Wednesday, November 29, 2006

A Light in the Dark

I was finishing up making dinner last night when it happened. The chicken linguini sauce was hot and bubbly, the pasta was al dente, and I was literally picking up the pot to take it over to the sink to drain it.....

....and the power went out. Again.

"Nooo!!!" I turned and set the pot back on the stove. "No! It can't be happening again!!"

So much for being a mature adult. The power can't go out, not now. Throughout this whole giant weather fiasco we had such good luck-other people were shivering in the cold and dark, but we had power. It just couldn't happen again. At least this time we had learned some lessons about being prepared, because I had put that flashlight from the last storm in a cupboard directly above the phone in the kitchen. Dinner was on the table without barely missing a beat.

We were thankful for the timing and that we had dinner cooked before the power decided to quit, but our glee was pretty short lived when we listened to the radio. Power outages in the area weren't going to be fixed for days, which meant we could be in it for the long haul. Instantly that pretty candle that was merrily flickering away wasn't just there for ambiance anymore, but survival.

No heat in below freezing, snowy weather. No lights. No hot water...which meant no coffee, either.

Hubs immediately rummaged through the freezing cold garage and produced the campstove, along with a bottle of propane that had been hiding in there somewhere. He had it hooked up and was boiling water in minutes for coffee. It's amazing how ingenious my husband can get when he's denied the one thing that he craves more then anything-caffeine. Forget heat, without his coffee my husband would trek the 1/2 hour in a raging blizzard to the corner store to get a cup. He's just that kind of guy.

We bundled up in our warmest clothes, took the wool blankets off the beds, and camped out in front of the gas fireplace that was valiantly trying to put out some heat, but with no fan could only do very little. The candle light flickered and danced while Jake tried to read a comic book, and Hubs and I dozed. It was only 7 pm, what else could we do? It was too dark to do much else. The chances were we would be without power for at least a day or two, depending on how badly the lines were damaged by the snow laden trees. As I lay there I took a mental inventory of the food we had, how we would heat it, remaining batteries, the extra blankets, and the warmest clothes. We planned to sleep in front of the fireplace on the floor to keep warm, and resolved to somehow get to the closest store tomorrow so I could purchase some winter boots. I also thought about this blog, cursed the fact that NaBloPoMo was just about over and how I'd miss out on another day of posting due to Mother Nature.

We lay there in the dark chatting and giggling, recounting our day-the car slipping and sliding on the way to Hub's office, Jake valiantly shovelling our entire driveway and me finally breaking down and putting up the all Christmas decorations save for the tree. Hubs insisted that Jake and I stay home from work and school 1 more day just to be safe, considering that there is more snow in the forecast and it will get briefly worse before it gets better. We roasted marshmallows by candle light, laughing at each other when they would catch fire. You know, if it had just been warm enough, the power outage wouldn't be so bad. There's a sense of closeness you get when you don't have outside distractions stealing your attention. No computer screen to hide out and read. No TV to watch and only grunt at each other and commercials. It's a whole new dynamic, being technology free.

Then suddenly three hours later, there was a beep, a flash, and everything turned back on.
"POWER!" we all cheered together. Within minutes the room was warm again and Hubs and I were sitting with hot cups of coffee, watching House on TV. Jake went to bed in a warm room.

"Can I sleep in front of the fireplace?" Jake had asked.

Jake had sensed the closeness too. I think one night, we will have to turn everything but the heat off and do that all over again. Just for fun.

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