7.20.2012

Friday Favorites - Vol 6 - Electricity (Or, the Night the Lights Went Out in Ohio)

As I said in my post earlier this week, July has been insane. Stressful and crazy. I started this month out baking an entire dessert table for a party my BFF Kelli was throwing. I was super pumped about it, with everything totally planned and ready to go. It was a week before the party, and I had JUST stocked up on my essentials like butter and eggs that I'd need for my baking extravaganza. I had set up camp at Boyfriend's while he was out of town, making use of his huge kitchen table, empty living room, and no cat to mess things up. I had gotten through piping my monograms for the cookie favors and had settled in on the couch to watch a couple episodes of Six Feet Under and work on my banner when I noticed it starting to get a bit dark outside.

It was just before 5 o'clock, so I turned over to the news to catch the weather. I didn't even have to wait for the news to start. They were already interrupting whatever show was on with weather warnings of a pretty nasty storm coming. Nasty indeed.


That picture was taken literally about 1 minute before the skies opened up. I barely made it back inside from the porch before it unleashed. And rained down every bit of its fury. Watching from Boyfriend’s back door, it looked exactly like pictures they show on the news of a hurricane. Raining sideways, debris flying everywhere, trees bent over. They clocked wind speeds at nearly 80mph during the storm! I stood watching, horrified, as part of a tree fell across the road and almost hit a car that was driving! The lights flickered a few times, then went out. And stayed out. Of course, Boyfriend, who was camping in upstate NY at the time, had taken his good flashlight with him. Which left me scouring his house with my cell phone held out in front of me for the lanterns, which were battery-less, and not a “C” battery to be had.

Once the storm let up, I rushed home to make sure that none of the trees that are within 10 feet of my back door ended up in my living room. Luckily my house was fine. Dark, but fine. (And really only semi-dark. I have battery filled flashlights.) That night, I made a mad rush to find ice to pack my fridge and freezer so I wouldn’t lose any food—especially my newly purchased butter and eggs. Driving around, I realized the reason my area was dark--A huge ancient tree up the road had fallen into the power lines, popping them right off the pole and scattering them across the street, along with all the tree's branches.

It wasn’t until the next day at work (which NEVER loses power. Boo.) that I realized that I wasn’t the only one without power. Most of Columbus and its surrounding areas were out too. Nearly a million people in the dark. (And all of them deeply reliant on their technologies they couldn’t charge. I probably could’ve retired if I’d thought to charge people to use the plugs at work. Phones, laptops, iPads.. One lady even brought her hot rollers to plug in in our bathroom!) By the time I got off work at 5pm, the idea of actually finding more bags of ice to keep my freezer frozen was almost laughable. Everyone in town was out looking for ice. There was no way there was still any left for me. I luckily stumbled on some at random, and grabbed nearly 50lbs worth. The guy in the truck next to me kept shouting at his son to go grab more. When the boy asked how much they needed, the dad screamed back, “THERE’S NO ICE LEFT IN THE CITY! GRAB AS MANY AS YOU CAN!” And the cashier told me I didn’t need to bring my bags in with me to pay… Yeah right, dude. I’m not letting go of these until they’re in my car. And if anyone tries to take them from me, I WILL fight.

That night, facing a completely dark house, I hunkered down in the bathroom with a bunch of candles, a book, and some lukewarm bathwater to keep myself occupied before attempting to sleep in my silent, warm, fanless room. I had just gotten out and was starting to get dressed, thinking to myself, “I can just change right here in front of the window in my room. It’s dark and no one will ever see,” when, wouldn’t you know it--All my lights popped on. RIGHT THEN. Thanks AEP.. I truly appreciate having my power back, really--I do! But you couldn’t have waited until I was dressed??

I was one of the lucky ones. I got my power back after 28 hours. I ended up throwing out some of my fridge stuff (the unimportant stuff I didn’t bother to try to save while I was packing ice around my boxes of butter), but luckily didn’t lose any of the huge stockpile of meat in my freezer. Others around town weren't as fortunate.

There were some people in town, even those not too far from where I live that didn’t get power back for 7 to 8 DAYS. They lost all the food they had, and had to deal with powerless homes with no AC or fans while temps crept back up into the 90s day after day. The power company was so overwhelmed with the amount of areas without power, they had to bring in people from other STATES to help out. I count my blessings that I didn't have to go through that, and I'm so grateful that things around town weren't any worse than they were, because we've all seen the ruthless power of Mother Nature. Things could have been a LOT worse.

The storm throwing off my baking schedule a bit was just a minor bump in the road compared to so many others, and I was happily able to get everything done and help throw a successful party. Even just my day without power makes me appreciate having it back, and makes me grateful for the luxuries of AC and everything that I have. Yay electricity!
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6 comments:

Sarah Edmundson said...

Wow, that is rough! Glad you were one of the lucky ones & hope nothing like this happens again any time soon!

Sara said...

Ha yup! I live in Columbus and also posted about how crazy those storms were that weekend: http://ladybuginlove.blogspot.com/2012/07/auntie-em.html?m=1
We were extremely lucky to keep power (whew!) Glad your butter survived :)

Lani said...

We have storms like that (and actual hurricanes from time to time!) down here in south Texas. Living without electricity is more difficult than people realize!! We're all so accustomed to having everything available at the flick of a switch or push of a button that we don't have any idea what to do when we're without it. I'm glad you had the sense of mind to find some ice and were able to find some ice and save your butter and eggs. :)

Lani said...

Wow... that was a rather redundant comment... =/ I guess I should proof read a little better before I publish my comment next time. Haha!

sweetpeaskitchen.com said...

I heard about the crazy weather...luckily my parents didn't lose power but people right down the street did. I really wish we would get some rain. I honestly can't remember the last time it did! What a crazy season of weather...it is 110 degrees here today! Ugh!

jayMariah said...

Wow I didn't realize anyone got power back that fast. My boyfriend's was down for four days I think. We drove down Bethel Rd at night and it was so dark you couldn't even see all the stores that are there. So eerie!

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