Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Huffy puffy

Well, I'm safe and sound after this weekend's storm. An exciting weekend; Chambana made CNN (we had a tornado touch down) and I went without power, heat, or hot water until around noon on Monday.

I'd just settled in for a strenuous evening of TV watching (hey, I'd been sick all week), when the tornado sirens sounded. Of course, I thought it was part of The Simpsons, since FOX hardly ever rolls weather announcements across the screen (sports alerts, on the other hand...). It was still fairly light out, so I did what any normal person who was raised in the Midwest does; I ran to the window to see if I could spot a tornado. Nope, didn't see one, although I *did* see the ominous black clouds rolling in from various directions and decided that a wiser course of action would be lighting some candles. I decided against my usual shoving of cats into their portable jails (cat carriers), since that just freaks all three of us out. I turned on the radio, finally found a station that had a weather report (not my usual station, WPGU, they're too cool to cut in the middle of a song to a tornado warning) and figured out which of my ten zillion cable channels was the one with the weather.

After a terse argument with myself ("from now on, we keep the batteries next to the flashlights, not with the sewing supplies! How the hell did you come up with that storage strategy, anyway, oh future librarian?") and shutting down the computer, I set up a safe nook in the kitchen, between the fridge and the pantry (at least I wouldn't starve). I have no basement, so that's the only windowless interior area in my duplex.

So...lots of wind and noise, one of the cats freaked out and disappeared, and the other one fell asleep on top of the couch. And I wandered around, keeping a wary eye on the windows. And nothing happened.

The storm had gone on by, or at least the tornado-y part of it. The house was in one piece, the neighbors looked alive, so I went back to watching TV and reminding myself about future battery storage. And then the lights went out.

Luckily, being female, I come automatically equipped with candles (especially scented ones). I set up a small forest fire of candles around the house and waited for the power to come back on. And waited. And waited. Nothing.

Bored. Nowhere near bedtime. Ate the partially-popped popcorn that I had started just one minute before the power went out. Still bored. Decided to try some candle-light yoga. No go, still couldn't breathe properly from being sick. Besides, the cats always look at me funny when I do yoga at home.

I finally went to bed, after gathering all the candles in the house on my bedside table, so that I could maybe have a chance at seeing the words in my book. Did a small happy dance after remembering my clip-on booklight in my travel kit. Read and fell asleep.

Next morning, I woke up to a very cold house. Power still wasn't back on, obviously. I called into work and told them that I wouldn't be in until later, especially since I couldn't take a shower (no hot water!). They said they appreciated my thoughtfulness.

My power company had no idea when the electricity would be back on ("...we have 29,000 customers without power...don't hold your breath"), so I consoled myself with a late breakfast at Perkins (oh, great Country Club Omelet with pancakes, you soothe me so much"). And I took a shower at Shea and Kathleen’s, who always look out for me, even though I’m sure I also greatly confuse them at times (“explain to us once again why you are calling us at work asking about our shower…”). And by the time I got home, all the power was back on, the cats were yowling and happy, and the poor fish in the aquarium were slowly warming back up and swimming again, instead of sitting at the bottom of the tank, wishing I'd knit them sweaters.

No long-lasting damage, unlike lots of people in the area, and all my gadgets are up and running again. According to AmerenIP, there are still 62 people in my area without power, so I was definitely only minorly inconvenienced.

In all, a happy, if long-winded story.

1 comment:

Full Metal Lunchbox said...

Quite an adventure you had.