with the grandchildren as I really don't know how we would keep them entertained for 3 days with no electric and for heaven's sake no water...please we do have to go to the bathroom. Thankfully I did my laundry last night so I've got all the clean clothes I need...but the bathroom problem is a bit daunting. Oh, well, that's the report at 10:30 on Friday....heaven only knows what will happen next. But you know I'll keep you posted.

Earthquakes and now "Irene" someone trying to tell me something?

We will be securing all flying objects today, and getting ready for a guest we would rather didn't come to the party, but "Irene" doesn't seem to care about an invitation. We are under a mandatory evacuation, however, that means little to me. I've sat through every storm that has ever come by to say hello, so I'll be sitting here through it holding down the building. And along with me will be Sara, Vernon, perhaps Michael, he's still undecided he may go with a neighbor back to her house in Preston. Mary, Brian and the children are undecided...Mary wants to stay but Brian is naturally a little concerned. We also have a few hotel guests who have asked to we don't know what we've got and we won't until 5:00 p.m. when the evacuation is suppose to be complete. All the foreign workers, which is really the entire staff of every property in Ocean City were required to leave yesterday so many of the businesses were closed last night...Salty Yarns of course, stayed open until 9:00 p.m., so stitchers could get their supplies before leaving or hunkering down. It's all a little daunting really. But I'm packing up my "stuff" and I'm moving into the hotel today so guests will see me there and know that I'm not leaving them to fend for themselves. So we're about to go on an interesting journey and one that I wish I wasn't going on, but I'll keep you posted as we sit here and wait. Earlier this week we had a first...I was sitting on the porch with Debbie and Phyllis as they were saying good-bye to the beach before heading home. They were here for the Jackie Du Plessis class last weekend. While we were talking I felt the hotel moving and thought "that's strange, there's no wind, no planes passing, no huge trucks going by" but I just rocked harder and put it out of my mind. A woman sitting down from us asked, "Is it normal for the hotel to move like that?" To which the Romanian foreign student replied...well I'm not sure what he said but it kept me from answering so I let him go. And then the woman's cell phone started blowing up and I heard her saying, "What, you have got to be kidding." She looked at me and said, "we just felt the after shocks from an earthquake which happened in Virginia." I feel like we're looking at the beginning of the end here...hurricanes and earthquakes? You have got to be kidding! Well, at least I have my needlework to keep me busy over the next couple of days. You know that is going to be the first thing I pack to take to the hotel. Although, last night I was unpacking orders from the recent show and there are several more projects in my "to do" pile. UPDATE....just got a call from Sara at Lankford central....our command center....and apparently one of the guests who didn't want to leave....their children back in Baltimore called the Ocean City police to report us and the police showed up at the hotel last night and told Sara we had to evacuate the tenants by 5:00 p.m. today (Friday) or we would be arrested (I guess) we are now evacuating tenants and workers....except, of course, us. We will be riding out the storm from our command center and will keep you posted. The day is beautiful, suns out and birds are singing...obviously they are clueless at this point as to what is coming to ruin their day! It's still suppose to be only a category 2 storm when it goes by us so I'm hoping that doesn't change. While I've been here for higher categories, I'd prefer it downgrade before passing here. And the saga continues.
I hope your day is going better than mine.