Saturday, November 3, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy gave me a little gift this week. 

Five days without power! Woohoo.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: This is a joke. Being without power for five days with a four month old and a toddler, plus a home office must have been horrible. For one thing, it’s getting cold here, in the 20s at night. And the dog fence doesn’t work without electricity. And neither does the vacuum cleaner…

But it really wasn’t that bad. Unlike last year, we weren’t out of town when the storm came in so I was able to stock up on the necessities, like fruit that is happy at room temperature, potatoes that can be cooked in the fireplace, bottled water, and whiskey. 

Yeah, that’s right. 

The wind was already blowing and fat rain drops were whapping my windshield when I ran my final errands, but it wasn’t so bad that I didn’t notice that while most of Litchfield was a ghost town, the liquor store had a parking lot so full there were two cars waiting in line for a spot. They had their blinkers on and were just hangin’ out in the middle of the road. 
The main problem with no power is that we’re on a well that requires electricity to pump. No showers, no toilet flushing, no drinking water, no way to clean Chef Boyardee Dinosaurs & Meatballs off the sliding glass window. But so what? We lower our standards and move on. 

There are some up-sides. No electricity means no computers, which means no guilty pleasures like facebook and pinterest and no do-I-even-know-you-how-could-you-watch-this-trash pleasures like Couples’ Therapy. (I can’t help it. Courtney Stoddard is my Honey Boo-Boo.) As a result I’m SO PRODUCTIVE. Seriously. With no electricity I had three options: 

1.       Do productive stuff
2.       Read
3.       Rest

During the daylight, I did productive stuff with the occasional rest for a few minutes while I played with my baby or just took in the view of our river. Once the sun went down, I read. I finally finished The Far Traveler: Voyages of a Viking Woman that I’ve been working on for four months and got a got a good 60 pages into Maugham: A Biography, by Ted Morgan with the help of a candelabra that was a wedding present. Sixty pages may not seem like a lot to you leisured classes, but when you claw away at a book one paragraph at a time the way I usually do, it feels like finishing a marathon.

I feels so great, in fact, that I had a vivid dream in which my purple, bold-face type banner that reads “I GAVE UP FACEBOOK FOR LENT” featured prominently except without the “FOR LENT” part.

Maybe this sans electricity living was a real possibility. 

It wasn’t until today that I gave up. The restaurant bills were starting to add up (thank you dearest brother twin-law for feeding us so much!) and I was struggling to keep the babies warm enough at night. A call to the power company resulted in the demoralizing news that we weren’t estimated to get power until Sunday night at 11:30pm. We booked rooms at a local motel, although it took several calls since most everywhere was full of New York and New Jersey refugees. 

Disheartened, I let the 2 year old choose our restaurant for the evening and packed up the car with luxuries like shampoo and baby monitors. At dinner, P and I shared a bottle of wine and talked about how adorable our babies are. On our way to the hotel, we stopped by the house to make sure Ulrich von Dog was snuggled up in his dog bed alright. We turned into the driveway and gasped. 



Electricity is a beautiful thing. And while I’m sure the thrill I get at turning on the dishwasher will wear off in less than 24 hours and the candelabra will be once again relegated to the Christmas decorations box, I’ve resolved one thing: less pinterest, more reading. 

I hope that means more writing, too.

No comments:

Post a Comment