Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Back to civilization

We had a major thunderstorm here late on Monday afternoon.
I don't think I've ever witnessed a storm as violent as this one was -- not ever in my lifetime do I recall such a fierce storm.
It raged for only about 45 minutes.  But oh it was a looooooooong 45 minutes.
And before it was finished our power was out.
We figured the power would be back on in due course since we are used to outages around here.  They never last long though.  (OK, during the ice storm in 1998, we were without power for 13 days but who's counting?)
We had a supper of cold sandwiches and salad, then headed into town for coffee.
It was on our way home that we realized we would be out of power for a while this time.  The devastation around us was unbelievable.
Trees were downed everywhere.  One egress for us was blocked by trees that had fallen across the road, taking telephone wires with them. 
Our call to Hydro indicated that they expected power to be restored by 11:00pm.
We went to bed expecting that the fans would come on during the night and all would be well.
Yeh, right.
Very little sleep was had on Monday night.  The heat was unbearable.  There wasn't a breeze to be had as the air hung heavily with the aftereffects of the rainfall.
I would fall asleep briefly, then wake up needing to mop myself up with the cloth that I usually keep with me to wipe my brow (I sweat profusely in this heat).
All I could think of was those poor people down in the southern US who had suffered day after day of extreme high temperatures and no power.  Here we were without power for less than twelve hours at this point and we're having a terribly hard time dealing with its repercussions.  And I'm sure it wasn't as hot as they endured.
By the time we got up on Tuesday morning, we discovered our lack of telephone service.  Fortunately, we each have a cell phone and if push came to shove, we could charge them in our cars.
Another call to Hydro informed us that the anticipated restoration time was now 6:00pm that evening.
Wunnerful, wunnerful (to quote a good friend).
Time to fire up the generator.  We had bought a fancy-dancy generator following the 1998 ice storm.  Figured if we were ever up against similar circumstances, we might need one.  This was the first time in 14 years that we've had to resort to using it.
But it saved our bacon.
Cost us a king's ransom in gasoline but at least we were able to make coffee and toast for breakfast.
We were able to shower (aaaaaahhhhhh, that felt good!).
And we were able to watch television to find out what was going on in the world.
But we had no internet connection. (Our server was down due to the power outage in the area.)
And we had no telephone service. (Scrambling to use those damned cell phones was a pain in the you-know-what.)  We were at least able to keep the cell phones charged when we had the generator running.
Good Lord, can I just comment on how noisy a generator is?  Can't hear yourself think when that thing is going.
We were told that our telephone service would likely not be restored before Thursday, July 26th (that's two whole days away!).  Fortunately, that projection was wrong and the phones were back to working order by dinner time.
We prepared dinner in the microwave oven and sat near the fan while we ate.  Then we watched some of the ballgame.
The new projected restoration of power time was 11:00 pm so perhaps our fans might come on while we slept. Let's hope, although it was now considerably cooler outside than it had been.
As we were shutting down to go to bed, voila! we had power.
Some 30 hours after it went down, we joined civilization again.  And not a minute too soon!
Amazing how much we've come to rely on our energy source for everything we do.  This little exercise really brought that message home to us.

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