When The Lights Go Down In The City

Do you know what happens when the power goes out in the city?  There’s crazy pyrotechnics, and smoke, and then out of the darkness Journey appears singing this song.  

We had a power outage yesterday.  It didn’t quite go down like the picture I just painted, but I’m guessing you knew that.  Still, it was an interesting predicament.  

I was awoken by the power going out.  No big deal.  The power tended to go off then come back on all throughout the year.  I don’t know the reason for this silliness.  I didn’t hear the power kick back on right away.  My first thought was the weather.  I remembered what the meteorologist said the morning before. “The arctic weather from Siberia…swinging through the south…dropping down to 25 degrees…will get down to 18 by sunrise…”

Checked my phone.  We were at 25 degrees.  Well look at that.  He was right. 

Can you remember the last time silence enveloped you during a power outage?  The silence is deafening.  It was enough for me to pop my eyes open from whichever wave of the sleep cycle I was in.  

And then the screams.  

Two of my girls share a room, and it must have a night light when they go to sleep.  They practically felt that light go off, like it tapped them on the shoulder.  No more than 3 seconds later, they shouted “The light is oooooofff!!!”

I ran into their room.  Their screaming and shouting is always unsettling in the middle of the night.  I knew that if I didn’t get to their room quickly and calm them down, their crying was likely to wake the baby.  Couldn’t have that.  Not when it was dark like this. 

Mommy is more likely to jump out of bed and understand the situation.  Poor D is dazed and confused whenever I wake him.

What do you do when the electricity goes out and their beacon of comfort is extinguished?  I told them that everything was alright.  “Go back to sleep and wake when the sun is up in the sky.”  Patted them on their bottoms and gave them reassuring hugs.

That was the best comfort I could give in my sleepy yet annoyed state.  How can the power be out at a time like this?

Surprisingly that worked!

Back to bed I went.  Only I couldn’t sleep.  I kept thinking “It’s so cold outside and it’s only going to get colder.  Are the kids warm enough?  Will the power come on soon??”

I was texting with my best friend.  She is a night owl.  She helped me by looking up info on this power outage.  Even called the electric company for me.  She is that awesome.

L woke up some time in between our texting session.  That was a nightmare.  I thought the smell that hit me in the face was coming from an earlier diaper that he blew up, which was sitting in the trash can.  Nope.  In the scarcely lit room I saw quite a mess in his diaper.  He was a stinky little boy.

Have you ever changed an abomination of a diaper by the light of a cell phone?  I was scared as I wiped his bottom blindly.  I didn’t want to get the mess on anything else and not be aware. Intermittently hitting my screen with what I assumed to be a clean knuckle, I kept the glow from my cell phone focused on his bottom.  I was pulling wipes from the dispenser like cash out of an ATM.  Wipe container down!

Afraid L might freeze if I put him back in his crib, I allowed him to come and sleep with me.  He is a roller and a thrasher.  He’s given me a few good knocks in the nose and the eye.  I’ve found the secret to avoiding his punches: do not cuddle with the future MMA fighter.  I put a little bit of distance between him and myself.  Injuries avoided.

About 5:00, still awake, I started to wonder if M was going to have a day off from school…  I so badly wanted to start my day right then, but what could I do?  No electricity means –

no lights,
no heat,
no wi-fi,
no TV,
no coffee…

Complete boredom.

Most importantly, NO COFFEE.  Honestly, who wouldn’t just raise the white flag, roll right over and go back to sleep?  

Then, as if time had unfrozen, the power turned back on.  The complete silence of the house was eery and odd in itself.  Having every electrically powered piece of equipment in the house come back to life at the same time was like something out of a horror movie.

The printer.
The humidifier.
Bathroom light.

What a comfort it was to hear air flowing through the air duct, and the hum of the refrigerator from all the way downstairs.

TGIF, I thought to myself.  What would be even more annoying is if this had happened earlier during the week.  Optimism has spoken for the minor set-back. 

Remember that day when the power 
went out and it was cold and I was so annoyed?  Then I drove through the  Dunkin Donuts twice?  

Oh wait……

No shame here.  I had to treat myself to a vanilla chai latte, before the doc appointment.  (If you’ve never had one, and don’t have time to try this recipe I posted, swing through DD and grab one.  SO delicious.)

The second time I went through the drive-thru, a “first time” was accomplished.  I had to get my hands on a dozen of the Valentine’s Day-themed doughnuts.  Some are filled with jelly, some are custard, some are chocolate.  Anyway, I’ve never bought a big box of doughnuts before.  I try not to make a habit of over-indulging.   

All in all, Friday turned into a positive and productive day for us after we survived the power outage.  We came out of the other side of this as better people, with much appreciation for placing things where they can be found when needed.  At least I hope.  For example, flashlights are only useful when placed in a location easily accessed in pitch black silent darkness.  

We will be sure to buy a house with a fireplace next time.  Night vision goggles wouldn’t be a bad investment either.  Maybe a special concert from Journey too?


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