When the power went out, I was cooking what would have been a wonderful comfort food meal. I had visions of this long snowy weekend with a house smelling like roasted chicken, cornbread/sausage dressing, green beans and chocolate pumpkin bread. The cornbread had risen and the beginnings of an ever so lightly, golden-brown crust began to appear, when the flames inside our beloved, shiny, new oven died. I looked at the clock and saw that it had gone dark. The coffee-maker was also dead as was the rest of the house as was the rest the neighborhood—all dead.
The lights had flickered several times throughout the day as the snow was falling. I saw the way the electrical wires drooped from the wet snow that had built up over night. There was so much snow that instead of it being fun, exciting, a once in a life-time storm, it was a little scary. This was one of those storms where when the power goes out it doesn’t necessarily come back on in a few minutes or an hour or even a day.
I left the cornbread in the oven in the hopes that the outage would be short-lived. It curdled and then fell by dinner-time. We had cold cereal by flashlights. As the darkness set in, it began to get cold even though I had turned the furnace up. Then Darrow informed me that although we had gas heat, it was controlled by an electronic thermostat, so no heat. We lit a fire but it turns out you have to sit almost directly in front of our fireplace to feel the heat and with two grown men, two small kids and three big dogs, there just wasn’t room enough for all of us.
Here are the rest of the highlights of the first day without power:
- Pouring day-old coffee in a glass, adding some half-and-half and pretending it was an iced-latte
- My feet getting cold and staying that way for the duration
- Dogs getting into a brawl over a position in front of the fire
- The power company telling us the problem was being worked on and then several hours later being told that a technician would be in route soon
- Periodically freaking out about the kids being too cold
- Running out of things that are of entertainment value for a three year old that can be done by candlelight
- Watching plow truck after plow truck pass us by because our street is too narrow for them to plow
- And a three year old button-pushing in the form of peeing his new underpants all the way through his jeans and then grinning super-wide saying, “Hey, look Papa, I peed my pants!”
That night was warm and cozy as we hunkered down in one bedroom. I think everyone slept well under layer upon layer of blankets. I hoped that the red numbers of the alarm clock would be blazing across the room the few times that I woke up during the night, but alas, the outage was to continue. Cold cereal was again on the menu, this time with sliced bananas, something we had not yet turned T onto. It was like a new adventure in breakfast foods.
Again we ran out of fun things to do in the freezing, fricking, cold house. Lucas who was wearing a onesie, pants, a thick sleeper and two blankets was cradled in my arms on the sofa where we occasionally dozed. Darrow and T had decided to go outside to burn off a little steam. I commiserated with my sister on the phone about our plight, when she suggested using the fire place to cook. While we didn’t have anything useful for campfire cooking, Darrow pulled out a few pie tins that he used for toasting bread for sandwiches and then I took my hand at frying two eggs.
As I was assembling my first hot meal in two days, I heard shouts coming from upstairs. I didn’t understand his excitement until I spun around and saw the coffee-maker come to life. I think I screamed. Just as I was finding some sort of fun in our situation—cooking over an open fire—suddenly the pain, agony and adventure was over. I was going to be warm again. I could drink hot coffee, we could live like regular people again!
The rest of the day was filled with a happy cook, putting together a pot of yummy spaghetti and freshly baked biscuits, and his happy partner digging out not only the car but most of the street with a neighbor. It included a fully recovered Lucas (in contrast to last weekend) and T getting his first taste of football, watching the Super Bowl with Papa. The last bit of good to Snowmageddon or as I like to refer to it, Blizzizzard 2010, is that my employer is closed tomorrow.
We can now look forward to the snow melting, the streets being cleared, the temperature warming up, and having life get back to normal. But already, there is a winter storm watch for another douse of the wicked white stuff—more than five inches predicted for Tuesday evening. So five inches on top of about thirty inches makes me think that normal is still a week away.