Hello from the warm, lighted, internet-enabled Littleton Cafe, where I am joined by several other refugees. Listening to war stories from others still without power, more than 24 hours after a wicked ice storm downed trees and power lines and left more than 350,000 people in Massachusetts alone without power.
We are them.
I woke around 2am Friday morning, with no power and hearing loud cracks and bangs. It was the sounds of trees breaking under the weight of a considerable amount of ice … heartbreaking sounds that continued into the morning.
Faced with no electricity, cable, phone (other than the Blackberry), I wove into work. Several roads were closed, apparently impassable due to downed power lines or trees. The roads that were open were still littered with debris.
The ice hadn’t reached Lexington, so I enjoyed the mod. cons. while I could, and then left around 3:30pm, hoping to get home and locate the candles while there was still enough natural light to see by.
Meanwhile, Himself and the Boy, trapped in a cold, dark house, rapidly getting colder and colder, had not been idle.
His first idea was to buy an inverter and try to power our furnace by car.
FAIL. He could go into nauseating detail about the hows and whys, and WILL, given the slightest provocation, but that didn’t work.
He was undeterred.
He hacked to the furnace and did some re-wiring magic that allows us to plug it in via 300 feet of extension cord to our neighbors, who DO have power.
Yeah. The magical border line between power and no power on our street is between our house and theirs. Starting with the us, the entire length of the road is dark. Miles upon miles of dark, punctuated by the occasional flickr of a candle flame in a window or the waving beams of flashlights.
One enterprising neighbor parked his car facing the house and was shining the lights into the house. I’m thinking I’d not be thrilled with that particular ambience.
But who am I to talk? Last evening, around 6pm, we were driven from the house in search of light and warmth. The somewhat understandably cranky woman at LELD told us if the power wasn’t on by 8, it wouldn’t be on that night. So, killing time until 8, we drove over to the Mart of K to wander the aisles.
I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. Wild hair poking out from under a winter cap pulled down low over my eyes. 3 sweatshirts, mittens, 2 scarfs. Wandering the aisles, pulling down random shit to look at, stuff that I NEVER would have paid attention to before.
I totally NAILED the homeless woman look. No wonder that security guy kept following me around.
As an aside, folks, if your Christmas presents seem really odd this year, I’m sorry. I can only say that they looked to be PERFECT last night.
But I wasn’t the only one. The store was FILLED the people all doing the same thing.
I kept hearing random snatches of cell phone conversations:
“What ELSE am I going to do? It’s freezing ASS in my apartment.”
“I was going to hang here for a couple of hours. Wanna meet somewhere else?”
“Honestly, it is SO cold in my house. And it’s pitch black!”
But seriously, once Himself fixed the heat issue, I’m ok with the power outage.
Except I don’t know why everyone else in the house gets a flashlight to carry around and I have to carry the battery-operated, as-seen-on-TV, stick up LED light bulb.
more pictures of the aftermath of the ice storm at flickr.
Heading back home now that I’ve gotten my blogging fix.
See you soon, I hope!