Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The Unexpected Overnight Adventure

Okay, that makes it sound much more grandiose than it actually was. (This is the story I thought I was going to post yesterday.)

Saturday night, we abruptly decided to have an overnight adventure. Why? Because we were without electricity. It's like an epidemic of utility outages; first water, now power. Around 7 PM, a huge storm appeared out of no where. We've had pop-up thunder storms before (though with the drought, they haven't been nearly as common in recent years), but this was different. It just "felt" different to me. I can't really explain it. I don't know if it was the way the trees were behaving in the wind, or the almost constant lightning, or the thunder coming from all directions. It just wasn't a standard storm. The rain finally started, and I thought things were returning to normal. Ha.

Around 7:15, there was a somewhat muffled popping noise, and the power went out. Great. We were just about to start getting Luke ready for bed, but he was too wound up with the power outage. Plus, things were starting to get really strange outside. It was pouring buckets, enough that it was difficult to see the house across the street, but the sounds coming from outside didn't indicate that the rain was all that heavy. That's because the rain was being blown about, sometimes sideways, sometimes in a swirling manner, but not all that much of it was actually hitting the ground. It is the eeriest thing I have ever seen, and I was ready to jump in the closet right that instant. If there had been any sort of constant rumble (rather that the intense, but distinctly separate, claps of thunder), we definitely would have been in the closet. (The large-ish closet under the stairs is the only interior windowless room downstairs.)

Just about the time I was ready to start yanking out toys and jackets, just in case, the rain began falling vertically again. And boy, was it coming down! It was quite impressive, even by this Southerner's standards. But at least it felt "normal." It was now about 7:30. Still now power. We were also having trouble getting any phone calls out, by cell or land line, so we couldn't even report the outage or get status from the power company, nor could we check the weather (via internet or television) to see if the worst was over or if there was more to come. I finally managed to get a good enough signal and a circuit just before 8, and I called my parents. The worst of the storm had passed. Whew! But we still didn't have power, and it was rapidly approaching 80 degrees inside the house.

As a quick aside, special thanks goes to my father, The Flashlight Junkie (no doubt about where Luke gets it from), for making sure we were well stocked with flashlight options. I promise to never laugh again when you insist on giving us yet another one, because they sure did come in handy. Wish we'd had a few more batteries (note to self: restock AAs), but we managed fine. BTW, the second picture is Luke trying to look at a DVD in the dark. I know it's hard to make out, but he was so cute wanting to check out everything with a flashlight.

Had it been just the two of us, we *might* have toughed it out, but not with Luke. It wasn't really so much the heat. It was more the lack of all the things he is accustomed to having while sleeping, like a white noise machine, and most importantly, a night light! And we couldn't watch Superdog before bed or do many of our other routine type things. With all the excitement of the evening so far, and with things still being so non-normal, there was no hope of getting him to go to sleep and stay asleep at the house. So we got the number of a hotel not too far away, called to verify that *they* had electricity (they did), threw some pajamas and related Luke bedtime gear in a small suitcase, and headed out.

There were limbs and trees and other debris down everywhere on the way to the hotel. You could hear and see emergency vehicles all over the various neighborhoods, including several streets blocked by police due to large trees covering the road. Most of the street lights and traffic lights were working, though, so that helped. The hotel thankfully had a one bedroom suite available (our preferred room type with Luke). He thought the sofa bed was the most amazing thing ever! You should have seen his face as he watched DH pull it out. Pure magic!

We'd brought a laptop and a Superdog DVD, so we popped that in to keep something similar to our home routine going. By now, it was nearly 10 PM, and we were all pretty tired. Luke only got up once for "one more hug and kiss" before crashing for the night. We turned in less than an hour later. I'm not sure if it was the bed, or that I forgot my pillow, or the light coming in the window, or the pounding bass beat from the club next door, but I didn't sleep well at all. From 11 PM until about 2:30 AM, I woke up about every 30 minutes. I did sleep a good 2 hours solid until 4:30 or so, then woke every hour until Luke got up at 7:30. Man, was I beat by the time we got home!

According to the lapsed time on our flashing alarm clocks, the power came back on around 1 AM, so it's a good thing we left. Had to trash much of what was in the refrigerator, but everything in the freezer was still well frozen with no signs of thawing (it was packed full, thus it retained the cold well), so it wasn't too bad. All in all, a tolerable little adventure. But I would prefer that, in the future, all overnight trips be planned at least more than an hour in advance.

Currently feeling: power-less

No comments:

Post a Comment

My apologies for not allowing comments from Anonymous users. I was getting way too much spam. Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment!