Monday, May 31, 2010

Boom Boom, Out Go The Lights!

Power outages are a bitch! Some sort of mini tornado swept through Madison Circle (as well as Franklin County and beyond) and played twister with trees and power lines. Walking the neighborhood the next day was a bit eerie with plucked out trees and intricate, one hundred year old root systems pulled from the earth like baby carrots.

Live wires were everywhere and people surveying the damage. I wandered around in my pajamas, coffee less and wondering if preschool was axed for the week. Other folks crept out of their homes looking up at the sky and then the front lawn carnage below. My newly planted perennials held their ground well.

I thought of New Orleans and other areas hit by disaster and thanked God it was nothing like those events. Crews began to arrive on the scene with trucks, blocking access to our circle and firefighters were stationed at all entrance points. Every now and again, one of them would knock on my door to use my bathroom, clomping up the stairs in their heavy, yellow gear. My neighbor had to show up for work, so I babysat her son. Other kids seemed to hone in on my house for a play date. The afternoon was filled with kids, snacks, and water play in the yard.

Sean was home early with flashlights, lanterns and dry ice. Lola was distraught, no cartoons and no computer. I would flick the light switch on in the pantry only to be reminded we had no power. By day three we were all pissy! I could not suffer through another night of whining kids wanting cartoons, warm wine, and Scrabble by lantern.

3 AM, Sean wakes me...."Everyone's lights are on except ours!" I was dreading cleaning out the fridge and throwing away groceries bought the day before the storm. Sure enough, the next morning, everyone was basking in electrified, glorious, artificial light. All were having freshly brewed coffee, reading their papers, sending e mails, making phone calls to other happy full wattage friends. We were still acoustic.

We needed to call an electrician and fast! Memorial Day Weekend was looming and our hopes were fading. Sean made at least 15 calls from the yellow pages. (Amazing, the phone book: we never use the phonebook, we just Google the number!!) A half hour went by, then the cell rang. An electrician was on his way!!! It seems the storm blew, completely fried our breaker panel. We were fully restored within 20 minutes! I hate to see what our bill will be, these guys charge extra for weekends, and holiday. We brewed a lovely, hot pot of coffee, had steaming hot showers and turned on the TV for the kids. Lola was so happy she kissed SpongeBob, leaving lip prints on the screen.

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