As the world knows, the east coast was hit with a pretty big storm earlier this week. I live in Connecticut, so we were part of the excitement. We have a tendency to take these things lightly, but I did pay a little bit of attention to the preparation needed. I bought extra water, made sure I knew where the flashlights were and cooked a few things that would hold without much refrigeration if it came to that. Not much ado on our part, given our local stores were boarding up their large windows. There wasn’t a “C” or “D” size battery to be found within miles.
I was due to leave for Italy Saturday night but all flights were canceled. My husband was already set to meet me three days later. Resigned that there really wasn’t anything I could do about convincing Delta to fly, we redid plans and headed out to a friend’s wedding (the storm hadn’t arrived yet). We drove the hour and a half to the wedding, danced more than we should have, enjoyed catching up with old friends and…drove home in pouring rain. Had we stayed another hour I’m not sure how we would have pulled off the ride home. Stupid, but an adventure.
Everything was fine at the house when we returned; the lights were on. With the forecast, it did seem prudent to fill the bathtubs with water, turn off all things powered except for the fridge, and leave the flashlights where we could find them in the dark. Dang if in the middle of the night the electricity went off. We have various things that choose to beep when they shut down, so I was wandering around at 2 am with my flashlight trying to locate the various noises. My darling husband didn’t hear a thing.
Did I mention we live in a rural area? No power means no nothing—no lights, no water, no AC, no phone, no ability to charge a cell phone or a laptop, no garage opener, NO Internet.
We don’t tend to get upset about too much. We did have all the water sitting in the two bathtubs. I was feeling very industrious early Sunday morning and set out various buckets to catch rain water. And, we live on a lake. Lots of water there. No problem, right?
The storm didn’t hit us hard. Thousands across the state and in neighboring states were terribly hit. Many people died. Others were, and still are, totally stranded by rivers that isolated their towns from any usable roads. About 2000 telephone poles went down in Connecticut alone. We were feeling very fortunate.
So, by early morning and evening we used candles and flashlights. We hauled water from the lake for flushing toilets. On Sunday I showered in the rain on our back terrace. There was something totally fun about standing in the downpour and scrubbing with abandon.
Then came Monday. Still no power. That also means no news from the outside. The water in the tubs was slowly seeping out. We still had much of the water I had purchased but the fridge was becoming a little warm. We made administrative decisions and ate slightly odd combinations of food. Many of the cell towers were down so our use of the mobile phones was sporadic and quite ineffective, just enough to tell folks we were absolutely fine.
Once the rain stopped, there was no showering outside. But, as I mentioned, we have the lake. So we did simple sponge baths in the kitchen. As wonderful as our lake is, there is always a slight “lake” smell to the water. So that became our perfume.
As I wrote in a few blogs ago, doing without the Internet is a challenge for me. A big challenge. Our flight was rescheduled for Tuesday night, arriving in Italy on Wednesday morning. Still no power when we left our home in the hands of neighbors who generously help. The trip here was easy. I joked with friends that we had to travel for over 12 hours to got a warm shower.
BUT, we arrived to find the local telephone company was experiencing difficulties—no phone service AND the Internet in our house was on the fritz. My husband suggested a glass of wine might solve my frustration.
So, dear readers, I can’t promise at what time this will be posted. I will copy this to a thumb drive, drive to a friend’s house and hopefully be able to have this up before you notice it is late.
I am slightly taken back that we didn’t fuss about the water, didn’t fuss about the food situation, and didn’t fuss about the phones,. My husband dubbed me “Pioneer Woman.” I don’t deserve the title. I just wanted my Internet.
On a more serious note, I wish all those who had and still have real crises from the storm the very best. My heart goes out to them.