‘Blue Moon of Kentucky’

This will be old news to my Facebook friends, but less than a month ago I purchased a 2008 Honda Civic. You might recall how I was debating earlier about whether to get a Civic or another Altima. Well, the blue car stole my heart.

Buying a slightly-used car made more sense, because my second older car didn’t qualify for the “Cash for Clunkers” program. Moon still had the new car smell without the new car price tag. I even got the owner to come down $695 off his asking price, which put the cost below book value.

I’ve named her “Moon,” since she’s blue and from Kentucky. She is quite gorgeous – inside and out – and I’m thrilled that she got 39.2 miles per gallon on a recent road trip. She also plays mp3 cds, so I filled up a disc with 105 songs and it’s like having my own personal radio station (without the commercials, of course).

moon

Eight days

I am delighted to report that power was restored to our home yesterday morning around 9:30, eight days after we lost it due to an ice storm. My joy is somewhat bittersweet since there are still so many across my state without power, including some people that I know personally. Great progress has been made though, mainly due to the influx of line workers from surrounding states. Our area has also been swarmed by the National Guard, who are handing out much-needed living essentials like water, food, and fuel.

Since this marks the second extended power outage in our area in the last six months and both were weather-related, I can’t help but feel a little apprehensive about the future. I keep asking myself, “What’s next?” Hopefully, no matter what happens, we are a little more prepared than we were a year ago.

Pretty please

As I sit here on my generator-powered laptop, there is an electric truck parked in the street in front of my house. Its flashing lights are teasing me like the music from an ice cream truck on a hot summer day. Thing is, this feels nothing like summer. Tomorrow night is supposed to have a wind chill below zero.

Keeping my fingers crossed and tossing little prayers towards heaven…

We survived

Can’t say the same thing for our trees, though. Our neighborhood looks like a bomb hit it. I have lots of photos that I’ll post when I have a chance.

We got around two inches of ice over a 24 hour period and lost power early Tuesday afternoon. Limbs were already crashing to the ground at that point and continued doing so for the remainder of the storm. Some trees are so badly damaged that they will have to be cut down completely. Our electric line was completely severed by either falling branches or ice buildup.

The entire county has been without power since Tuesday. The devastation is all across the area, but Western Kentucky and Arkansas have been declared federal disaster areas by Obama after being hit especially hard. We spent the first night at home with no heat,¬†under multiple layers of clothing and blankets. The temperature in the house was 50 degrees the next morning and had dropped into the 40’s by the next evening. We slept on the floor at our neighbor’s house that night because she has a small kerosene heater. There was no running water when we got up the next morning, but not because of frozen pipes. The water systems had failed for large portions of the city and county due to lack of electricity.

The remainder of this week has been spent running all over the place trying to find kerosene so that we could keep warm. We sat in line three hours to purchase gasoline one day and were finally able to secure some furnace fuel today – from an elderly man in town who has some stored in 55 gallon drums.

Thankfully, a nearby city is starting to come back on line and we have been staying at the home of some gracious church friends who have electricity and water. They opened their home to people they know (us and many others) and even people they didn’t know (our neighbor and her son). They define hospitality.

Although it is expected to take weeks to restore power to our rural area, things are beginning to look up. The sun came out and melted most of the ice today. I am able to access the internet via my mobile phone (go, Verizon!) and through a friend’s computer. We have plenty of food, water, and warmth.

And lots and lots of love…

You’re hired

I’ve went back and forth several times during this campaign cycle. I’ve supported John Edwards and Ron Paul, but I remember being excited many months ago when I heard that Hillary Rodham Clinton would be running for president. Wow! A female president? Lord knows that males have been screwing it up for long enough that maybe it was time to let the other gender give it a try.

That infatuation quickly subsided as Mrs. Clinton was portrayed by the media as a polished politician who was part of the Washington establishment that we’ve all come to loathe. It got to the point where it just didn’t seem cool to support her – after all, most of Hollywood and the music industry were jumping up and down about a young senator from Illinois.

Try as I might, I just couldn’t figure out what all the hoopla was about, but I figured if John Edwards, Oprah, and Nicole Richie were supporting Obama, then I would be really stupid not to join in. I tried to look beyond the questions that I had about Barack – his history and his lack of experience – and I even got to the point that I began wishing that Clinton would drop out so that we could finally settle on a nominee – something the Republicans seemed to have no problem doing.

All of that changed today.

Senator Hillary Clinton stopped by our little town to convince the hundreds of people gathered that she is the best choice we can make when we vote in our primary this Tuesday. I didn’t go with high expectations, realizing that I was still undecided about which Democrat I would be choosing when I entered the voting booth. I just figured that it would be silly not to go hear what she had to say, especially given the fact that most politicians don’t even know that my town exists.

After waiting in a line that stretched almost halfway around the block, going through a security checkpoint that would rival that of any airport, and securing a spot just a few yards from the podium, we were greeted by the former First Lady. I was impressed with her demeanor, her words, and her humanity. She didn’t seem at all like the evil woman that she is often portrayed as online and by the mainstream media. She was humble, eloquent, and she seemed genuinely concerned about the welfare of millions of hard-working Americans.

She made a hilarious comparison between politics are cars, saying that when you’re driving and you want to go forward, you choose a “D”; when you want to go backwards, you choose an “R.” She talked about the importance of health insurance for everyone, lessening our dependence on foreign oil, bringing the troops home, and improving the economy.

The thing that really made me think was when she said that we should view this election as a hiring process. Which candidate did we think was the most qualified to perform the tasks that are needed to get this country back on track? That’s a no-brainer.

Obama might be idealistic, likable, and a great public speaker, but Clinton has the experience. She was a governor’s wife, she served as First Lady during eight years of peace and prosperity, and she’s a multi-term senator. Her husband took a country with record debt and gave it a record surplus. Sure, the Clintons aren’t perfect, but I do believe they know how to lead a country.

So, on Tuesday, I’ll be casting my vote to hire Hillary for the job. Then I’ll head home and wait for the press to point out how poor, white, and uneducated Kentuckians are voting for the “uncool” candidate.