Sunday, February 27, 2011

Blackout 2011 Edition

One week ago, we walked the girls down to the lake as another wave of wet snow was coming in. Just a short visit to get us out of the house on a Sunday afternoon to shake off the remains of Mommy's hangover.

As we walked back, the wet snow was starting to turn to sleet. Little did we know...

Monday morning I groggily register that Scott is getting ready to go to the gym at some god awful 5am-ish pre-butt crack of dawn. Potter groans a few times, rubs his face on the carpet and settles back in to snoring. I vaguely notice wind pounding against our "vintage" windows.

All I know is that it is President's Day, so Morgan has no school and rush hour traffic should be lighter. Might as well not even dream of getting up before 6:45.

I hear Scott go outside to start the car and open the gates. I hear Scott come back inside. I hear...nothing. All the white noise we take for granted has vanished. No faint lights from the alarm clock, cable box, or Morgan's four night lights.

Power is gone.

I'm informed that everything is covered in a couple inches of ice. Hmm...sounds like "work from home". Make that not dream of getting up before 7:30.

But that would mean Zoe had suddenly stopped being a "morning" person. So I was actually up in plenty of time to see that butt crack.

Cut to two hours later...

In some cosmic twist of events, the sitter's power never went out. Despite the fact that their own tree shed a quarter of its weight into the "mean" neighbor's yard and took out a power line or two. So the girls are shuffled off and I head to find free wi-fi.

Panera...hmm...looks like everyone had the same idea. Barnes and Noble...much better idea. Except my employer firewalls and wireless settings make it a virtual Fort Knox of a signal. After a couple personal tech support texts that offered no support, I finally figure it out on my own and I'm off and running.

Responding to e-mails and instant messages...grabbing documents I need off my server...drinking my expensive Starbucks hot cocoa. It only stands to reason that 15 minutes later the power goes out.

Yes. It does. I wait.

Nope, not coming back on. Well, maybe if it is out here, it came back on at home. I know that my in-laws got it back already, so it's not a crazy idea.

Nope, not back on. But I can see the mess we left behind in the morning and the house hasn't lost much heat yet, so I decide to stick around and take some time to tidy up. And also pack some overnight bags...just in case.

Head to the library...I can get Internet, but if I try to get into my Lotus Notes the damn thing kicks me off my network, so it's pretty slow going for me and I'm regretting my decision to stay close to home and girls. When the lights start flickering at the library, I give in to taking a sick day. It's around 2:30.

I let my mother-in-law know that I'm going to grab the girls swim bag from home and have some lunch and then we'll be by for a visit. Decide I might as well grab the overnight bag, too...just in case.

We pull in Nana Turtle's driveway at 4 and are told that she just lost her power again. No joke. But who needs power? The girls draw pictures, we get Morgan's homework ready for the next day, Zoe sets up her infant daycare...then we head to the gym.

One of the perks of Five Seasons' former life as a "country club" is that they still kept their bar area. So after swim lessons and showers, we eat dinner and watch TV (which had mysteriously landed on Nickelodeon, so I'm pretty sure I was not the only parent with this idea).

Scott and I took turns working out, and got our showers in, too.

Coming home, I couldn't help but notice all the houses with lights on. Some of those bastards had even turned their Christmas lights back on in an effort to flaunt their consumption of electricity.

"Look, that store has power...and that store has power...these all have power!" exclaimed Morgan as we drove past the Walgreens plaza. But Mommy could see the darkness to the north. No traffic light at the lake meant no beacon of hope illuminating our doorstep.

As we prepared to hunker down in front of the gas fire that incidentally exists in our coldest and smallest room of the house, we get a text from Nana that they just got their power back. So the girls and I leave Daddy and Potter to the hunkering and we head off for heat, beds and television!

Although, my heart is heavy, knowing that my DVR is missing Pretty Little Liars and Greek.

Things aren't very much better in the light of the next day, and we head off to school, daycare and work with little hope, knowing that we could very well not have power until the next day. The entire mile walk from garage to work was filled with hateful thoughts that just dared anyone to try to talk to me before I got my laptop booted up.

But all's well that ends well. We returned home to power and I can just imagine the people that were still in the dark driving by our house that night, cursing at us. As I let Potter back inside for the last time, I began turning lights out. Every light out. Because we had subconsciously turned and left on Inside and out. Top to bottom.

Don't worry. Karma came and bit me in the ass, because on Thursday I left my car lights on all day, too. Guess what happens when you leave your car lights on the entire time you are at work?

I'm pretty sure that it took all my co-worker's will power not to make fun of my damsel in distress moment, so I thank him for that and his jumper cables and his ability to use said jumper cables and for never mentioning that he had to drive halfway across the city to help me, because I decided to splurge and park close to work that day. (Obviously a shout out to Joe, who won't read this anyway.)

Winding down with another snow storm on Friday seemed to top everything off perfectly...we have a mini-half pipe out of snow in backyard that the girls used their saucer sleds on it for a good hour. A family of snowmen in the front yard. Snowmom and Snowdad letting Snowbaby get shockingly close to the street.

And so ends another saga.

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