Friday, September 16, 2011
Many of you may have read about the outage here in the West last week. Over 5 million people were without electricity for what seemed like an eternity. At least it did for many of us. We were part of those left in the heat and dark.
It all started on one of my husband’s days off-Thursday. It was really hot and humid out-so much so that even my a/c pinching hubby lowered the temp on the unit and tried to cool off the house. We had a documentary to watch and put it into the Blu-ray and were quite enjoying it when-BAM, as Emeril might say, everything went out.
Hmmm. We thought it was just the heat and humidity and expected it to go right back on. The day before our a/c blew and we couldn’t turn it on for about 4 hours, but we did have the rest of the needed power. I could still cook, open the fridge door for a drink and do the laundry. Okay, I did it all while sweating profusely, but I could still do what needed to be done.
No such luck this time. Couldn’t use the house phones-all of them are cordless. Yes, I have a gas stove and oven, but they ignite electronically. No TV, no computers/internet, no listening to the CD player, no whole house fans (which wouldn’t have done much since it was over 95 outside). It was still daytime, so we had light. Our energy went off at 3:20 in the afternoon.
We were planning on BBQ chicken, but our sides were going to be some quinoa pilaf and grilled veggies. No problem with the veggies, but our old BBQ didn’t have a burner-forget the quinoa. It was decided that we’d just pull out a 2fer coupon from the drawer and go out and eat.
Peachy idea-all the traffic lights were out. It took us 25 minutes to go 3-1/2 miles. We had never been to this fast food Mexican restaurant, but I had been forewarned by a fellow food writer that it wasn’t too good. He was right, it wasn’t good. But it was cool and the drinks were re-fillable.
After that “tasty” meal, we walked in the deadly heat to the Home Goods store and moseyed around in there. We found a stainless steel trash can on the clearance aisle for $30. Seemed to be a good idea-our white can didn’t fit the theme of the kitchen anymore and we saw the same one at Bed, Bath and Beyond for $100.
We happily went home in our naïve state-figuring we’d have power by now. It was after 6. One could only hope.
So much for hope-it was so darn hot that as soon as we walked in we noticed our furkids looking half dead. We couldn’t even give them some ice water-icemaker couldn’t work and we were afraid to open up the fridge and let any warm air in.
Warm tap water was about the best we could do for them-and they already had that.
Since it was only slightly better outside, we took the old girl and the middle aged boy (in a cage for him since he came to us de-clawed) out in the yard with us and we read some magazines and worked some crossword puzzles until it got dark at 8.
We used our cell phone and called up to the local Barnes and Noble to see if they had power-yes! Score! We hopped in our car and went to hang out there. It seemed everyone had the same idea-there was “no room at the in” in the coffee area and everyone was moaning and groaning about the lack of something to do. We found a couple of empty benches and I put down my orthopedic cushion and we read until about 10 and went home.
My husband, in all his wisdom, thought it might be a good evening for romance. I said, “Really? We were upstairs for less than 5 minutes and we were drenched and changed clothes in the laundry room-why would we go back up there?”
With that, we decided we’d sleep on our employee issued La-Z-Boys. Let me tell you, it’s not as easy as you might think. I have micro-fiber and Steve has leather. Both, even when covered by cotton sheets, make you sweat in the now dropped temperatures of 85! Also, mine isn’t very comfortable for sleeping when you have degenerative neck and lower back discs along with severe arthritis in various forms.
We then tried to stretch out on our couches. I’m only 5’1-1/2” and the love seat wasn’t too bad, but quite narrow. My husband wasn’t very comfortable on the 6’ couch since it has very puffy arms.
Thankfully, at about 11:30 the power clicked on! We immediately opened the windows and turned on the fans to draw in what was now cool air. Next was re-setting all the clocks and cooling down the furkids with some much needed ice water.
We fell asleep in our bed and woke up to a new day. The only power yet to re-boot were all the traffic lights and our realization that the next time, we’d better have radios that actually work and a better back up plan for the pets.