Power Outage

DSC01557This past Wednesday when the power went out at 6 AM I started counting my blessings. I had firewood, a fireplace, a gas stove on which I could cook, and hot water.

The snow, ten inches in all, was not a problem.  It was heavy, wet and seemed to start melting as quickly as it hit the ground.  The roads were plowed in the late afternoon and it was easy to go out for a quick dinner in the evening, enjoying the warmth of good food and the Indian restaurant Bill and I chose.

Thursday morning, still with no power, it was more than difficult to get out from under several layers of blankets and a quilt. The fire had gone out overnight. Washing my face quickly enough to keep ice crystals from forming and sitting on the cold toilet seat made me a bit touchy.  I tried counting my blessings but it was hard. Mostly I complained and got whiny.

We decided that staying at home was nuts and reserved a room in a nearby Marriott where we had a comfy bed, a shower, TV and WiFi.  I started counting my blessings again, grateful that I was not lost in a sinkhole somewhere in Florida or fighting in a war somewhere in the Middle East. I’m cancer free and we are safe and warm.

We went home in the evening to feed the cat, sure the power would be back on. It wasn’t. Seeing the lights on in the houses on the street behind us, made me grouchy. One of the neighbors told me that he’d been told that power wouldn’t be restored until Saturday night. I started ranting. Where were my blessings?  Where was my gratefulness?

I got mad at myself for being a jerk. For complaining. For being a baby.  For not being grateful. For making a relatively easy situation into a mountain of goose poop. Where was my self-control? Because I didn’t stay at home and suffer through another day and night of being cold makes me a weakling … unfit for much and a nasty rat fleeing my frozen ship.

We checked in at home again on Friday morning.  No power and not a Dominion Virginia Power truck in sight.  I met a neighbor with a long face, leaving to visit relatives … to get out of what he called, “This hell hole.” I’m pissing and moaning too. But what good is it doing?

I decide to smile, start over again reciting my blessings, adding as many as I can come up with. I’m especially grateful to those now smelly long johns that helped to keep me warm all day Wednesday and through the night.

We go out to Charlottesville’s best breakfast place. Luscious food. Shrimp and Grits.  Fresh strawberries. The sun is shining. The snow is melting. Everyone is smiling. I’m still not liking myself much, decide I’m just a foolish human living in the “21st Century of Instant Gratification.” I promise to mend my ways.  I send thanks to whatever or whoever runs this place, assuring them that I’ll get over myself very soon.

When we check in again at five to feed the cat, the house is warm.  The lights work.  Everything in the frig and freezer made it! I’m saying thank you over and over again out loud … very loud.  I have power again!

Dorothy in the Wizard of OZ, said, “There is no place like home.” And she was right. Regardless of where I’ve been it’s always a treat to return to my own special place.  Though my adventure over the last few days, was so much easier than Dorothy’s, I promise myself I’ll never rant again over a power outage no matter how long it lasts. But silly me knows all too well that I’m only human and will most likely have a hard time keeping that promise.

What happens when you meet up with a circumstance like a prolonged power outage? Do you get twisted up in ranting and raving or are you apt to stay cool and chill out?

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5 Responses to Power Outage

  1. warmginger says:

    This made me laugh so much – only because I’ve never faced such a situation. I am no happy chappy when I’m cold. 17C this morning so I needed a fleece and a jacket just to put the boys on the school bus! 😉

  2. jzrart says:

    Well, it is kinda silly and it’s easy for me laugh at myself when I get crazy over something as simple as this. However it isn’t funny to all those linemen who have to put our antique grid back together again after storms like this one. Sure glad I didn’t have to go climbing around in the wires!

  3. I guess the upside of having been so cold this winter is that I’ve also been so grateful for a roof over my head…no outages, thank goodness.

    • jzrart says:

      Oh my gosh, yes. I often see a homeless man sitting in the cold rain at a particular intersection here asking for help. I’ve seen many people stop and give him some money. Just heard that most homeless people are over the age of 40 which was a surprise for me. Regardless of their age, I feel very sad for them and makes me feel very blessed and grateful for everything that I have.

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