Saturday, February 07, 2009

In Which I still Don't Have Power, but Manage to do Laundry

Our dark street is now approximately half-lit; my across-the-street neighbor has power and many of those east of my house are back on the grid. To the west of me, however, both sides of the street remain dark on either side all the way to the dead end. I would estimate the continuing outage encompasses-- maybe ten or twelve houses? We are treated to very regular police patrols after dark now since there was a burglary about two houses down; some thieves taking advantage of the situation and robbing an obviously abandoned home. I don’t know the details beyond those I just typed and haven’t investigated. I don’t want to know.

We have been blessed with rising temperatures, today reaching into the mid-sixties, praise the Lord. This means I do not have to run space heaters off my generator—those babies really suck the watts. With only a couple of TVs running and some lamps, the Husky can easily provide us with 12 hours of power at a stretch on five gallons of gas; the output is reduced by approximately a third when the heaters are running.

The warmer temperature meant I was able to retire to my bedroom to sleep in my actual bed on my Simmons Beauty Rest last night for the first time in a long time (I heat only the main living space during a cold snap). I spoiled myself by pre-heating my electric blanket and then Talullah, Furgirl and I piled in for the most glorious night of relaxation we have known since this all began. It may have been the most glorious night of relaxation ever in the world.

Today was taken up with laundry; my friends Jan and Jae extended a generous invitation offering me the use of their washer and dryer. I was shocked and amazed at what was going on over at their house in Reidland. They have this stuff over there? This invisible force hooked up to switches that makes lights come on and go off and clothes become clean at the touch of a button. They also fed me food prepared on a big white box with a window in the front and four hot plates on top; the dish was spaghetti to be exact. Warm, delicious spaghetti. I have a similar box contraption at my house; its function is, ostensibly, to hold down the floor. I looked around Jan and Jae’s house while I was there and didn’t see a gas can anywhere, or a huge tangle of extension cords, nor did we at any time have to shout at each other so as to be heard over the roar of the generator. It was all very strange.

Upon returning home, I set about my usual evening preparations. I changed into my super-cute flannel jammies (coordinating pants and top) they are decorated with festive little white grinning doggies with jaunty little red scarves wound about their necks on a bright purple background color; I finished off the ensemble with a pair of ancient Birkenstock clogs. I then emptied the remainder of the contents of the five-gallon gas can into the roaring generator by the glow of a small flashlight held firmly between my teeth.

It was then time to head down to the BP Station to refill the gas can so as to be prepared for the inevitable early morning refill. If you’re still with me here, you realize I made this trip still in my jolly flannels because—let’s be clear—FRANKLY MY DEAR, I DON’T GIVE A DAMN (we're back to GWTW today).

Fortunately, the people at the BP were either too shell shocked to notice I was in (really loud) sleep wear or immediately understood, on a deep, instinctive level, that one does not verbally acknowledge the situation when a middle aged women, quite obviously without electricity, shows up at the BP Station in bright purple flannel jammies at nine o’clock on a Saturday night.


Patience-please said...

Puh-leeeze get your power back soon. This power guilt is crippling me.
Oh, and someone left a NASTY comment on my blog. Cast aspersions on my character, anonymously of course, asking, "how would a Northeastern liberal artist relocation program transplant know anything about character and spirit."
And I guess it wasn't a real question, because anonymous ended it with that period instead of a question mark.
Just thought you'd like to know you're in good company.

Suzanne said...

Hey Patience! Do away with the power guilt; I'm always glad to hear about those who DO have power. Gives me hope that I'll join your number soon and I'm glad I'm in the minority at least as far as those inside the city go. As for your commenter, oy, it's a nice club we have here.

NGS said...

I spend a good deal of time thinking of you and hoping you get power soon. I'm so sorry that you've had to go through all of this and I'm wishing you luck with all my might!

Laura K said...

Umm, hello Suzanne? We live in KENTUCKY. The BP people see that kind of thing on a daily basis.

Suzanne said...


Yah, I guess I forget sometimes I'm in the heart of redneckistan.

Anonymous said...

I know this doesn't make you feel any better, but my family in SE MO and friends in Owensboro still don't have power, either. Just wanted you to know you're not alone.


Anonymous said...

PS, at least you weren't in sweatpants with a manly goose-down vest.