So here I sit in my friends’ living room. Our power is out. It’s been out for almost 24 hours. When we called the electric company they said “There are no plans for power restoration in your area.”
When you live in the “country” like we do, you really rely pretty heavily on electric. We need it to start the oil furnace – so no heat. We need it to cook – so no food. We need it to pump water from the well – so if it’s yellow, let it mellow…. you know the rest. It’s cold. The kids are either annoyed and pissy (15 year old), confused and scared (8 year old) or frustrated and cranky (44 year old).
When I was last in my house a few hours ago, it said the inside temperature was 50 degrees. I heard my neighbor’s generator running. It was supposed to be our generator. When we bought the house, there was a generator plugged into the circuit breaker. I told our real estate agent we wanted it. That message never got relayed to the seller, and we moved in to find out that he gave it for a song to the guy across the street. Oh well. ”I’ll just get a new one”. That was ten years ago.
The storm itself isn’t really all that bad. It’s pretty actually – the kind of snow that stays on the branches and makes everything look like Narnia. But it’s heavy snow – the kind of snow that brings those branches and trees down – and branches and trees like to fall on power lines. They don’t like power lines very much. They do what they can to destroy them. They usually win.
So this storm and story really started on Tuesday night. At around 1:00 am or so, I woke to my son yelling “Dad! Dad! did you see that?” The street lights, our smoke detectors, and my clock radio were coming on and off – rapidly – as if someone was flipping a switch really fast – for like 5 minutes non-stop. The sky was green and red. I’m not kidding. The whole sky. This has been confirmed by people who live near us – and people who live several miles away. My son thought it was some kind of invasion where the enemy (terrestrial or extra-) had hit us with some sort of electro-magnetic-thingamabobby (that’s a technical term) which wipes out all electricity and cripples all forms of communication. I checked to see if my cell phone worked before assuring him that he plays too many video games and that I was sure (not) that it was actually just a blown transformer – and not a holocaust or the armageddon. To be honest, I’m still not completely convinced and neither is he.
That night we lost power for about 7 hours – and then had it back for a while before losing it again – this time – seemingly – for good.
And I have learned something in all of this. It has become painfully evident that I am completely dependent on the innernetz. I can not believe how much I rely on it – for EVERYTHING. I work on the internet of course – so i need it for that. My phone company is Vonage – so when we had electric but no Cable – no phone. I check facebook more often than I realized. And I’m really really BORED when there’s no internet. What do people do when they’re not on the internet? Thank GOD and Steve Jobs for my iPhone.
But don’t worry about us. We’re safe and sound at our good friends’ house, I brought a bottle of my favorite wine – and they have wifi.