I woke up this morning to an ice cold apartment. The power was off! And, I was officially a part of the storm of the century that has taken over the awareness of the east coast in the past 36 hours. No power = no heat and ultimately, no fun. No lap top, no mp3 player, no stereo, no television. All I could do was read. So, I picked up a book and tried to entertain myself. Or should I say distract myself from the fact that there were limitations placed on what I could do verses what I wanted to do, and when I wanted to do it.
I didn’t realize how much I depended on electricity to escape constant boredom. In fact, I often criticized my children for not being able to entertain themselves during brief power outages in the past. “Read a book”, I would tell them.
Even as early as yesterday, after watching the local and regional news, I ridiculed the masses for behaving in what I thought was a ridiculous, panic stricken madness by mobbing grocery, and liquor stores; leaving shelves empty of basic food items that “I” thought should have already been stocked in a home.
Karma isn’t as complex as some would like it to seem…and I just had a dose of it disguised as a “reality check”. Hello, my name is The1Essence, and I am an electricity junkie.
My book reading lasted all of 30 minutes before hunger pains reminded me to eat. I had planned a nice warm breakfast of French toast this morning but, even though I have a gas stove and could bypass the electric pilot light with a simple match, the kitchen was dark.
With no windows in the kitchen to provide natural light, I was forced to light candles to see what I was doing. That didn’t last long. I abandoned the French toast idea out of sure frustration. Not because I couldn’t complete my task but, because I didn’t want to without any light from the overhead fixture. Panic began to set in as I wondered if the power company knew the electricity was out in this area.
I looked out of the window, scanning the apartment complex to see if it was just my power that was out (paranoia is one symptom of addiction). I was relieved when I saw that others had opened blinds and curtains to let some natural light in. But, I called the Dominion Power anyway. I had to know the “estimated” time of power restoration. The hotline said power should be restored in my area by 5pm; it was now 8:45am. What in the world I do until then? And, what “if” the power was not back on by then? And most importantly, the three pints of Ben & Jerry’s (pistachio and two pints of Berried Treasure) would definitely be reduced to a soupy mess by then! Panic was taking over…I need my “fix” of electricity and I had made up my mind! I was going to find a hotel.
To do that I had to shovel my truck from under 20 inches of snow. I bundled up in my Packer coat, baseball cap and grabbed the shovel, being mindful to remember my cell phone so I could charge it in the car while I cleaned it.
The snow was wet and heavy, unlike the snow from a few weeks ago that was light and fluffy. I had a time moving it! I’m not exactly a “little” woman but, I am not the most athletic. Plus, underneath 19 inch of snow was an inch of ice. So, I had to remove the snow in layers then chop the ice underneath to clear a path around and behind the truck. Then it was time to clear the snow off of the truck! An hour and a half later I was an exhausted, overheated, sweaty mess! But, armed with a fully charged cell phone I was still completed motivated to find a hotel. Inside, the power was still off. But, I couldn’t just pack and run out of the house. My clothes were soaked from sweat so, I had to shower first.
I showered until the hot water ran out then jumped in a pair of sweats and my Wisconsin hooded sweat shirt, threw a few personal items in an overnight bag, packed my lap top and mp3 player, their respective chargers and a few DVDs and prepared to put my four wheel drive to use when the phone rang. It was the “Best Cousin in the World”, Lisa.
Lisa’s mom had a couple of questions for me regarding tax preparation. I informed Lisa of my circumstance and took a tongue lashing from her mom who felt the weather in Virginia was just as bad as in Wisconsin so I might as well just pack up and move back where if “something” happened I would have family near.
“I can’t”, I quipped, “the airports are closed as well as the highways”!
Before she could render me speechless for being a smart ass, the power popped on! All I did for the next five minutes was scream “Thank you Jesus”! Oh, and I accidentally hung up on Lisa.
Next, I ran to the fridge to check on my Ben & Jerry’s. It was fine! I grabbed a spoon and devoured the entire pint of pistachio! I even had the nerve to wrap myself in a blanket while eating it, with the heat blasting in the background, and I settled myself down to enjoy an afternoon of vampire movies! Geeezzzeee, the things we take for granted!
I watched Twilight and the first Underworld movie when I decided that it was time for that French toast. I had just dropped the toast into the skillet when as fate would have it the lights flickered and the power went out again! Luckily for me the stove is gas powered! I scrambled around for candles and saved the toast. Since it was still light outside, I grabbed the book I tried to read earlier and settled my nerves by thinking it wouldn’t be long until the power came back on. Five hours later it was still off and I was going through withdrawals! My cell battery was low, my lap top was battery was dead and I was starting to shiver! I pulled together some blankets and bedded down on the couch preparing for a restless sleep.
Just as I drifted off I heard the furnace click on and then fire up! After six long hours without electricity I was once again with power! Now, I’m turning everything off (except the heat) and going to bed. It’s been a long day for this self proclaimed “electricity junkie”!