Disempowered (Nov. 18-19 2013)
So the joy started at 7:37 yesterday (Monday) morning... actually, before that. Sunday night I decided, since the low was going to be plus 7 Celsius or so, and I'll sleep on my screen porch down to about plus 5, that I was going to do that. After going to bed at close to one, having stayed up too late skyping with a person who shall remain nameless (you know who you are), I woke up again at 2:30. The winds were so screaming high that I was not comfortable being half outdoors, so I fled inside to my waterbed.
I woke up again at 7:37, realizing that I had to get my happily-snoozing son to the bus stop in 16 minutes. Not only that, but the power, not surprisingly, was out.
That precluded him having a bath anyway, since water is pumped out of my well by an electric pump, so he threw on his clothes, grabbed a quick breakfast and got on the bus. I phoned Hydro One and heard from their pre-recorded message that they were swamped--tens of thousands of people without power--and my power would be back at 8 p.m.
So I decided... I can stand no heat for that long... it wasn't that cold outside at that point, well over 0. The alternative was to dig my woodstove out from under quite a lot of boxes, books, etc., make sure the chimney is clear (I'd put money on there being a squirrel's nest there) and wait the two or three hours it would take for it to heat the place up. You might gather it's been a while since I last used it, as I switched to geothermal in 2008.
I also could stand no power, I figured, by charging up the laptop and cellphone from my car. And that worked fairly well until I did the cellphone. I had no idea how much juice cellphones pull when you're charging them. It wasn't even completely charged when I tried starting the car and it just clicked. There were still high winds at this point, it was dark, and the temperature was diving to zero.
*facepalm*... this is the point where you start to feel kind of trapped. I had a story due yesterday, but talked to the editor, who agreed that this morning was fine, so I had decided to write it last night when my power came back on. At 8. (Only thing still working reliably, aside from my baby grand piano, is my landline.)
The power did not come back on at 8. At 8:01, the recording said they were working on revising the restoration time. At 8:15, the revised restoration time was there: 6 p.m. today. I didn't have it in me to try to get the stove going in the dark. We made do with quilts... not all that hard when you are used to sleeping on a screen porch down to plus 5. My mood was not helped by the fact that Raphi, attempting to get my second computer going, broke off the pin of the power lead inside the socket. (A kid with autism doesn't easily get power outages.) No idea how much that's going to cost to replace.
So, Plan B: phone the Canadian Tire Auto Club (the version of AAA that I belong to) in the morning to give me a boost, and head into town to civilization, which includes Internet cafes, so as to get the story written for today. I went to bed at about 9, and woke up at 1:30. After that I barely dozed, and since there was no computer to go and write or watch cat videos or Canada's Worst Driver on, I had no choice but to be alone with my thoughts, which were very much of the depressed, I'm-not-capable-of-anything kind. Nuff said.
I got them to get the car started at 8:30 or so. On the way into Huntsville, I saw a tree leaning on the phone line, and broken powerlines on the road... as well as two Hydro cherry-picker trucks. Repairs apparently were imminent... to happen sooner than 6, I hoped.
I'm now at the cafe enjoying the warmth, saying hi to lots of people I know as they wander in, and drinking chai lattes. The editor even told me that I have until Friday to get the story in, leaving me time for more idle things just as whiny no-power blogposts.
Now at 11... is my power up yet? Calling home on the cell... if the answering machine gets it, the answer is yes....... YES! As Kurkas once said, before a number of unfortunate events befell him, I have power!
And so the saga ends. Heading home to have a hot bath.