Since we’ve lived in Armpit, Florida, we have weathered more than our share of hurricanes. And not once have we ever lost power for any significant length of time.
I suspect it has something to do with the fact that our power lines are all buried underground, and that God knows I cannot function without my coffee pot and/or Vita-Mix.
But on Monday, we had a smallish rain shower. And with the first clap of thunder, the power went out. The children quickly scurried about building a fort in the family room, since it was the middle of the afternoon and we were not yet plunged into darkness. AND IT WAS SO EXCITING!
Something told me that this was potentially serious, and I issued an order that NO ONE was to open the refrigerator or the freezer out in the garage.
That decision would plague me later in the day, as the temperature in the house climbed up into the 80’s and I began to perspire. All I could think about was the TWO cartons of Breyers No-Sugar Added Ice Cream sitting unopened in the freezer.
Calling to me. From the garage.
And incidentally, that same freezer was full to the brim because I had just made my every-2-month-run to Sam’s Club run, my once-a-week-run to Wal Mart, and my run to Publix, armed to the teeth with coupons, to stock up on BOGO offers.
Alas, we subsisted on stale old crackers found in the pantry. And dry cereal.
Interestingly, earlier in the day as I was reorganizing a seldom used top shelf, I found a bag which contained a moldy piece of chocolate cake (I think) and a tub of Duncan Heinz Icing, dyed purple. Appetizing.
I suspect this was booty from Emme’s birthday celebration. LAST OCTOBER. And I had stashed them away for later bingeing.
But forgot about them because my short term memory has taken quite a hit in recent years.
And I know what you’re thinking. No. In my desperation, I didn’t dip into the icing. (not far fetched since I have been known to pull a tub of icing from the trash to dine on it.) Really, it didn’t look too bad. Leading me to wonder what kind of shelf life does a canister of Duncan Heinz icing have?
I had dinner covered in that there was chicken marinating in the fridge (if I were to break my own rule to retrieve it) and the grill was piping full of propane.
But as my body temperature rose with that of the house, I realized that the chance of my cooking dinner was slim to none. In fact, I finally took to my bed and let Jensen run his matchbox cars up and down me.
Which was really kind of soothing.
Mercifully we ended up at Sonny’s for a nice air conditioned dinner. I wondered how long we could plant our bottoms on the nice naugahyde before someone kicked us out. I figured if I kept on ordering sides of Fried Okra they wouldn’t mind.
Fried Okra is a staple during any type of emergency. In my book.
When we all felt sufficiently sick, we headed home. Taking it extra slow as we passed all the Power & Light worker bees on the street going home. Each time we passed, more and more trucks and workers were added. Not a good sign.
When we saw a large flat bed 18 wheeler holding the old giant electrical box thingy, we knew we might be in for the long haul. So we headed to Lowes to scope out generators.
We stood there in front of the display. Staring first at the contraption, then at the price. We left empty handed. Stopping to let Jensen admire the row of vacuums. Too big of a purchase to make when one feels pressure. Or is bloated from 5 too many servings of Fried Okra.
The house was hot and steamy, and I distributed various flashlights to aid in the preparation for the long night ahead. I allowed one lone candle to be placed up high where the pyromaniacs couldn’t reach. “But MOM, where’s my noise maker (white noise)? And my music? And my fan? “Mom, can I play the Wii?”
I know for a fact that Ma Ingalls never had to deal with any of that from Half Pint and her siblings.
When the children began to wig out, I did what any good mother would do. I planted them on a couch and put the 5 inch DVD player before them to let them watch Veggie Tales. Worked like a charm.
The electric company kept stringing Fiddledaddy along telling him the power would be on at 12 am, then 3 am. He kept watch. Finally the power was restored at 5 am. I awoke to a bright light shining in my eyes from the kitchen. And I gave a prayer of thanks for lights. And air conditioning.
The first thing we did was to check the freezers. Thankfully, and I am so very thankful for this, all the meat was still frozen solid.
But the ice cream was a little soft.
So one of us ate it. At 5 in the morning. I won’t say who.
But it wasn’t me.
This whole saga simply served as a reminder to me that hurricane season is upon us. And I best be prepared.
And the next time Publix has a BYGO on Oreos, I’m cleaning out the shelves. And writing myself a little reminder note so that I don’t forget where I stash them.