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Nov 1 2011

One of the Millions Without Power

By at 12:42 pm

When the lights went out on Saturday night, the first thing I said was “Oh, no.” We’ve been down this road before.

After Hurricane Irene, we dealt with having no power. And that would have been enough for us, to have no power the last week of August (read: no air conditioning for us, no breastpump for the one month old baby), for a week (or, as my husband says, “five days.” It felt like a billion years, but fine, let’s call it “five days.”). But then we started getting warnings not to drink the water. I could go on about the joys of boiling water to wash breastpump regalia, schlepping all my food over to my parents’ refrigerator and freezer, etc. etc. but it tires me to think of it.

All of those joys, though, took place under sunny conditions with accessible roads. Under those circumstances, it took Jersey Central Power and Light approximately a week (fine, “five days”) to get my power back.

On Saturday night, though, after a good half foot of snow having fallen, and trees snapping like gunshots out in the darkness, I had a sinking feeling that we wouldn’t be getting our power back anytime soon.

So far, I’m right. More than one million people are without power. Schools are closed for the foreseeable future. Trees lie cracked across streets rendering them impassable, making a normally five minute drive take up to a half hour. Even a walk outside is hazardous due to fallen electrical wires, or huge branches hanging perilously from trees overhead.

Honestly, I only just recovered from Irene. And now, I feel really tired. I feel impossibly weary of all this. It’s only been two days and I’m already sick of kids screaming in the middle of the night that their flashlight-makeshift-nightlight has died out, waking up the whole happily-sleeping house in the process. I’m tired of looking at other people’s Facebook updates where they go about their daily lives with power and heat and seem happy, those jerks. Tired of looking out my bedroom window and seeing our next door neighbors with their lights inexplicably a blazing.

So I’ve moved into my parents’ house with the three kids (since my husband is on the best-timed trip of all time). And my sister, also without power, has moved into my parents’ house with her husband and three kids.

Ever read that Yiddish folktale “It Could Be Worse“? Any day, the rooster and pig are going to move in.

I’m going to bed. Let there be light.


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