In case you didn’t hear all the hype we had a bit of a weather event here in the Northeast. When one of my colleagues relayed that the weather prediction for Saturday was 6+ inches of snow, well, naturally I went into high “French Toast Alert” mode. Even bought a special loaf of cinnamon bread just for the occasion.
When Saturday broke and we still had no precipitation falling, I rushed to my neighboring town for additional provisions. Beer, milk, eggs, ground coffee, toilet paper. You know… the essentials. The store wasn’t too crazy so I thought perhaps the weather dudes had made a mistake. Usually when a storm is predicted, everyone shops as if there is no tomorrow. Which as it turns out, would have been just about right.
You see, it is still Autumn here in New England. In fact, it wasn’t even Halloween yet. So when the first flakes finally started coming down around dinnertime, those trees full of leaves were quite stressed. At one point, I ventured outside – as I am the only one in my family currently with a winter coat – to shake the ton of snow off of my red maple, whose branches were bent over so far as to touch the driveway.
As I stood outside in the driving snow, I noticed that the sky would periodically light up with an ominous green flash – on both front and back sides of the house – which was accompanied by an even more ominous hum. This happened several times and finally… darkness.
When you first lose electrical power, you almost expect it to come right back on. Then reality sets in and you start looking for a) where that flashlight may have gotten to and b) candles and matches. And the phone number for the power company – which of course, you attempt to dial in the dark along with about a million other customers whose Saturday television viewing has been interrupted.
We are among the lucky power consumers. When we lose electrical power, we do not lose heat or hot water. Having grown up in New Hampshire where even the hint of a power outage sent people running to fill bathtubs with water (no power and the well doesn’t pump which means, the toilet also does not work). We did lose our woodstove as the glass insert chose last Saturday to shatter into a gazillion pieces, but at least we did have heat. Many of my neighbors did not have heat — or a gas cooktop (no oven, a minor inconvenience).
The snow amounted to about 8 inches, much of which is still covering my yard 5 days later. The snowblower worked and we found the shovels. All good. We made that French Toast in honor of the storm and thanks to the ground coffee, brewed French press. And waited for the power to return.
And waited. And waited. And waited.
We have finally and thankfully had our electrical power restored; but 58% of the town still sits in darkness. I have a new appreciation for life before electrical conveniences. And an appreciation for cellphone car chargers.
It’s only the beginning of November and already I’m sick of winter.