See what I did there?
Water restrictions were lifted Sunday and our power came back last night. Hip, hip, yay.
Overall, it was a pain in the butt. But that's all it was. I guess my main annoyance is in the fact that when we first moved to this area, we never lost power, even with the worst of storms. As a kid in another state, I remember losing power all the time during storms. Difficult weather (other than heat) was not a usual occurrence, so electric was affected during pretty much every storm that came through. We had a hurricane lamp and just resorted to that and flashlights whenever it would happen. But the power was never off more than a few hours and it was always back within the next day. We never had to throw out freezersfull of food or consider living in a hotel for the week.
For the past five or so years here however, there have been at least two significant power outages that affected a million people and lasted up to a week... PER YEAR. This should tell any normal CEO of any normal company, "something is wrong; we should do something different." But here we just follow the definition of insanity and do the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. We're Washingtonians; it's what we do.
But ultimately, as I told my kids, it's no more than a pain. I have a colleague in Colorado who doesn't have a house anymore. So I'm not going to spend too much time and energy complaining about this.
That will not stop me, however, from enjoying ridiculous things that have been done and said since Friday. For example:
That wasn't a thunderstorm, it was a land hurricane.
When I first read this headline, I was incredulous, but apparently according to the Washington Post and the National Weather Service, that's a Thing. I find this H-I-larious and keep going around saying, "Candy gram," or, "I'm only a dolphin," which no one finds nearly as funny as I.
A largish intersection in my neighborhood has been without signals for days. So the county sent cops out to direct traffic. They were terrible at it, gesturing wildly and confusing any traveler who dared drive near and making the traffic problem so much worse than if they had not even been there in the first place. So after the first morning, they just set up caution tape and flares across the intersection and only allowed right turns and through traffic from only one direction. Then six cops sat in three cruisers parked in the middle of the intersection for three days, with the engines running while they enjoyed the air conditioning and played games on their cell phones. Every time I came through this intersection, where what I really wanted to do was turn left, I had forgotten it was like this, so I had to make the right, drive down about a half mile, make a U-turn and then come back through the intersection on the straight open side to go the direction I wanted. There's another way out of the neighborhood which would avoid all this, but for the life of me, I couldn't remember to take it until I hit that intersection.
This morning, I finally remembered and when I got there, the lights at the intersection had been restored.
We replaced our hot water heater last winter... again. And because we were sick of replacing water heaters (this is number four for our time in this house), we got a fancy schmancy one which doesn't have a tank. It's awesome because it heats the water on the way through, so you never run out of hot water no matter how many people take a shower. You know what else the new water heater doesn't have? A pilot light that can be lit when there's no electricity. No matter how hot it might be outside, the water that comes up out of the ground is frigid. And cold showers suck, ya'll.
The Caterpillar came down with some sort of flu Sunday and spiked a dangerously high fever. We had just gotten back from hanging out at a friend's house where I went to help restart some computer equipment while they were away. That's when I realized how really bad it had gotten. I put her in the tub (didn't have to worry about making the water cold enough) and then put her to bed. But a few hours later, I wanted to make sure she had enough Tylenol in her to get through the night without going through this experience once more. So we woke her up to give her another dose. Trying to get a spoonful of liquid into a sleepy, sick child's mouth was an experience, indeed. All three of us were required to help and it was like if the Keystone Cops decided to feed a baby bird.
The last few times we've had a lengthy power outage, The Dormouse encouraged all of us with maturity beyond her years by reminding us that Laura Ingalls Wilder lived without power and this would be an opportunity for us to see what it was like for Laura. This time, her sage advice was a bit more nonsensical:
"We should buy a tanning bed. So next time we lose power, we can get a tan."
Some people are just too clever for their own good and I WISH I had come up with this:
Go buy this t-shirt from this site because the person who came up with the idea for that shirt is a genius and deserves your money.
But my absolute favorite story from this week is as follows:
It's oppressively hot and humid this week, there's been overnight rain every night since Friday, so it has never really dried out and with no air conditioning, the house is like a sauna. We moved all the sleeping quarters into the basement, where it's ten to fifteen degrees cooler. It's also dark as a pocket down there when there's no power. I've been sleeping in the larger bed with The Caterpillar because I don't sleep much anyway and it doesn't really make that much of a difference in my well being the next morning to be kicked in the ribs by a child who must sleep perpendicular to any other human sharing the bed with her all night long.
The Dormouse slept in her own bed and The KingofHearts slept in the other downstairs bed by himself. He was a bit concerned about being able to wake up for work on time Monday morning, since he usually uses an alarm to get up, so he set his mobile phone alarm, but expressed concern that he'd never used it before and wouldn't know if it was working properly.
Sometime during the night I woke to the sound of footsteps upstairs. I figured it was just The KoH using the bathroom or something, and went back to sleep. When I woke around 5:00 am, I stumbled upstairs and found a box of doughnuts and a note saying there was milk in the fridge. He was gone.
I texted him and said, "Did you really go to work at 5:00 am?"
To which he responded, "No, I went to work at 2:00 am."
Wow, I thought, he really must have been uncomfortable in the house if he couldn't sleep at 2:00 am and found no other recourse but to go to work and charge his electronic devices. And I told this story to my colleagues at work that day.
"This is how to motivate your employees to come to work on time," I said, "I've just hit upon a new management technique!"
Later that evening, when we were both home, I mentioned it.
Turns out he didn't willingly go to work at 2:00 am. Sometime during the night his cell phone battery gave up the ghost and it makes a noise to tell you it's turning itself off. But since he'd never heard the alarm, he assumed that was the alarm noise. Then he looked at the time on his cell phone but the phone had gone dead. So he got up and got dressed for work. With no other clocks running in the house (or at least clocks you can see in the dark), he'd assumed it was 5:00 am and just left to go to the gas station and then work. Then he drove over to a convenience store to get something for breakfast and found no breakfast-type foods to be ready. He asked the clerk when the breakfast type foods would be ready and was told 5:00 am. Only then did he learn that that wasn't to come for another three hours. So he went to work anyway.
If I didn't know better, I'd say he was on ambien.
My husband bought a generator... yesterday. And now, the power will never go out again in my lifetime.