Sunday, December 14, 2008
the ice storm cometh
Thursday the rain started, then the temperatures dropped, then the ice started forming.When I opened the door to let the cat out, it wasn't wind I heard blowing, it was creaking ice laden branches. Around 9pm the light flickered dim, and then again at 9:30, I should have followed my thoughts, that told me to turn up the heat some, and turn the temperature of the refrigerator down, just in case the power went out. I of course ignored those voices, I was too busy photographing the icy trees, reflecting the light outside my window.
Hours passed, then at 12:15 am ...POP booop, the power was out, My son and I wait a few seconds for it to come on, and then we realized it wasn't going to happened, off we went finding flashlights, and some LED lanterns, that I had bought years before, and use around Halloween, to light the stairs to our walk way. The dog was less than pleased with the power outage, "what was going on, why were we running around, in the dark?" So off to bed we went, me to my electrically powered heated water bed, and he to his room.My husband was already asleep blissfully unaware, at one point during the night, I thought the lights had come on, but I was too warm in toasty in our bed, and fell back asleep, I'd shut them off in the morning. In the morning noticing the lights were still out , and it was cool in the house, I realized my brain was processing a cars headlights going by,not actual lights coming on.
In the daylight hours the ice covered trees were magnificent, in this kind of surreal frozen fairytale like setting.It was amazing to see how ice covered everything was, and how it came showering down when the temperatures outside increased. We sat, read, drank alot of hot tea, and cocoa, made grilled cheese sandwiches, and naively believed the light would be on in the afternoon, just like a friend rumored, no such luck Chuck.
We ate dinner by candlelight, and camping lantern light.We did the dishes a la camping style, we heated pots of water on the stove, to combine with are only cold running water.I slept on our water bed , this time above the covers, in my sleeping bag, surrounded by a cat or two, I got ready for work, by LED lamplight, and missed the heat in my house , and the hot water alot. I felt unshowered, and tired,and I was. I was also a little annoyed that the neighbor had electricity, and we had none, damn it.
I drove to work,Friday night. It was another surreal event, I and the full moonlight were the only light on the road, as I drove, an occasional lone driver would illuminate how ice covered bushes and trees still were in some areas.One road I drove down the trees were bent so far forward, I wondered if they might touch the roof of my little Subaru.I went through several towns where the usual signal lights were out, the funny thing was I still slowed down, just like they were working.I guess old habits die hard. That night the temperatures dropped to 14 degrees.
On my ride home Saturday morning , I got to see those ice covered trees, in the daylight, which didn't make it any less scary, but more so because you could see how thick the ice still was, and how affected everything was by it. I also noticed at the top of trees the stark pointed white tipped branches left behind after all those that had broken off from the weight of all that ice
I arrived home with some necessities, milk, juice, cat food, and bread, as I got out off my car I noticed a white wire, extending from our house to the neighbors, my husband, the jack of all trades,had hooked us up, he used to be an electrician, before he became the boiler repair man. We talked briefly the night before of putting an extension cord, from our house to our neighbors. Well lo and behold, he had done that very thing! I walked over the thick white wire, to be greeted by my son, telling me that "Dad is hooking up the furnace so we would have heat, and hot water!!"
Yay!! Our house had dropped down to 55 degrees, and the mud room was even colder, colder than the temperature in our fridge, where the temperature was rising.By the time I ate my breakfast in my heaviest wool sweater, the heat was slowly rising, the smell of heat is wonderful, if you haven't had it, for a 24 hours or more. I went to bed that morning, in sweats, with a cat joining me for warmth. I woke up in the afternoon, to warmth, and no lights, but no lights, is nothing compared to no heat.
The hoards of candles I had received as gifts, many a Christmas, did us well, as did my little LED lanterns.
That evening at 6:30 precisely, the lights came on, at first my husband didn't realize, because we had turned the lights off, the first day we were without power.
But quickly we got the picture, and celebrated, with pancakes, and bacon. after all I had to work that night .