Escape Hatch

dan-and-jack-in-hatchway

Hurricane Sandy passed over us last night. We are fortunate to have electricity when so many others do not. We know how uncomfortable it is to be without power (this time last year we had to go without for 5 days following a storm).

Sandy did not cause us any damage except broken limbs (from our neighbors trees).

aftermath-of-storm

We felt lucky that the limbs fell in the back yard far from our house. I went up on our little hill today to take a closer look,

fallen-branches-from-storm

and found our garden gnome Colin pinned under a fallen limb.

gnome-stuck-under-branch

I helped the little guy out of this bind and righted him against the trunk of the big oak where he usually resides.

gnome-under-branches

He was fine. Fortunately, gnomes come from sturdy stock, and Colin is particularly resilient (he’s made of plastic). I was glad to see him still smiling after such a close call. Colin’s incident illustrates why one should not be outside in dangerous weather.

gnome-in-fallen-branches

Yesterday, as the storm approached, I was mindful that it would soon be unwise for us to go outside. I grew increasingly uncomfortable because the only way to access our basement was to go outside (and around to the back of the house). What if during the storm we needed to get into the basement where the electrical panel, water mains, sump pump, and tools are located? In order to feel safe, we needed access to the basement from inside the house.

So, we decided to take emergency measures,

dan-measuring

and cut an opening in the drywall on the stair landing.

dan-at-work

We knew that only one layer of drywall separated us from The Destruction because the wall had been opened on the other side to accommodate a sliding pocket door.

After a few careful cuts with a utility knife,

dan-cutting-hatch

the escape hatch was ready to test.

dan-constructing-hatch

Jack helped nose it open so I could see if my hinge made from gorilla tape would hold.

opening-hatch

Once the hatch was open full swing…

dan-and-jack-with-new-doorway

we could see into the old kitchen and through the new doorway into the dining room.

john-and-new-doorway

We think Jack is going to enjoy the flow from room to room once The Destruction is completed.

john-and-jack-with-hatch

We were all pleased with the new emergency access to the kitchen area.

john-in-hatchway

It made it easy for John to get us started on priming the walls for paint…

john-painting

dan-painting

john-painting

and easy for me to escape after helping for a little while.

dan-in-hatch

live. enjoy. repeat.

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