Today started out as “one of THOSE” days. I had just awakened and was about to take my medicines for the day (6:32 a.m., to be exact…) when I heard a very loud BOOM! and the lights went out. (to save you, my reader, a very long story…) it appears that during our lovely rainy, very windy ice storm, a large tree branch from our neighbor’s tree had blown down, taking out the electric and cable. The boys (ages 12 & 17) quickly dressed and readied for the long drive to middle son’s tech. school. We jumped in the car (after scraping off lots of ice on the windows) and proceeded, maybe, 4 city blocks when my car went “ding!” Now, “Ding” sounds in my car scare me…they usually signal something BAD is wrong. In this case, it was my battery light! Oh, GREAT! Not only are we without power, but now the car’s going out, too! I quickly thought of all my options and decided that my best bet would be to return home. Tech. school is 10 miles and 25 minutes from our house; I just didn’t want to envision us stranded somewhere in between, during an ice storm. Middle son (tech. student) was frantic about getting to school; they have a huge project due Monday and this was his last chance to finish the Power Point presentation part of the assignment. Sometimes you just have to “roll with the punches or the punches will roll over you” (me, quoting ME). This was one of THOSE days. (car explanation further down) I failed to mention that during all the craziness with the downed electric line, my husband was also frantically trying to call the electric company. After a recording said something about the wait period for getting an actual person would be something like 300 minutes, he hung up and said he’d call from work.
Have you ever had to stay home with two VERY bored boys who are used to being amused by video or computer games? Not the most pleasant adventure, I can guarantee you! First they chose to sleep a little (great idea!); I read my current book (rather slow developing mystery). We all remained bundled up like Eskimos, with a variety of blankets, quilts, and comforters plus extra socks. Finally the ‘sleeping innocents’ awoke, which triggered another “NOW what can we do?” One good thing, in our house, is that we have a gas hot water heater. That translates into HOT WATER! I set them to helping me wash dishes! That little job both warmed us and gave us something to do. Youngest son (12) was content playing his hand-held video game (at least as long as the batteries held out); middle son was NOT. I should interject here that we homeschool, so the ‘teacher’ in me finally emerged and we set to doing some homeschooling. Middle son, not to be put off by lack of electricity, finally called a friend and convinced me to drive him to the friend’s house for the afternoon. Great idea! That freed up myself and youngest son; both of whom are content to just ‘ride out the storm and not complain (much)’. We ended up stopping at the grocery store to do a quick “what kinds of foods can we buy to eat that don’t require heating or cooking?”, since our cupboards were pretty bare. OH! Forgot to explain the CAR! Once at work, my husband called to ask me if I had driven through any big puddles just before the battery light dinged; answer: yes, 3 BIG ones just before I avoided the rest. (It was pitch black out, raining extremely fast/wipers on super-fast speed, so I didn’t see the puddles until we hit them, one right after another…SPLOOSH, SPLOOSH, SPLOOSH! The kind that totally cover your car). It seems his theory of perhaps my washing the engine with too much water, was the culprit. He suggested that I go back outside and start the car to see if the battery light came on, or if the car would start at all! The car started just fine, no light, so that’s when I took middle son to visit his friend and get him out of my hair!
It is now a pleasant 72 degrees in my house; the heat has been on for an hour now and I feel the need to shed the extra pair of socks and t-shirt under my sweatshirt. A little later on I’ll go around and put back all the other ‘signs of cold’: the many extra blankets, the flashlights, matches, kerosene lamps, etc. Before the power came on I just happened to glance at the thermostat…a ‘brisk’ 66 degrees and dropping. It’s amazing what a little heat will do to boost the spirits! (and-I only had 55 emails awaiting me when I booted my computer back up!) There’s much to be said for living the simple life and ‘returning to olden days’, but not when you’ve got two teen-aged boys who live in the here and now: the AGE OF VIDEO GAMES & TECHNOLOGY! Thank heavens for electricity! I’m warm, they’re content…life is good.