On October 29, during our street’s trick-or-treat activity, New England had a major snowstorm. We ended up losing power during dinner on Saturday night, and only had it restored 5 days later on Friday morning. Because of the leaves still on the trees, the heavy, wet nature of the snow, and a reported reduction in tree trimming by utilities over the past year, many trees and branches fell and knocked out power lines across the state.
It looked kind of like this:
On Sunday, when things didn’t seem so bad yet, we had a relatively normal day, except the girls romped in the snow on October 30 and we had to wear coats inside. Siena did her homework while Thalia crafted some. (Siena’s homework in this picture is to write her address and draw a picture of her house. Our house is not actually as colorful as she makes it seem.)
We discovered that we actually can get to sleep in a house that is 53 degrees *inside*, though it’s not easy. We all wore two or more layers of clothes and had multiple comforters and blankets piled on top. Siena slept with me and Thalia snuggled with Mama so that we could make sure the kids kept warm. Every morning we would get up, get quickly dressed, hop in the car, and drive to Thalia’s day care to have breakfast there. The teachers were very understanding and accommodating in allowing us to camp out at one of the toddler tables. (Some of the teachers were without power for a few days as well.) Fortunately, both the kids’ schools were open on Monday so we were able to drop them off in a warm, lit environment for the days, while I was able to go into work to shower and have internet access. Mama’s work was closed, being tied to the same trunk line that our town is powered on, so she was stuck either in the cold with the dog or driving around trying to find places to get warmth, light, food, or all three.
On Monday, I ordered one of the few generators from Amazon.com I could find that could be delivered next day for an additional $3.99 (we are happy, loyal Amazon Prime members). I also picked up a small space heater. Once we got the generator all sorted out on Tuesday afternoon, we found we could run the fridge or the freezer or the space heater (on low), but not any two at the same time. We consolidated the remaining good foodstuffs into the fridge, and kept that going most of the time along with some lights and power strips upstairs to charge our phones and provide some night lights for the girls.
One evening we went to Lowe’s for a pre-dinner activity, and went to the mall after dinner to pass time until bed time. We even put the girls in their halloween costumes and let them ride the merry-go-round in our mall’s food court, which they loved. We aimed to get home a little after normal bed time and just pop the girls into bed, get things in order for the next day, and go to sleep ourselves. Two of the evenings some friends of ours in town hosted us for dinner and kid baths, which was a huge help.
Thursday we finally saw the utility company trucks pull into town, and by Thursday evening at 8 PM we thought they’d be restoring our power, but they didn’t; they just restored it on the street next to ours. We were disappointed, to say the least. Friday morning, I followed a utility truck from Virginia around our street like a stalking paparazzi, asking them how things were progressing and when power would get restored. It turned out there were some branches hanging on the wires at the end of our street, and those had to be removed. The workers from Appalachia Energy were very friendly, and about 10 minutes after he told me that they were just about to “make us hot” again (presumably not any sly innuendo there), our lights flickered back into existence, all our thermostats clicked, and all the baseboards got to work.
Two hours later I was on my way to the airport to go to Georgia for my grandfather’s funeral, and Mama had to go pick up Thalia from day care because she had a fever, which turned out to be bronchitis or pneumonia, the doctor wasn’t sure which, and she was home through Tuesday the following week. What a week!