(In a recent post, Second Star to the right……. and hang a left, written about our ‘escape’ from hurricane Irene, I mentioned that we were not as lucky a few months later)
It was Friday, October 28, 2011 we were gearing up for a marathon Halloween weekend. Now, I can be a lot of pressure on Halloween, I know this, but my friends seem to put up with it and fortunately DC loves Halloween as much as I do, so the “pressure” is not too much for him; he enjoys it.
On Friday night we met my friend Coach and her daughter, Candy at the haunted asylum. The ‘kids’ looked quite terrified, but they made it through. DC, although he looked like he was about to fall apart, wanted to go again, while Candy decided to sit out the second go-round.
Coach, Candy, DC and I met Doug at a local diner for dinner afterwards. Doug was leaving that night for another leg of his quest to golf in all 50 states. He would be away for more than a week.
After dinner we all went home to get prepared for the 3 party marathon we had scheduled for the following day, one more on Sunday and then of course, Monday was Halloween. Usually the parties are spaced out a little more, but this year they were all crammed into the same weekend. It took a lot of planning costume-wise. The parties were back to back, and DC has grown accustomed to having a different costume for each party and another for Halloween itself (I love this child!!!) so I had to plan the best way for him to make quick changes between each party.
Saturday was a beautiful sunny day. I took this photo at noon outside the house right before we left to meet Tonya and DC’s friend, Salli at their house to begin our marathon.
As soon as we arrived, Tonya told me that her husband, Rick mentioned that the weather people were predicting snow; heavy snow. He warned that it could get really bad out on the roads and there still being leaves on the trees, may make matters worse.
How much snow could we possibly get in October?
(We totally missed the “leaves are still on the trees”, point – What could that possibly have to do with anything?)
We decided that he didn’t know what he was talking about and even if he did – the sun was still partially shining – this probably would not even begin until much later in the day. We were used to the weather people making a mountain out of a mole hill, so we decided to go full speed ahead with our party plans.
It took only 30 minutes to arrive at Camp for the party. The change in the weather in those 30 minutes was drastic!
The snow was really coming down!
Still in denial about all of this….How long could this possibly last – It is October! We went inside and joined the rest of the party-goers that were probably in much denial as we were. It seemed as though everyone that RSVP’d attended and no one left early. It IS October, after all.
We met up with Coach, Candy, Katie and her daughter, Kate (who was dressed as Ariel; this made DC’s day). No one seemed overly concerned about the snow, the party went on as if nothing was going on and we really intended on moving on to the next two parties…..
until we had to get back on the road, that is….
Okay, so maybe we should skip the other parties – they had already been cancelled at this point, we just did not know that.
Katie and Kate witnessed a terrible accident on their way home, but made it home safely. Coach and Candy got home safely as well. We arrived at Tonya’s house to find her son in the driveway, looking at the very large tree branch that had fallen on his car. Okay – got it – “leaves still on the trees” – it finally clicked. Their power was out. Tonya went into panic mode (panic mode is usually my role – Tonya is normally relatively calm about everything) – yelling at everyone to get out of the driveway and out from under the other low-hanging branches. Her son, on the other hand, looked relatively calm about the branch laying on his car. DC and I got into my car which was parked under another very large, now very low-hanging branch and started home.
Okay, alright, I’ll say it…….. Rick was right.
We live only one mile from Tonya’s house but it took us 45 minutes to get home. DC was stimming wildly and scripting loudly about the power – his worst fear – all the way.
We made it home and YES we had power, a little unbelievable as our neighborhood seems to lose power quite often, but we did have power and we were thrilled.
Home safely, WITH power, DC and I went about our normal routine assuming that all of this would be over by morning. Within 45 minutes of our arrival home, the power went out. DC was screaming from the bathroom, I told him to stay there, got a flashlight and went up to get him. I hunted about for more flashlights, got DC’s pillow and blankets and brought them down to the living room. THIS IS THE MOMENT, right here that the “sleeping on the couch” situation began. 3 years later, we are still sleeping on the couch most nights.
It was early but I tried to convince DC to try to go to sleep and the power would surely be back by time we woke up – I really believed that, I really did. Of course I had to stay right there on the other side of the couch, so I tried to get some sleep as well.
We woke up on Sunday morning and still no power. Still convinced it would be back soon, DC had breakfast, under protest. Even though losing power is one of the things he obsesses about, he just can not understand that I can not make toast. He can have bread with Peanut Butter (something he ate everyday for lunch), but it was morning and mornings are for toast, not bread. There was plenty of other non-refrigerated items that he could have, but no, he HAD to have toast. He finally gave in and had some “un-toasted” toast and we set out to find coffee.
My landline was down, my cell was only working sporadically. Most of the time, I had to drive to the center of town to get any reception at all. We kept taking short trips throughout the day in search of coffee. I didn’t want to drive too far as with no information to be had, I never knew what we’d be driving into, but on the other hand I needed coffee and DC needed something to do. He loves to and will read his books for hours, normally, but not during a power outage – he is just much too distracted and upset to do any of the things he normally would do. I have driven him around for hours in the past when we had an outage, but this was different, there was really nowhere to go, trees and branches were still falling and I didn’t want to waste gas. I didn’t know where we would find an open gas station.
It was a very odd and unsettling feeling not really knowing what was going on out there. I felt cut off from the world. Between feeling cut off and my “dropping dead and how long will DC be alone before anyone knows?” obsession – I was not having a good time.
The day was spent, dealing with what I affectionately named the “raw sewage room” -RS Room for short – (Did I forget to mention that DC clogged the toilet the very second that the power went out? Did I forget that?) – and taking quick, not too long trips to find coffee. I did finally find a Dunkin Donuts (because apparently I always do) open at about 4pm. They did not have power and were just about out of everything but coffee was still available. I’m not quite sure why or how they still had relatively hot coffee available with no power and I did not ask; I ordered the bucket size.
At this point, DC was no longer fixated on the power coming back, he was just defeated, very quiet, no emotion, just going through the motions. We got ready for the night to come, I made another attempt at fixing the “RS room’, we read for a while and went to bed. Worried about the cold, I had DC wearing thermal underwear, thermal socks, slippers and his very heavy robe. I began piling blankets and comforters on us and at the point when he had just about enough, he yelled, “Mom! I don’t want to be warm!” - of course he wanted to be warm, but it was his way of telling me that I was putting way too much stuff on him.
Monday, morning came. It was Halloween – and still no power. Halloween was looking grim!
To be continued in “and they cancelled Halloween- Part 2″
(Happy Halloween to you all! Keeping our fingers crossed for No Storm today!)