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Outage

The first warning for the storm came when I was racing through preparations for dinner, and I deleted it without really reading.  The weather service sends out a lot of alerts, and I had gone through a hectic day at the end of a hectic week where my to do list was too long and I had no time to complete the tasks.  I had been out of the house all day, but I hadn’t heard any other news for a storm coming, hadn’t heard people talking about storm preparations.  So I wrote off the warning and went back to cooking.

The second warning came while I was folding winter clothes (yes, it took me until mid-summer to actually switch over the drawers), trying to locate the matches for lone socks, cleaning the bathroom.  I deleted it after glancing at the first few lines.  I was so focused on completing each task that had to get done before I could go to sleep that I didn’t have time to contemplate rain.

The third warning came while I was tucking in the twins.  I paused near the Wolvog’s bed, reading the warning that people needed to get off the roads immediately.  But then I kissed his forehead and we talked though some things that were worrying him, and I walked back to my room with the impending storm forgotten.

Until a little after 10 pm last night, I believed that Josh was going to run out to get me frozen yogurt once the last task was complete.

The storm began with a loud crack — lightning must have hit a tree — and the ChickieNob’s accompanying piercing shriek of “Mommy!”  We ran into her room right as the lights went off, came back on, and went off again.  Moments later, the Wolvog followed the shine of the flashlight and joined us in her room, curling up with Josh on the floor while the ChickieNob and I lay in her bed, listening to the wind and the pounding of the rain, the sky lit up by constant lightning.  The house shook with some of the gusts.

After a day of constantly moving, my mind always focused on the upcoming tasks that still needed to get done, it felt like a relief to have the productivity out of my hands.  To have nothing I could do beyond lay next to the ChickieNob and answer her questions which were sometimes about storms and sometimes just about life in general, as if we should use natural disasters to cover any last topics we may have wondered about in passing over the course of a day.

I went to bed believing all would be right in the morning, but we woke to the dark, to news of the people who died in the storm.  To downed trees and electrical lines.  To every town in the area still.  We drove out, my hand over my mouth as we skirted an enormous trunk, shattered in half, its leafy upper torso resting across the road.  Branches blown apart.

I’ve heard from neighbours that we’re not getting power back for a few days.

New weather alerts were sent this morning; this was just the first of three terrible storms coming through the region.  The next will land tonight between 5 pm and 10 pm, the third some time on Sunday.  This time I read the alerts and processed them.

I have no right considering that we are merely without power vs. the people who are grappling with terrible property damage, loss of life.  I am trying to keep things in perspective, but I’m in a terrible mood.  A growl-y, snippy mood.

Distract me please me with something amusing, an interesting fact.  You can tell me how many candy bars would be needed to circle the earth or your most embarrassing moment.  I know, I know, I know, I’m supposed to be getting all my entertainment from books, but it’s nice when the blackberry buzzes too.  Especially when you have no power.

19 comments

1 Wolfers { 06.30.12 at 5:17 pm }

A bit funny for you- I have two rescue pekingeses. I don’t know if you know what the dog breed is like, they have this double coats (outer coat and undercoat). I never had liked the shaved look, so both still have their coats. I brush them everyday, especially undercoat, to help them stay cool. Well anyway… as you’re aware, we’re all in a heat wave. It was just an half hour ago, when It was time to walk the dogs- the dogs were so EXCITED to get out, wagging so hard, that their butts swung forth and back like Dolly Parton’s ass. I swung the door open, both dashed out, as the heat slapped me in the face. Next thing I knew, I was all tied up in the leashes wrapped around my legs as the dogs ran back in. Nothing could convince them to go out to do their business. Not even reward of ice cream.

So I thought, okay- let’s try bath the dogs- that way they’d be all wet. So I bathed them both (and there’s even a cute photo of Wet Hairy- on my blog)- and then we went out- no problem!
The heat even dried the hair off, so that’s free hair dryer option! :)

2 Alicia { 06.30.12 at 5:52 pm }

I googled fun facts and found out that a cockroach can live several weeks with its head cut off. Eww.

3 Blanche { 06.30.12 at 6:11 pm }

Did you know about tonight’s leap second? Apparently they have to add a second every few years to keep the atomic clocks and earth’s rotation/orbit in synch. Since they can’t adjust the earth, they adjust the clocks.

4 Becky { 06.30.12 at 8:58 pm }

I work at the hospital. Today’s I’ve seen old man (90yo) pen!s and a$$, 56yo man pen!s and a$$, 38yo man pen!s and a$$, and 11yo boy a$$ (fortunately no pen!s there). And we might as well add in the 21mon old boy junk I saw this morning while changing my son’s diaper. And I’m a social worker, not a nurse, tech, or doctor. I’ve had enough pen!s and a$$ for the day. There have also bee bed bugs, which creep me out big time. It has been a day of yuck.

5 Mali { 06.30.12 at 9:21 pm }

Here’s an embarrassing moment for you:

http://aseparatelife.wordpress.com/2011/03/21/not-so-glamorous-after-all/

I can’t tell you what it is here as it will ruin the story.

6 Bea { 06.30.12 at 9:51 pm }

Um, I feel under pressure to say something inspirational. Got nothin for ya there. You might have to get the cool stuff from a book and just use this as a buzz.

I remember as a child and younger adult it was always exciting to have no power or nothing to cook with but a kettle or nobody around who spoke your language or whatever but as someone who has responsibilities that can’t be put aside it is more of a pain in the neck. That, and the awareness of others suffering. Probably not wholly a bad thing.

7 Lala { 06.30.12 at 10:15 pm }

ohhh, so sorry about the power outage and I do hope everyone is okay and safe! I can totally empathize. I live in the US Gulf Coast area, and a hurricane a few years ago took out our power for over a week. It was SCARY during (seriously thought the house was going to implode) and we also had property damage, and a MIL that would NOT GO HOME (hubs and I were not on good terms with her, but she lived closer to the gulf, so we took her in… and then HER house sustained NO damage and power was back on hours after the hurricane!).
The hubs and I were getting up at dawn and going to bed at dusk, just like old timers. I remember it was actually quite nice looking out our open window with a light breeze gently blowing, picking out shapes and figures in the leafless tree in our back yard after darkness fell. I found Santa and a unicorn, hubs found Hoggle from the movie Labryrinth (swear! It was amazingly detailed) and a pig.
Board games were awesome, and story time/reading was pretty nice too.
And it never failed – even carrying a flashlight, I would ALWAYS flick the light switch to a room and be momentarily confused as to why the light didn’t come on! :D
OH! Art projects! Glue and paint don’t require electricity, and I got some fun things accomplished while we were waiting to get our power back.

8 It Is What It Is { 06.30.12 at 11:44 pm }

We lost power for 5 days in November after the great windstorm of 2011. Driving through my beloved city was heartbreaking, with the 100 year old pine trees toppled over and ripped from the ground leaving cavernous craters. Even still, after all these months, there are still 10 ft root balls that have been uprooted and still need to be removed from the ground.

It really sucked for us as it was the dead of winter, 37 degrees overnight. It was freezing.

I hope the power is restored earlier rather than later. Electricity is something we do NOT take for granted. My son still talks about the great windstorm and how we lost power. It made such an impression on him at such a young age (he was 4). We’ve since bought a generator even though nothing like that had happened here in recorded history (100+ mile gusts, like a dry hurricane).

Commiserating with you.

9 JuliaKB { 07.01.12 at 12:19 am }

We lost power for a few days with last August’s hurricane. And we were trapped on our dead end street. Well, our cars were– people could pass. It was surreal all around, but we didn’t have follow up storms. Instead we had a few days of what felt like a loooooong block party. Met new neighbors (they moved in like a week or two before), hung out with people. It was fun. Weird, but fun. Of course, my sister lives on the street, so it was probably more fun for us than others, but still.

Anyway, today. Do you have CSA? And really, I am sorry to go culinary on you, but this is the only new and possibly exciting thing I’ve got today. So if you do, or if you shop at farmer’s markts, and use your leafy greens, I’ve made a discovery of necessity today. I needed to cook our beet and turnip greens, for which our go-to recipe is this: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Skillet-Greens-with-Cumin-and-Tomatoes-241866 BUT we were out of canned diced tomatoes and low on fresh (wanted those for the salad). So I decided to chance it with a jar of chunky salsa. It was a very worthy substitution, and now I need to erase the greens off by fridge dry/erase, aka external memory. Oh, maybe I should blog about the external memory thing– I got it specifically for the CSA season and it took me a while to find the right thing.

Anyway, good luck with the new storms, and I hope you get your power back soon.

10 a { 07.01.12 at 12:26 am }

The longest we’ve lost power was, I think, slightly less than 24 hours, during a winter ice storm, when my daughter was a newborn. No biggie, except the heat requires electricity. But we have a gas fireplace and lots of blankets, so we survived quite nicely. For the most part, we have been very lucky, as far as power goes – guess that’s the benefit to living somewhere where most of the power lines run underground.

Interesting facts…um…I got nothing. We bought 9 pairs of flip flops today at the Old Navy 1 day $1 flip flop sale. That was good. We’re on our fourth day of record breaking heat, with more to come, and I would kill for a lovely storm. I guess you’re getting our usual summer weather instead of us.

Oh – we’re also in a drought and there are enough wildfires (?!) in our area to cancel most of the local fireworks this week. The next town north has put water restrictions in effect, including watering of plants. And, the local news station caught one of the businesses in town with their automatic sprinklers on right next to the water restriction sign. That’s always amusing…

11 KayBee { 07.01.12 at 1:07 am }

The storm last night was insane. I’ve never experienced a thunderstorm in the middle of the night that caused there to be longer periods of light than dark! It was like a strobe light. Maybe they should grade thunderstorms like they do hurricanes, because there was no way a warning was going to get me prepared for that!

12 Meghan { 07.01.12 at 7:38 am }

That storm was insane! Glad you’re all ok. Wish I had something funny or interesting to amuse you but I’m coming up empty. Our entertainment today is going to come from watching the tree guys take down my neighbors tree and one of ours. Kids will love it but checkbook will not.

13 Cherish { 07.01.12 at 10:08 am }

Hope the power comes back on soon! It’s just crazy knowing how many people are without power. Let’s see….randomness…. this last week we went on a little anniversary getaway. We were wandering around old town stores, and saw the craziest thing in the window of a fur clothing store. Picture the top of men’s tighty-whity briefs, but with a fur pouch attached, and garter belt straps to top it off. Pretty crazy looking.

14 Lori Lavender Luz { 07.01.12 at 12:59 pm }

It’s so strange for me to envision such a storm — especially if there is rain involved, because it’s the exact opposite of what we’re experiencing here. We’ve got the lightning, which is causing devastating fires.

I don’t have anything inspiring, but I am saying prayers for those experiencing loss, both there and here.

15 Manapan { 07.01.12 at 2:34 pm }

Okay, I’ve got one for you to ponder on a while. I certainly haven’t been able to get it out of my head since learning it!

Gonorrhea was originally a disease of cattle that spread to humans. The implication being, assuming consent of course, that some dude who thought, “wow, I gotta get me some of that there sweet cow vagina!” was also somehow able to talk another person into some lovin’ later. I always picture it was in a TTC scenario. We’ve all been there: no matter what’s going on, there will be sex because damn it, I’m ovulating. That’s the only way I can imagine drippy, goopy dangly bits being A-OK with a partner.

16 Geochick { 07.01.12 at 8:40 pm }

Hahaha! The gonorrhea fact is priceless. Gross, but priceless! I don’t have anything to top that other than thank goodness you’re all all right!

17 Elizabeth { 07.02.12 at 6:34 am }

Traditionally, Albanian women who never married (for whatever reason) would become honorary men. They would cut their hair short, dress as men, take a man’s name, and publicly behave and be treated as men. This tradition is fading out of practice now but it’s often the “random, interesting fact” that gets mentioned about Albania.

I heard about the storm via Facebook as many of my friends were also affected. Hope you’re doing ok and that there’s some frozen yogurt in your near future. xo

18 loribeth { 07.02.12 at 2:20 pm }

Yikes — hope your power is back on by now, & if not, soon!! We were without power for 26 hours during the great North American blackout of August 2003. Made it home by the skin of our teeth on one of the last trains out of the city & had cold cereal with the last of the milk for dinner by candlelight. Dh had to go into the office the next day (the building had power but we didn’t) & I was left at home with all the windows open, reading & snoozing and hungry — nibbling on carrot sticks and processed cheese slices and crackers. Made me realize how little food we keep in the house during the week (since we’re at work, & don’t pack our lunches). When he came home, we heard that power had been restored in one of the suburbs north of us, and drove off in search of a restaurant that might be open – & when we got back, the power was on. Thank goodness. I threw out a lot of food from the fridge & freezer that had defrosted. And ran out & got one of those windup-powered combination radio/flashlights. It’s in the closet, hasn’t been touched since I bought it, but you never know when it will come in handy…

19 jjiraffe { 07.02.12 at 4:34 pm }

Oh, wow. So glad you’re all OK, and so sorry to hear about people passing away :(

You probably are OK now, but here’s a random fact: crows have 250 separate calls (their language) and in many ways are as smart as primates.

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