Friday, October 28, 2016

Power Outage

Nothing stops the world faster than a power outage.

When I got home from work yesterday we had no power in our area due to 3-4 inches of wet snow. The trees with leaves were drooping near car rooftop level along the roads reminiscent of the big 2011 blizzard in October that took down trees and knocked power out here for 8 days, longer in more remote places.

I realized I have some PTSD due to that 2011 storm- stuck in a house with no heat, no electricity, no phone, no gas in the outdoor grill, unable to leave the neighborhood due to roads not being plowed because of downed trees and power lines everywhere. Cold cheese sandwiches and cold cereal for meals, the contents of the refrigerator and freezer in ice chests under the back deck packed with snow, because we had plenty of that! I remember the joy of going to a dark grocery store in Southampton that had opened to allow people to buy what they had for food left on the shelves. I remember the euphoria of being able to get to Denny's in Holyoke on the fifth or sixth night for a hot meal because that area got their power back on. The jobs were jammed with people out buying supplies and looking for hot food.

John had put a leftover casserole in the oven at 4:30PM yesterday afternoon. The power went out at 5:03PM. When I got home it was 5:23PM due to poor road conditions and the need to drive slow, and some difficulty making it up the mountain. Dinner was hot at 5:30PM so before it cooled down we all sat down to eat by LED lantern light.

When our power goes out we lose heat, and phone service. We have Comcast and cordless phones. By 5:30PM my cellphone was at 42% power because I'd taken some pictures of the snow at work. Normally I don't use my phone all day so have about 82% charge left by the time I get home. I don't carry a charger around with me. So my phone was nearly dead. John's phone was off because he has a phone interview today and wanted to conserve his battery. Kelly's phone was about 60% charged.

No phones, no TV, no computers, one LED lantern with a modest residual charge, 4 D cell batteries and a couple of Maglites...doesn't make for a very exciting evening. Kelly read by flashlight or lantern light. The cats ran around the house like maniacs, and Revere spent much of his time sitting on a box staring out the dining room window (he was only 6 moths old during the 2011 blizzard). John and Kelly talked about jobs at UTC. I thought about my NaNo novel and was frustrated that I couldn't see well enough in the near darkness to jot some notes down. And the house cooled from 67 to 61 (at 10:32PM when the power finally came back on).

I went to bed at 8:35PM and was soon joined by Revere who had cold toes. Riley came to bed next. Kelly crashed at 9:40PM...John had just come to bed after my telling him to do so. About five minutes later the power came back on and then he had to get up and reset every clock in the house, start the dishwasher (a fail because this morning it hadn't run so I had to restart it).

The weirdest thing was trying to talk to one another because usually we don't have much to say to one another once we get home from work. We all have different interests and things we do. Conversation? What's that? Technology has disconnected us while we're fooled into thinking it keeps us connected! Not really.

Back to normal today. Snow will melt and be gone. Power's on- the cogs are turning....time to go to work.....

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