After three days in the dark, I finally got power back last night! Yes, it came on right as I stepped (uh, jumped) out of my freezing cold shower, and startled me so much I slipped on my bath mat and almost knocked a candle over trying to save myself from falling on my naked butt, but I am not complaining.
Have you ever endured a sixty-plus-hour blackout with a toddler and a teenager? OMG. I may dot the “i” in “Jodi” with a heart when I sign the check to pay the electric bill from now on.
Hurricane Irene b*tchslapped my town. Compared to the devastation in other areas, it definitely wasn’t a public lashing–fallen trees, lawns littered with debris, downed power lines–but it was enough to hurt. Real bad.
The first powerless 24-hours were the worst. We complained. A lot. Ashley was grappling with the end of the world as she knows it–no television, no computer, no lights to leave on in her room, no fridge to raid, no hot half-hour shower. Add to that the fact that she was stuck with her parents’ banter for entertainment and the girl was quietly going nuts. During one of my (highly entertaining/hysterically funny) stories she just blurted out in frustration, “I am so bored! I can’t take it anymore!”
Ego aside, I understood her feelings. Changing crap by candlelight truly stinks. I tried to stalk National Grid for answers by making a million calls from my cell phone but was always greeted by an automated as$hole. So, I drank Mommyjuice and ate candy to fill the electricity void. What else was I supposed to do?
By day two, I tapped into my inner Walton. So what if my fridge transformed into a college student’s–stocked only with condiments, Gatorade, and alcohol? We dragged our trusty Coleman cooler out of the garage, filled it with (convenience store bought) ice, and packed it with key perishables. I lugged the contents of my freezer over to my lucky Mother-in-law who never lost power. The rest of the stuff met its untimely demise in the trash. I lit candles, took flashlights wherever I went, and got to know each corner of my house very well (I have some scrapes to prove it). It was bad…but it wasn’t that bad on day two.
By day three, we quietly adapted to the new normal. Johnboy (aka Scott) would go out in the morning for Starbucks and fresh bags of ice, hoping to hear power news. I would rummage around our makeshift fridge to feed Alex, spritz a little extra perfume in lieu of a shower, and escape my powerless prison for the day. By nightfall, a tiny little part of me started to enjoy the silence of my house, uninterrupted time with my family, my profile under the soft glow of candlelight, and doing some things in the dark.
Yes, I was starting to go bananas. We got power back just in time.
***Dishes will return in my next post, I promise. There’s only so much a Mommy can do with a cooler, a grill, and cranky children.***