Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Our time in darkness
Sooo, here's some pics of our week long ordeal of how we welcomed July in our area. Sunday to Sunday. I went from reading about what a derecho was when the mid Atlantic got hit with one to living through one. I didn't say I wanted to experience one, thanks. It also happened at an awesome time when literally every single non bed bug hotel was booked for the holiday. So we had no choice but to stay at first. But then it became something else. It was sticking around and defending our home and proving to ourselves that we could do it.
When you walk outside after a land hurricane and see all of the lines on your street tilted and some down and then you kind of become a media spectacle, you know the news ain't gonna be good. They didn't give us any ETA for a while then the next day it was "2-10 days." Are you serious? Did you spin a wheel of vague answers to come up with that one?Terro liquid ant baits because those babies stopped us from a full on infestation.
I cleaned the fridge top to bottom. I know it needed done but jeez, a more subtle hint would've been fine.
It was way too hot to sleep in the bedroom so we got our air mattresses out of the camping box in the garage that hadn't been cracked open for over 10 years and slept in the basement. Some nights we were actually cold so we needed light blankets. I had on a little LED flashlight because it was DARK down there and the 80's station on the transistor radio. (Look it up kids) If I never hear Journey, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard and Alanis Morissette again, it'll be too soon but there really didn't need to be a power outage for me to feel like that. Then when it was time to work out, we'd chuck the beds aside and workout for 30 minutes. It would feel like it was going to rain once we were done!
It topped 91 for quite a few days inside. You kind of wanted storms to cool things down but then they would hold up progress so you weren't sure if you wanted to suffer or go out to the car for AC. Did I mention our cell tower was down?
Some of our lifesavers were battery-operated fans we ordered from Amazon because all of the sporting goods stores were out, the radio I found, my camping clotheslines for day 7 when my shorts and tank tops were ready to be washed.
Our only source of entertainment and progress reports was driving up a few side streets to watch the workers do their job. The Mr was home with me every day except Thursday and I don't know how I would've made it without him. I wanted to make sure I kept the Mr's tummy happy and healthy so I made just about anything I made any day of the week on the grill from omelets...
...to chicken dogs and beans for the 4th of July.
Everyone on our street left so it was just us to defend the homesteads. I guess the saying "know your neighbors so you can help each other during a natural disaster" didn't apply. I'm sure they came home to some ecoli soup in the fridge. So I would booby trap the window at night in case prowlers got any bright ideas and trust me, there were people we never saw in the neighborhood suddenly loitering around. Mama bought a metal paddle for my stand up paddle training and I was going to beat the hell out of them if they tried to come in.
We battled many things. Mother Nature and the worst heat wave of the season, ants, yellow jackets, stinky trash (thanks neighboring apartments who had an open dumpster!), a backed up dishwasher and ecoli stew from melted ice in our freezer on day 6.
There is this acclimation you go through when you're out that long. The heat is bad, yes but you become so busy with chores you have to do to keep things running, ice from melting and checking on progress that you don't have time to do much else. You also realize that as most people "suffered" for 2-3 days (which I'm not minimizing, I promise) that people forget about you. The helicopters go away and people are setting off fire crackers and celebrating the holiday and you think "how dare you live your life while we're back here suffering!?" It's the same thing we felt when my father in law died. It was like "how can you laugh and go on with your vacation when we're losing someone we love?" It won't make sense until you go through it and I hope no one has to. You also realize you only have each other to get through it and you come out of it stronger and more loving than ever. You exercise and eat right and feel like you can truly say we live a no excuses lifestyle where our health is concerned and that makes us proud. You handle whatever is thrown at you together and conquer each thing with much less freak out than if you had power because it has to be done. Period. And when the lights finally do come back on as you're in the middle of watching Weird Science on the tablet, you are cautiously optimistic, high five and get to the work at hand of getting the fridge/freezer set, close the windows and run the fans then work the AC back into the mix because again, things need to be done. This is something that had we not been campers, I don't think we would've been nearly as successful in getting through the ordeal. I'm not talking cushy campers either. I mean no electricity, washing dishes in the water fountain and going home reeking of campfire and sweat. I am so grateful for that experience and never thought that it would help us get through a week long power outage 14 years after our last camping trip. I thank God I didn't throw away that camping box like I was going to 2 weeks ago! I just ask if we ever have to go through this again it's in the winter so I can use some snow as my freezer and cuddle up under blankies in front of the gas fireplace. (Yep, the switch still works without electricity...we checked!)
Are you a camper? Would you prefer a summer or winter power outage?
(Edit: You can't pick spring or fall you wimps! :-) It has to be one extreme or the other since WE didn't have the choice.)
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