This has not been a bad snow year.
Three years ago, we had such massive snowstorms that we shoveled almost 5 feet in less than a week. That's a bad snow year. That will get even the lazy Rogers family to take action.
John bought a discount electric "snow shovel". Not a blower, but enough to "take the top off".
Hence, two winters without snow.
This year, though, the warranty is off on the shovel, so old man winter or mother nature or some other celestial anal sphincter decided to get us.
We've had lots of stupid, just enough snow to make you shovel, storms. The shovel works pretty well with the powder, and does make shoveling faster. Which would be great if we got snow. Problem, though, when you get ice. And it's as annoying as that old "ice ice baby" song.
This week, we got the mother of all ice storms, two days after we got almost a foot of wet, heavy snow (that likes to stick to trees and power lines...). And the temps never went above 33 until after the ice, then we got rain. Into the ice-snow fiesta. Whoever wrote that winter wonderland song needs to be shot, too.
Wednesday morning, as all the schools were closing and the federal, state, and local workers were told to stay home, I sat, sipping my fresh coffee, and thought, "I can't believe we still have power!"
The lights went out within five minutes.
Now, I say the schools all closed, but my school district had a scheduled
professional development day. There was no delay, much less a cancellation. Worse, they scheduled us to travel to schools in remote locations of the city. I rode with a friend who lives a few blocks away from me. She picked me up an hour late, at my request, since we had no power. I wanted to make sure someone would be here to bail the sump pump and watch the kids.
Even John's huge chemical company closed on Wednesday!
We started the drive in. Of course, there were no traffic lights. But there was barely any traffic because MOST EMPLOYERS ARE SANE AND HAVE A MODICUM OF CARE FOR THEIR EMPLOYEES. (mostly because they know replacing a workforce is rather tedious)
There were trees down everywhere. There were trees FALLING everywhere. She joked that she felt like she was driving in Iraq or Afghanistan. Crap kept falling on us, and she had to do many creative maneuvers to get us there alive and in one piece.
We made the joke that our relationship with the school district is kind of like a battered spouse. Every time they sock you in the face you think, "I thought he changed! I really thought he cared about me!" But who cares what a teacher thinks? We are society's ultimate chew-toy.
The whole time, though, I wasn't too depressed. At least I was in heated buildings! Not so much my family.
For the last 3 days, we have had no power. And, as John said, we went through all the Kubler-Ross stages of grief and loss:
- Denial and Isolation: It's not true. The power is not really off in the middle of the freaking winter. When I get home, it'll be on. I'm certain of it! This attitude was reinforced when it came on at midnight and warmed our 55 degree house back up to 67... before it cut off again at 4am... to not come back
- Anger: Oh yes, there was a great deal of anger. I mean, it's 20 degrees outside. It's 48 degrees inside. My kids are cold. MY DOG IS COLD. GRRRRR.
- Bargaining: Ok, we are wasters of power. When the power comes back on, we promise we'll be more conscientious about how we use it. And we'll be grateful. And PLEASE WE'LL DO ANYTHING...
- Depression: This was a big one for me yesterday morning. I woke up, mostly warm under the covers, though my face was pretty numb. And I knew I had to take a shower. (our water heater is gas). I swear, if I had been more comfortable in bed, I would have just rolled over and forgotten the world.
- Acceptance: At work, I was thinking that at least the stuff in the fridge didn't go bad. The house was too cold for that. I was planning where to take the kids since the library shut at 5 on Friday (9 the other two nights- thank goodnesss). My big question was how long it would be until our pipes froze, but I was working contingencies on that, too.
And just as I reached acceptance, the power came back on.
THANK YOU PECO!! This was a real mess, and you have been working like crazy people fixing it. We do not blame you. We thank you for fixing the problems the wrath of Winter Storm Maximus (side note, when the hades did they start naming winter storms?) hath wrought.
Please keep the thousands of other folks in the area who ARE STILL WITHOUT POWER as I type this in your thoughts. If anyone reads this, that is.
(side note: anyone know the best kind of portable generator? I think that's our next purchase.)