Only Child posts early because of Hurricane Sandy

Some of Only Child’s patio furniture put away for protection from Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy is due to hit southern and eastern Ontario  early this evening. By then it is supposed to be downgraded to a tropical storm. Tropical or hurricane it is still nasty. So, who knows if we’ll have power or Internet service, etc. then and overnight? So, I hope you’ll forgive me for posting one day early.

The last hurricane in the Toronto, Ontario, Canada area was Hurricane Hazel in 1954, also in October. I was too little to remember much of that. I do remember lying in my bed and hearing rain pounding outside. My Mom also said that we were lucky and didn’t get any flooding in our basement because our house was up on a hill. A lot of the flooding was on low-lying lands in the Don Valley and Humber River areas. After that, the physical structure – sewers and dams, and the like – were changed to help protect against strong storms such as hurricanes. We shall see if they work with Sandy and also if my Mom’s pronouncement is true today. My house is up on high ground.

But there are other problems. I’ve diligently moved all patio furniture into the tool shed or indoors and any remaining potted plants and even Halloween decorations, indoors. I’m hoping to move the Halloween stuff back out and  the mum and pansies too. I’ve also barricaded the recycling bin (which despite its size tends to get blown around in high winds) with heavy bins filled with the branches of pruned plants and leaves. And put bricks on them.

The leaves still in the eavestrough worry me. I do have a gutter protection in them and the protection is supposed to catch the leaves and let the water go down the downspouts or catch the leaves until the wind blows them away. There will be lots of heavy winds but will it blow them onto the ground or into the downspouts?

I blame my handyman for this. These walnut trees  require up to three cleanings each fall. In a previous post I blogged about this handyman cancelling one eavestrough cleaning (the second one); he came later for this). Friday, with the leaves about all off the trees (except for five or six branches which the wind would and has taken care of) I booked him for yesterday to do the final cleaning. You guessed it – he didn’t show. When I phoned him, to ask if he could come a half hour early as it had stopped raining, he said he couldn’t come because he was working (he is an apartment superintendent), and “sorry.”

“Sorry” doesn’t cut it. I’ve done or had done all I can do. Last year, a masonry expert dug the area by one side of the house, sealed and tarped the cement below ground; this year the grading for that was done. The other side and back of the house was re-graded three years ago. And the previous owners had more sealing (the back) done with weeping tiles put in.

Thanks to this handyman, this morning I stood on a chair with a rake and a broom (not at the same time) hacking at the leaves and branches. Some came down. Getting right up close would have been better for removal. However, I suffer from vertigo, so on a ladder beyond about four feet I get dizzy and panic.

If I get basement flooding or any other problems coming from the eavestroughs, this handyman will discover the true meaning of the word “sorry.” Some of you may wonder why I don’t get someone else to do small to medium house repairs. My answer is “Who?” This fellow, when he shows up, does a good job and charges me very little. Come next year, I may look into finding someone else. But again, cost will be a big factor.

And to make it more worrying I am slated to do a TV appearance tomorrow (podcast  Internet TV station)  around noon to promote my new book – my debut collection of mystery short stories Beyond the Tripping Point. The TV appearance per se doesn’t scare me – I’m just worried about getting there. It’s in downtown Toronto but will I be able to get out the door here? Will  public transit be running or held up because of flooding, etc.? Will I be able to walk to the bus stop and from where I get off either a bus or subway outside to the TV studio? Will there be disaster in my home and on my property I’m leaving behind? What about power outages and other utility outages? Over the weekend I stocked up on batteries, water and food that doesn’t need refrigeration. I have flashlights and candles and an old transistor radio (anyone remember them?) run on batteries and a ghetto blaster with battery option. But I don’t do power outages well or basement floods or downed trees, etc. well.

I also consider being an only person with no partner a big factor here. Not going into a rant, just stating it.

I may post again later this week. Meanwhile for more information about my book go to my other blog http://www.sharonacrawfordauthor.com. My big book launch is this Sunday, November 4, 2 p.m. (eastern standard time) at The Rivoli in Toronto. Those in the area are welcome to come. Details at my publisher’s website http://www.bluedenimpress.com – click on “Toronto.”

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

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