Thursday, September 17, 2015

30 Hours Without Power

The day started by Kamikaze leaving a dead rat at the patio door. Our apple trees are heavy with fruit, and all the varmits in town are coming to feast on them. I had brought in dozens of apples the day before, intending to cook up something. But seeing that brown rat I was ready to cut the trees down and replace them with a pergola! I can take the black squirrels and the birds and the opossum coming to eat the apples. Rats are another thing.

I went to my quilt group, ran an errand. Our son was making dinner, his white chili crock pot meal. I only had to make the cornbread. Dinner was delicious and we had another meal's worth left over.

It was a beautiful evening. The weather was fine, there were no storms, nor were a.c. units maxing out the system. Still, the power went out. The dishwasher was running and then stopped. The fan blades slowed to a still. the lights went dark. It was 7:00 p.m.

We had a six hour Internet and phone back-up power source. We reported the outage to Detroit Edison. After a while the website said the expected the problem to be solved by 1 a.m. We lit candles and used up the last juice in our tablets to read our books then retired early.
Our Kamikaze enjoying the power outage.
It was dark! No school parking lot lights. Most of our little 'burb was affected. The night orchestra of insects buzzed loudly, but didn't drown out the roaring generators at neighbor's houses. I woke a few hours later; DTE had no idea what was wrong or an estimate of when power would be restored.

When we retired we assumed it would only be 6 hours before power was restored. We awoke knowing that after 12 hours without power all our food would be lost. We had just filled up the 'fridge. There were leftovers, pasta and potato salads, grated cheeses, milk, sour cream, yogurt, cream cheese, farm fresh eggs, and coffee creamer inside. Also greens from the farmers market.

First there was denial. Could we save it yet? Then there was  anger. Then finally acceptance. All the stages of grief.

We let our son use up the last of the hot water for his morning ablutions. He has a job. We are retired. he grabbed coffee and breakfast at work. We went out to a locally owned diner then came home.

The elementary school across the road was quiet and empty. We read outdoors. I finished up an appliqué project of a fish and thought about the book review I had planned to write. I finished another book. I looked at the apples I had planned on making into applesauce and a crisp.
Fishy, Fishy from Guildcrafter's Quilt Shop in Berkley, MI
We went out to Biggby for our afternoon tea/coffee and used the WIFI. Then went to the Blair library to plug in our tablets and finish our online business.

We dined at a local restaurant then took the dogs for a walk. People had gathered outside, talking and sharing and questioning. Parents were playing with the kids. Kids were playing with the dog. People sat on the front porch and I stopped to talk to a couple down the street. They told me they had bought a generator several years ago, tired of the outages. And that there was a skunk in the neighborhood!I expect he'll be looking for our apples, too. I sure hope Kamikaze or Suki don't run into him.

The loss of television and computers had brought some families and neighbors together. Perhaps it is a good thing, once and a while, to be forced to give up all the things that divide us.

The power came on 30 hours later at midnight. We have no idea what went wrong. There is nothing on the news or online from the City, nothing on Facebook.

This morning we cleared out the food, cleaned the fridge. Leftovers, pasta and potato salad, dairy, anything with eggs, dairy or mayonnaise, cooked veggies, veggies that had browned or wilted, grated cheese had to be tossed. Luckily the freezer was full and only the frozen fruit bars had melted.

The To Be Tossed Pile
Time to head back to the store.

And time to price generators in preparation for the next time we lose power.