Last Thursday started out as an OK kind of day. I was "working" from home and Kevin took the day off to spend some time with the kids. I sent him to the grocery store for our weekly groceries and he was planning to take the girls to see the new Katy Perry movie.
By early afternoon it was hotter than Hades outside (again) and I was feeling the need for a break from "the job" and the endless frustration that goes along with it. I decided I'd join the husband and kids at the movies and spend the evening finishing my work.
Ah...the best laid plans...
Just before we went into the movie theater my sister called and said they were driving in a terrible storm on their way home. I looked outside and sure enough it was dark stormy skies and a lot of rain. A bit later before the movie started, my sister texted me and said they had no power and there was a lot of serious storm damage around town.
At this point all I could think was "great, we probably have a few trees down in our yard"..since our yard is full of evil, old oak trees that have a tendency to come crashing down in bad weather.
Fast forward to 5 pm as we attempted to drive home from the mall. What should have been a 10 minute drive turned into 45 minutes as we navigated closed roads all over the area. When we finally arrived home we were happy to discover our trees and house had survived (our neighbors weren't so lucky - one had a tree go through his roof into his living room).
But, we had no power.
And it was 100 degrees in the shade with 1000% humidity.
This was going to get ugly.
I quickly packed up the kids and some stuff for an unplanned overnight at my parents' house. My sister did the same with her kids. We left the husbands out our houses to take care of the animals. When I left my house at 8 pm Thursday night it was 72 degrees inside the house.
The forecast for Friday was a high of 100 with a heat index of 105.
The power company said the electricity "might" be restored by Saturday night.
Or you know when they got around to it.
Oh, and I should mention that my sister's sister-in-law was getting married Saturday. Outside. In a park that was closed Friday due to storm damage. And my sister (a hair stylist) was supposed to have the entire bridal party at her house Saturday for hair and makeup. Her house that had no electricity.
Friday was not a fun day.
My patience exited stage right at about 2 p.m. Friday afternoon.
After another fast food meal (Taco Bell...ugh) Friday night, the kids and I headed home to pack up everything we'd need for the wedding. I tried to keep my mood in check, but I really just wanted to scream at someone.
As I drove down my street I saw the most amazing sight - power company trucks! I had hope that maybe, just maybe we would be "next" for power restoration. And then it happened...just as I was about to leave for another "sleepover" at my parents' house, the lights came on. The air conditioner started to hum. And by 6 am Saturday morning the house was "cool" again.
I think the one thing that made this power outage so unbearable was the heatwave. If we had lost power and it was only 85 degrees outside, it would have been OK.
As it is, we were only without power for about 36 hours (even though it seemed MUCH longer). I know that's not the worst case scenario. I'd prefer to avoid "worst case scenario" if at all possible.
A few things I learned from two days with no power (and no control over the situation):
1. Losing electricity in the middle of a heatwave really, really sucks.
2. Even if you keep all windows closed, when it's 105 degrees outside, your house will quickly heat up to 82 degrees inside.
3. An 82 degree house is still cooler than a 105 in the shade day outside.
4. The electric company will never give you a straight answer. They will read off the prepared cue cards and tell you that's all the information they have. Yelling at them might make you feel better, but that's all it does.
5. It's difficult to resist the urge to stop every power company truck you see and beg them to turn the power on.
6. I never thought I'd be so happy to see Toledo Edison trucks in my life. Seeing five lined up on my street nearly caused me to do a happy dance in my driveway.
7. Being part of a "neighborhood" Facebook group is great - we were able to give continuous reports on Friday - every time someone saw a power truck they'd post about it. And when the power started to slowly come back ... we posted about it. Start a neighborhood Facebook group.
8. Throwing out food sucks.
9. Having the foresight to save most of the "new" groceries by taking them to my mom's house does not suck.
10. When a power outage strikes, apparently everyone goes to McDonald's. We waited in line for 20 minutes Thursday night just to get the kids dinner. Crazy.
Here's to no more power outages for the rest of the year.
(I should mention that my sister's power was back on by Friday night. And the bridal party arrived at 9 am Saturday and the wedding went off without a(nother) hitch.)