post-outage notes

I had plans for the weekend. I was going to get Unseen out on Amazon and B&N. I was going to get in some writing time and work on another Elinor story. Our whole family would go to the pool and cool off in the 100-degree heat.

None of those things happened (except the heat).

Instead, on Friday a super derecho (yeah, I just learned that term, too) ripped through the Midwest and the mid-Atlantic region at such a furious pace that it took out power at my father-in-law’s house in Ohio in the afternoon, then did the same at our place in Virginia by 11 that evening. I’m glad that I didn’t know how intense this phenomenon was until after the fact, because I have this thing about high winds. At one point, I looked up at the skylight and saw trees whipping around, which made my stomac flip-flop in sympathy.

We were without power for three nights (and two and a half days). Half the traffic lights around were not working and many many businesses were closed. It took us a while to find a place to have breakfast at on Saturday morning.

It was not all bad, though. Even with the traffic lights not working, drivers were courteous and careful, leading me to revise my opinion of Virginia drivers. In our neighborhood, the people with power ran extension cords to homes with outages. We were the recipients of such generosity, and being able to run the refrigerator and fans made all the difference between an unlivable situation and an adventure.

We played games like Twenty Questions (the animal version) and Name, Place, Animal, Thing. Sir I. built model dinosaurs that had once belonged to my husband. David made lots of progress on his cross-stitch. We read books and told stories at night when it got too dark to read. I introduced the kids to Mad-libs (a sneaky way of getting grammar instruction into summer vacation). I looked at stars and the kids tried to catch fireflies.

I hardly missed the Internet (sorry, Twitter and Facebook and blog!). There were times I wished I had my ‘puter on so I could write, but I did some story thinking instead.

We were all ready for the power when it did come back this afternoon, but the break in our routine shook things up. I needed that Internet hiatus, even if it was a rather drastic way of getting one.

There are lots more people without power still–not to mention those affected by the wildfires in Colorado–who are still in my thoughts and prayers.

How about you? Anyone else affected? What are your favorite power-outage coping strategies?

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  1. says

    When we’ve had our hurricane outages, I know we also read a lot and played outside as well. Unfortunately, it’s a sign of being a mom…my big memory is just having to completely clean out the refrigerator. Called it my annual fridge cleaning. 😛

    • Rabia says

      Yeah, when the power came back on this afternoon, I emptied out all the contents of the downstairs freezer (hotdogs, ground beef, chicken, burgers) straight into the trash. Wish I had thought to try to save the meat by buying bags of ice, but I kept expecting the power to come back “any moment now” until it was too late. 😛

  2. says

    I’m so glad you’re all ok! It sounds awful. Isn’t it great how people pull together when the going gets tough?
    God bless them.
    When you mention heat, that really sounds great. Sorry, but I’m sat here in the uk in winter woolies, heating on and we’re eating winter meals. In July. It’s weird.
    Hope you don’t get any more super derechos! Keep safe.

    • Rabia says

      Prue, I’d be happy to give you some of this heat! If only I could package and mail it across the Atlantic (or attach to an email ;)).

      Emergencies can bring out the good side of people. Bad side, too, sometimes, but I think the good outweighs it. Or at least that’s my optimism talking!

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