Sunday morning, March 14, 2010, Northern NJ: Clocks changed and we lost an hour of sleep. No electricity since 6:30 pm Saturday night, but still had friends over for dinner; I love gas stoves and stew. Left at 7:30 am for my daughter Tory’s volleyball tournament in western NJ; stumbled around in dark, no makeup, no shower, roads flooded, but we arrived at the site of the tournament only a couple minutes late. PSE&G, our electric and gas provider, was inundated with calls. Whole towns without power. Welcome to my world.
I’d rather be here with my family.
Instead, I’m here.
Monday morning, March 15, 2010, Northern NJ: Things have improved around our home since I wrote the above paragraph on Sunday morning when my computer still had some power left in it. Tory’s volleyball tournament ended at 6 pm on Sunday so we were only there for 10 hours instead of the 12 hours we spent at her last one. And really, it was okay since I charged my phone in one of the electrical outlets along the gym wall while I was there. And my son Max left to return to his Big Ten college yesterday after being home on Spring Break the previous week.
After my husband Mike dropped Max at the shopping center where the Big Ten college picks up/drops off a multitude of students every Friday and Sunday nights, he headed out in search of ice to fill our coolers since PSE&G’s recording (you think we’d get a real person to talk with us? Not here in NJ. How about where you live?) let us know we wouldn’t have electricity until 4 pm Tuesday night, three days after losing it. With a freezer full of meat and refrigerator full of everything else, we had to attempt to save some of it. Have you ever tried to get reimbursed from your electric company for spoiled food? We went through a period a number of years ago where we lost power multiple times a week and sometimes for days at a time without a clear, apparent reason and our food spoiled. The electric company basically just laughed at us when I inquired about reimbursement.
I ran down to Shop Rite and bought candles, lots of candles, and perched them around the kitchen and family room so I had adequate light to cook by. We ate a late Sunday night dinner, I loaded up the coolers, poured a glass of wine and watched Mike read the Sunday newspaper with his camping headlamp strapped to his head. While Mike read Tory stretched out on the floor in front of our gas fireplace and slept. The two Siamese crept up close to her and got warm, having spent the day alone and without heat their feet were like little ice cubes. It was quiet and peaceful. The only sound was an occasional ice cube dropping deeper into one of the coolers. We went to bed at 10:30 pm.
This morning at 1:10 am I woke up with a start, realizing something was different in the house. Electricity! The electricity came back. We are back to heat and light! How lucky!! You see, my girlfriend Anna and her son Federico are arriving tonight and will be staying with us for a few days. Her husband Giorgio is in the States on business and she came along. I’m so excited to see her. The last time we hugged was May 2008 when I visited her in Italy. Needless to say, the house is humming as I run the dishwasher load of dirty dishes from Saturday night, transfer all the food in the coolers back into the refrigerator and freezer, wash clothes and sheets, run the vacuum and all. And, yes, I’m having lunch with my sister Cindy in Central Jersey today too.
Look out world, I have electricity and I know how to use it!