Monday, July 25, 2016

Power Outage!!!

Well. It happened. It was bound to happen at least once in my life right? At least it happened in the summer and not the -60 degree winter. Right?

We had a hot day. One. Storms fired up in North Dakota and blasted over through Minnesota overnight. I saw the radar, knew it was coming, but was not really prepared for how it ended up!

Just after 1 am, loudness woke me up. The hubby got up and wondered if our oldest had his noise cancelling headphones, and went to check. He wasn't awake yet, but he did. All I could hear was wind and big raindrops blasting. The lightning was near constant, but the thunder wasn't overly loud. I checked the radars and alerts on my phone and there was, for a change, a severe thunderstorm warning coming right at us. This never happens, and a part of me was very excited! But, since it was 1 am, I was too tired, and there isn't really much to see at 1 am in the dark. 

About 2 minutes after the storm arrived, it all went dark. And that was it. Power outage!

It happens now and then with a real good storm, and it usually resolves shortly. Since it was the middle of the night, I figured it wouldn't be resolved until morning anyway. When the lights went out, the oldest did freak out. So he had to come in my room. Hubby got the LED lanterns and we all went back to bed. 

In the morning, still no power. We got up and did the best we could to just quick get our milk and eat breakfast and move on with the day, keeping the fridge and freezer shut. The power could come back on at any time, you know. We just managed. 

As the day went on, I was watching facebook and whatnot on my phone, it became clear that power would likely NOT be turning on soon. The neighbor informed me of a tree on the power line (it goes down their driveway and then comes down to our house), and knowing the order of priorities we would be last on the list because its an individual line. STILL, no one expected four days later would be when we finally got our power back!

By evening on day one we realized that we weren't getting our power back, and food needed to be moved. Luckily, it was still mostly frozen but to make the process easier we only moved the important most sensitive foods (meats, cheese, dairy etc). I figured that it couldn't be too much longer, and if we just locked up the freezer, the bagged veggies would be fine. Day one is the hottest day of the year (so far), and muggy.

Day two, still no power in sight and no repair team even assigned to our area. Numbers between our power company and the one that is mainly in the major cities/towns was up around 80,000 people without power. News stations are doing an awful lot of reporting over facebook live, which is cool! What an invention! One station was knocked completely out, their satellites were stood up instead of pointing in the proper directions, and something up the hill from them (in Duluth) was also knocked out of power. 

We did our best. We got dry ice once, and bagged ice. I wish I had gotten a ton more dry ice because by day 2, the dry ice everywhere was sold out. Day three the neighbor said Duluth was sold out as well. It's a dry ice shortage! (BTW: if you want to keep things cold and frozen, dry ice is the way to go). 

We hung out mostly at my in laws. They never lost power, and had it the whole time. So we showered there, ate there, just kinda hung out. 

We got our power back yesterday afternoon. 

Being an aspie and having a power outage is pretty stressful. Our house felt unwelcoming and I was scared to do anything for fear I would forget that I needed power to do it and would be stuck not doing it. AND it was blasted hot in our house, so many windows that its like a greenhouse. Doing the "open all night, shut before it gets hot" trick doesn't work here because of the windows, so it was just easier to leave the windows open. The cats survived. Hubby borrowed a generator on day 4, and that was kinda nice to get the freezer going.

Now I'm having to make the decision of whether or not to throw out the veggies that thawed. Even tho we had dry ice, and regular ice, and they went into the cooler on day 3 instead of the freezer... I'm unsure. I guess they are probably not any good, or fall under the rule of "when in doubt, throw it out"... But we aren't necessarily doing well right now so the thought of throwing out vegetables really gets to me. Not to mention the fresh picked rhubarb!! I should have thought faster on that one and cooked something with it right away when the power went out.

Which brings me to my point: Survival. My brain was only on survival. It wasn't on being creative, it wasn't on thinking of what I could do to cook things that were thawing. It was on survival and maybe even avoidance of the problem of not having power. It took me three days to start thinking creatively about things and by then I felt unsure it would be safe anymore.

So now I will have to throw things out. I'm a little frustrated about it I guess, but I'd rather no one puked around here. 

I get things started up, had to pay some bills online, and what else? The internet is also out. Waiting currently for the repair guy to show up. I sure hope it's a quick easy fix. :P Using my cell to do internet today. 

Having an aspie KID while all this is going on? He seemed to do okay, but refused to sleep alone in his room without power. Again, it made the house seem unfriendly and unwelcoming. Nights were so miserably sweaty I couldn't believe it, and I hate nothing more than feeling sticky, sweaty and yucky hot. Sitting and doing the bedtime stuff was sweating so hard I couldn't believe it. But it was interesting.

Hubby said it was like camping in your own house.
Except camping is fun, you get to go somewhere else, NOT go to work, and you get to sightsee. That's kinda the point of camping. Of course, none of that was going on, it was life as usual, just without power at home. 

Aspie's dont like change. Even little changes. I did okay, until someone else started losing their minds over it and then I had very little patience. Yes, we all want the power back on. I'm sure the power company employees live in the area too and want their own power back on as much as anyone else, but there's a process they go through, and it takes time when you have thousands of miles of line and thousands of customers out, and thousands of trees on the lines. But we still don't like change. I think I am surprised by how I was able to bear it anyway. But, we still had someplace to go that had power. If we hadn't, I'm not sure how I would have felt. Pretty helpless as things rotted away, I'm sure.

It was a mess. I have only seen the tip of it because I haven't really been anywhere. We lost a few trees, but not the ugly crooked one or the dead one that have bothered me since we had some logged a while back LOL. Of course. But nothing hit any of our buildings and I don't think anything hurt the neighbors either. So we were lucky. We could be dealing with a hole in the roof and trying to work with insurance to fix it and stuff. Who knows. 

It's just not the same without power.

Things you take for granted?
Cold refrigerator/freezer
Running water/flushing toilets
Night Lights
Electricity in general.

It's been surreal.