No tricks, no treats. Just snow and flashlights.

Clearly we didn’t learn our lesson from Hurricane Irene. We didn’t bite the bullet and buy that generator last month, didn’t react to news of the latest storm quickly enough.

The freaky fall snowstorm has left 95% of our town without power and water. We expect the outage to last longer than the five days Irene took from us, and this time we’d have to carry water and firewood up the stairs.

The storm dumped several inches of obnoxiously heavy snow on us. Offensively heavy. Maliciously heavy. The limbs of our trees bent to the ground, looking strangely like tunnel entrances. Several couldn’t take the strain and snapped. Many trees in town did the same and now block our roads in 192 places. Things are so bad that the town postponed Halloween. I didn’t know they could do that. Can they do that?

We did learn one thing from Irene: don’t wait around for the power to come back. It takes much longer to restore life as usual after a disruption like this than it does for our patience to unravel. So the first order of business yesterday was planning our escape.

But before we left, we tried to relieve the pressure on the bent but not yet broken tree limbs, especially those resting on our phone and cable wires. Rustling the branches with a pole, we managed to dislodge enough snow to return most of the limbs to their original height. It was like hitting a piñata hung (by a sadist) just out of comfortable reach and getting a face full of snow instead of candy. Still, it was somewhat enjoyable. Once again, I welcomed a socially acceptable opportunity to hit something.

Never mind that most of the snow melted within a few hours. Somehow this task seemed critical at 8am.

Once we beat up helped the trees, we packed a ridiculous amount of stuff and headed to my father’s house, where there is heat, water and wireless internet. Bliss. Why don’t these luxuries make me this happy all the time?

By the way, we ordered a generator. I refuse to be in this situation again. I figure buying one practically guarantees that we will never need it, so to the people in my town I say: you’re welcome.

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39 Responses to No tricks, no treats. Just snow and flashlights.

  1. Jayne long says:

    We said the same thing after Irene. … Oh surely this could never happen again. Thankfully my husband took no notice of me and got the generator. When we wrote out the check for the electrician we both gulped and said I bet we never need this darned thing! How wrong we both were. Now I am so thankful as we are warm and can flush!!! No uverse tv though, but hey things could be worse. Get the generator Dory, you will need it next time!!

  2. DBP says:

    Well whatever you do – don’t let Home Depot install it… We were lucky.. didn’t lose power during Irene – but ordered the big generator but it never got delivered because we couldn’t get it installed by the Home Depot installer they were backed up for weeks on end…. we are lucky once again – we have power – but still no generator. We will try to get one now for sure – but if the Home Depot is installing yours – you are way better off finding a private electrician and propane (or gas person) to install it…

  3. Elyse says:

    Ah, Halloween. Ah, the first snowfall. Who the hell ordered them at the same time. Stay warm! My husband and I actually drove through the storm (well, we stopped overnight for the worst of it). It was interesting seeing a convoy of hundreds (literally) of tree-trimming trucks headed north as we headed south. So help is on the way!

  4. Ugh. I don’t know what else to say.

  5. Doc says:

    Your description does not make me miss winter snow in the least. Why, then, am I going to visit my son in upstate NY next week? It’s 83 here today. Just because it’s been 8 years since we’ve seen each other, couldn’t we wait another couple of months?

  6. speaker7 says:

    This kind of thing makes me want to quote the venerable Roger Murtaugh from the Lethal Weapon movies: “I’m too old for this sh*t.”

    Snow before late November is just wrong.

  7. lesliehobson says:

    the problem with the generator is the discussion as to just what circuits in the house go on it. My husband opted for the more pedestrian…furnace, water pump, etc. I opted for t.v., stereo system and microwave. if i am going to be trapped for a few days I want to be entertained!

  8. My dad lives in NJ, and bought a ridiculously exorbitantly priced generator when they lost electricity (what was it – a month or two ago). Anyway, I just e-mailed him that he is probably glad he has it now, and he said his electricity is still on. So, yes, the people of your town should definitely thank you, if not throw a grand parade in your honor.

  9. addielicious says:

    Sorry about the storm. We also get a lot of that here in the Philippines – no snow, though. Typhoons. It hits us like more than twenty times a year. Luckily, I live in a highland district so the locals, my family and I included, are safer than the rest. I feel sorry for others who have to go through the flood for weeks, power outage, water disruption, food shortage, the evacuation hassle, you name it.

    Be safe – you and your family. 😀

  10. Carla says:

    Snow and cold are vile enemies of mine. I hate you lost power. We have that around here when a tornado decides to play hopscotch and mangles a power station. Often. Snow? We rarely see it, but when we do (as we did last year) there is a collective freak-out. Some have generators (we have a fireplace), everyone raids stores for milk and bread, forgetting the wine and something a bit more substantial to eat, and I always swear I’m moving to Tahiti. Our town will cancel halloween if it falls on a Sunday. No lie. Makes me crazy. I like how you write and describe misery as well as bliss.

    • Carla, you make me laugh. I used to live in Atlanta, and I remember the freaking out in response to two inches of snow one year. I believe the reporters dubbed it “Snowjam ’93!” Too funny.

  11. Wow. So glad you have a warm place to be, right now, but I hope you all can get back home soon! This is the first year in a lot of years that we haven’t had snow on Halloween, and also the first year that temperatures were well above freezing. We’ve never had Halloween cancelled or post-poned, though there was one year when it was something like -40ºC with the windchill and most kids stayed home. Boo to that!

  12. Gilly says:

    Our power is out too! It is getting chilly in the house! Work was cancelled yesterday so my husband and I waited for gas for 1.5 hours and drove to my parents’ in CT for a hot shower, warmth, a hot meal, and kind faces. But my husband had work today, so we had to return to our dark cold house last night (I didn’t want to send him back to freeze alone). No power in town center so I’m at the University library for electricity and warmth. 🙂

    • You are a good wife. Glad you have somewhere to go with heat! The first night in the house really wasn’t bad, but my husband went back yesterday to check on a few things, and he said it was FREEZING. Stay warm and safe!

  13. I’m in the same boat as you. I too whacked away at the sadist’s pinata and am now living involuntarily off the grid until at least Wednesday. Today, I wore my many layers of pajamas to work and got dressed once I got to the office where it was warm enough to change without risk of hypothermia.

  14. Stay warm! I hope the power is back on soon!

  15. My daughter talks about snow a lot, of course, because Christmas is on the horizon and she has an arsenal of Christmas DVDs to reference. I miss snow a little, but NOT this kind of snow. Stay warm and safe.

  16. I would say that I hope you get to use that generator because it would drive me crazy if I never had the opportunity after spending money on it…but that sounds like I want you to suffer through another crazy wintery storm, which I don’t.
    Hope your postponed Halloween is a happy one. : )

  17. Lesley says:

    Crikey! When you said you’d cancelled halloween because you’d had a bit of bad weather I thought you were being wussy! How wrong can you be? it’s sounds like a snowy nightmare. Hope you manage to resume normal service very quickly.

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