Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Even My Toothbrush is Electric

I love power. Not power, I’m stronger than you power, but power, as in electrical power.

Power heats my home. It allows me to take hot showers. It prevents me from bumping into things in the wee hours of the night. Power gives me the ability to play all day on my computer and interact with friends on Facebook. Power, I realized, plays a part in almost every single thing that I do in a day.

At first, losing power can be kind of an adventure. Sure, let’s snuggle under the covers and hope that the electricity is restored by morning. Of course we’ll have power in the morning. We never lose power for more than a few hours, even in the worst of storms. The electric company is working through the night. It’s October, the storm can’t be that bad.

I woke up to no power like many, many New Englanders on October 30, 2011. About 8 inches of snow on the ground, sunny, blue skies, and trees all over the place. Hmmmm. I needed coffee before even contemplating anything else.

Oh, that’s right. The coffee pot is electric. But we have a stove, a gas range. I can boil water. My father tried turning it on before I got up, dying for a hot cup of coffee himself.

Dad: “I’ve been turning it off and on, but it won’t turn on.”

Me: “Dad, the starter is electric. You have to light it with a match.”

Dad: “Oh.”

Now I really needed a hot cup of coffee. I filled a teapot with water, boiled it and poured it through coffee sitting in a filter in the coffee machine. Magic. Hot, steamy coffee as if we had power in the house. Take that power, we don’t need you.

Next my wife wakes up and she has a hot cup of coffee too. She’s hopeful that the power will be on soon. I probably shouldn’t mention that when she went to make the coffee later in the day without electricity, she poured the hot water into the back of the coffee machine. I wouldn’t want to embarrass her.

I meandered through the morning, looking for extra batteries, trying to feel normal without my Facebook, television or lights and so I sat down and tried to read my on my Nook. I find my Nook precariously close to losing power and needing to be charged. I managed to finish up a good book before it died and then I plugged it into my laptop because that had power and was useless.

I tried to buy a new book so that I had something to read later. My Nook wouldn’t connect to the online store. Duh, you can’t buy Nook books without an internet connection. You do not have an internet connection without power.

Now I was starting to feel a bit annoyed. I finished off my laptop charging my cell phone so that I could look at the tiny screen and see if anyone was writing updates on Facebook and get my Facebook fix.

It looked like most of New England was in the dark, most of us writing and reading from our cell phones.

Did we really just get hit by one of the biggest October storms EVER?

Power was restored in my home 48 hours after the storm hit. Cable and internet about 12 hours after that. Things that I learned in the past 48 hours:

1. It is really hard to shower in the dark.

2. Hot food tastes better when you aren’t sure if you’re going to get any.

3. My brother in law is awesome. (and my sister too)

4. We all take roles and together, it can get done.

5. It’s impossible to pull start a generator unless you are very, very strong.

6. My wife might not make it on Survivor, but she can pay for the things we need in order to survive.

7. My daughter hogs the bed. Horribly.

8. You can take a hot “bath” with water run through a Keurig.

9. Halloween is no fun when there is snow everywhere and no lights on.

10.  Even my toothbrush is electric.
My family is tougher than we know, but we are sure happier, calmer people with our power restored, our internet connection and a good movie to watch on television. Besides, we smell much better now too.