The Weeks The Lights Went Out in Kentucky
February 16, 2009
Day 2: First full day without power.
Woke up to find more snow and ice on the roads. Left for work super early, giving myself 3 times the necessary time to arrive. Made it to the intersection 1 mile from my house in 10 minutes after nearly sliding off the road. Decided on the way to work that I would probably clear, after taxes and sitter, about $30 bucks. Pondered the absurdity of risking my life for 30 bucks.
Upon arriving at work, discovered a city-wide power outage, and a nearly desolate postal parking lot. Discovered that, contrary to the motto, something does stop the US Mail, and ice storm and city wide power outage. Also discovered that Verizon is indeed, “The Network”, as their service was the only functional one in the city. Praised self for choosing Verizon all those years ago. Landlines were also down. Began to comprehend the magnitude of the storm. It stopped the freakin’ mail for crying out loud. Was allowed to perform menial inside tasks for my guaranteed time, so my trip to work was not in vain.
Took kids to my sister’s house in Tennessee, hereafter referred to as the promised land, where electricity abounds, for the evening. Took a hot shower before coming home to a 40-something degree house and snuggling up with the hubby. Hubby was pissed that he missed NCIS. I told him that I could tell him what happened: There was a murder, Gibbs made some snarky comments, sexual tension escalated between the curly headed girl and the cute guy, then they solved the case. Pondered that doing without electricity, even if it’s for a week, won’t be that bad. I am tough. I am woman. I am invincible.
Van wouldn’t start. Rode in to work with mom. Husband called to say that it’s looking like power could be restored by Valentine’s day. I am no longer invincible.
My work was cancelled again, too dangerous to deliver mail. Town still dark. Rode to Tennessee border town with co-worker to get supplies and kill time before mom got off work. Total Chaos.
Pondered the fact that many republicans thought the world would go to hell if Obama was elected. I hate that many of them think they were right.
Spent 4 hours waiting for mom to get off from work. Boring. Arrived home and decided to migrate to the promised land overnight with mom and dad. J is left to fend for himself when and if he returns from work. Watched tv for the first time in ages. Mostly news, all about “Winter Storm ‘09”. (insert jazz hands here)
Oh yeah, earlier in the day argued with mom about the meaning of, “potable water”, a term being used a lot on the radio recently. Some people are pronouncing it pot (rhymes with not) able. Mom wonders why the agencies aren’t giving away water you can drink. I tell her that they are, that’s what potable means. She insists that potable means you use it to flush your toilet, or pot if you will.
Town no longer dark. Began the tedious task of catching up on delivering the mail for the 2 days we missed. Temps were up, which meant ice melted off branches and pelted me in the head all day. Often thought that I was in just as much danger Tuesday and Friday when we delivered as I was Wednesday and Thursday when it was deemed too dangerous. By mid-day town was again dark. Am sick and tired of existing on sandwiches and snack cakes.
Spent evening at the promised land with hubby and kids. Can tell that sister is getting tired of her home being turned into a multi-family one.
Lights on in town again. No such luck at home. Busy day at work playing catch-up. Temps are high again so after work and dinner out, we are spending the evening in our own house. Yay. On the way home openly mocked the people in Tennessee with their television and electricity. A mile from home noticed that power had been restored to many homes, including the assholes. Got hopes up only to come home to a dark, cold house. The assholes across the field are now the “Sons of Bitches”.
Karate boy says he hopes we have power by the time he turns 7, which is 10 months from now.
Electric bill was due today. Didn’t pay it. What are they going to do, disconnect my service?
Sunday, my only day of the week off work. Spent the day running. First to granny’s to pick up limbs. Later sis, mom and I went to the local shelter to volunteer (more on that in a later post). Words cannot describe the things I saw there. So sad, so terribly, terribly sad. Could never get cold or desperate enough to stay there.
J’s brother in law brought us a generator to use. After hooking everything up, and giving the fridge a long overdue cleaning, I opened the door to find not only light, but I swear I heard the Hallelujah Chorus playing. Heat and refrigeration, I feel like I’m in heaven.
Have devised a plan to call all my other service providers for which electricity is required (Dish and Internet) in the event that electricity is not restored within a month and ask for bills to be waived. The worst thing they can do is tell me no.
Found research to back up the true definition of potable water. Rag mom incessantly.
Headed to the promised land to eat a hot meal and watch super bowl. Things are looking up.
I know lots of people have relatives staying with them due to the power outages, but I really didn’t have room for one more when my Aunt Flo arrived.
Got a call from J that the loaner generator had broke the clutch. Things are no longer looking up.
Day 8: One full week without power.
Had an epiphany: Which group was totally not affected by this? The Amish. Thinking about converting to Amish-ism (or whatever). I’ll save lots of money on electricity, cable, and things of that nature. I look good in black, and I can bake like nobody’s business. Amish or bust. Will talk to hubby about becoming Amish tonight.
Supervisor at work bragged about having electricity. I made the threat, “I know where you live, I’ll be sitting in your driveway when you get home”.
Spent evening at mom and dad’s, as they have a generator and a wood stove.
Looks like we’re still Methodist. Hubby’s furniture making skills, as well as my sewing skills suck. Plus I like my Girlie drama’s too much to give up tv. Amish-ism was good while it lasted. (And I still intend to practice my baking skills, as soon as I get electricity to my oven again).
I know longer know what day of the week it is. I long for my routine. I long for normalcy.
This whole time I’ve been saying, “on the bright side, our electric bill will be low”. Well, today I realized that since we are on the budget billing program we still have to pay those cock suckers even if we use 0 watts.
Despite my reservations, accepted another loaner generator. This one’s new, so maybe it won’t malfunction on our watch. Karate boy is thrilled to be home.
Day 18,978,209, 039, okay, day 10:
My brain is fried. I no longer know what day of the week it is. Without television shows to look forward to each night, I simply can’t keep the days straight. Furthermore, I still hit light switches when I come into a room. Almost 2 weeks in the dark and I still pull the damn switches and strings to turn on the lights. Also, I have spent the day trying to figure out why nobody has commented on this post. “I know that Amish bit was pretty funny” I say to myself, before realizing that this is being typed on the word processing program on my computer rather than on wordpress. Nobody’s commenting because nobody is seeing it yet. What’s really bad is that I re-play this scenario multiple times a day in my head. I have no idea how I am managing to hold down a job.
Good news on the job front, because of all the chaos I have been working a lot, and spent almost the entire day on overtime. That is a very good thing considering it’s costing us $25 a day to run the generator.
Day 11: (Saturday)
Second weekend in the dark. J could take no more and has decided to use the generator to power the DVR and one television rather than a heater. (temperatures are in the 60’s, so his decision is acceptable). Just in time for a new Desperate Housewives and Brothers And Sisters tomorrow night. Perfect timing.
Went to Promised Land to do laundry and bathe. God this sucks. It took 4 hours to do 3 loads of laundry. Next weekend, if we’re still without power, we’re paying a visit to the laundromat. At least there I can utilize multiple washers and dryers. Plus, I hear some of them have wifi. (or “wee fee” as one of my co-workers pronounces it)
I could totally handle this if we just had water. We have no water. Damn electric well pump. If I could just wash these dishes that are piling up and eating away at my o.c.d. If I could just mop the floor or clean the fridge with soap and water. If I could just wash my freakin’ hands, or take even a cold shower……………..
On the good news front. J finally fixed the water heater!!!!!!!! Now, when we do get electricity restored I will be able to take a hot bath. Maybe I’ll even shave the ½” hair from my legs. (Sadly, that is not an exaggeration).
A beautiful day, weather-wise. Great day to be at work and take my mind off the fact that we’re pioneering it at home.
Karate boy went back to school today. Nine of the 22 kids in his class, plus 2 of his 3 teachers are still without power. Fortunately, the school system has decided to ban homework until more (or maybe even all) kids have electricity at home.
Did I mention that being without power SUCKS!
Day 14: The Day The Lights Went On.
Dad called me at 4:15 this afternoon with excellent news. The lights were back on!!!!!!! Everyone and everything survived, even the DVD player that we thought had fallen victim to a generator power surge. It’s so nice to be able to shower in my own house, wash my hands with soap and water rather than hand sanitizer after using the restroom, play the wii, watch my television shows, pick out my clothing without the aid of the lantern. Two whole weeks in the dark, and we survived.