For nearly 45 hours my family’s house was without continuous electricity and running water. Today, at around 2:30 PM, our electricity was restored and my family returned to its normalcy. Unfortunately, the surrounding areas are still without electricity and I’m praying that they get back electricity soon so they don’t have to drive around the neighborhood to charge their phones using their car, or go to the laundromat to do their laundry, or depend on generators for minimal energy. These are all things we take for granted and I think a lot of us have learned the importance of the little things in our lives. But let me start from the beginning so this actually becomes a story worth reading!
Tuesday night I had planned to run a 10k with Angela but after checking the weather throughout the day it appeared that storms were going to hit our area hard the same time the race was scheduled to start. I opted to stay home and run in the heat of the day because I was very anxious to get my run over and done with knowing that the weather would threaten any chance of going for a run later in the afternoon.
My family ate dinner as usual and my parents left soon after to run a few errands. My brother was at work and so I was home with our two dogs. At around 5:45 PM, as I sat out on the porch reading a running magazine, I began to notice the sky changing colors and could hear rumbles of thunder in the distance. I put down the magazine and just watched the clouds roll in (this is something I enjoy doing in the summer because storms are awesome to watch!) Eventually the wind started to pick up and I could sense I should probably move in the shelter of my home away from Mother Nature’s elements. So I sat on the couch which overlooked the oncoming storm. The wind picked up, the rain started, and lightening lit up the sky.
By 6 o’clock, literally 10 minutes into the storm, the power went out. I texted my mom who said the power outage was wide spread. I texted my brother and he said the transformer outside of his workplace exploded. This is when all the fun officially began:
- Cell phone services started acting funny.
- I drove a mile down the street in attempt to get a cell phone signal.
- I saw a rainbow (see picture!)
- The sky turned orange.
- I called my granny who told us that the telephone pole in front of her house fell down.
- My mom and I drove around the block just to look at the sky.
- We saw a roof that had blown off a building.
- We heard that there was a tornado at the mall.
- I called work to make sure the store was still functional – it was.
- My dad hooked up a generator to our refrigerator.
- My phone was at 40% battery but draining fast.
- I set 4 alarms on 2 different phones so I didn’t wake up late to go to work.
- I went to bed at 9:15 PM (which is early because I didn’t have anything better to do at the time!).
- I woke up at 5:45 AM.
- I walked the dog down the street at 6 AM because she was afraid to go in our yard because of the noise of the generator.
- I ate cereal for breakfast.
- I worked 7AM-12PM – only two other of my co-workers didn’t have power. Everyone else did.
- On my way home from work, I got stuck in construction traffic for 20 minutes was very annoyed.
- I ate peanut butter and raisins on a whole wheat tortilla for lunch.
- My dad brought home a second generator so we could have running water (we have a well so when our electric goes out we lose our water too).
- I worked on homework for my summer class.
- I re-started our generator about 50 times because it wouldn’t stay on.
- I went for a 2.7 mile walk wearing a 15lb pack (Appalachian Trail Training) with both dogs.
- We used the grill to make dinner because nothing else could be used to cook – I had a veggie burger!
- A rumor started that we weren’t getting power back until Saturday.
- I opted to turn my phone on airplane mode to save battery and take a mini vacation from the rest of the world.
- My dad and I went for a 5 mile run – I felt tired.
- My dad and I saw kids playing outside….they were actually PLAYING OUTSIDE!! – I guess that’s what happens when the power goes out!
- I attempted to get a shower but since we didn’t have hot water, I couldn’t muster up the courage to get more than my legs and feet wet.
- We all agreed that we could never live like the Amish do.
- My dad hooked up the generator to the TV and we watched my brother’s senior memories DVD.
- I got a case of the sleepy-ha-has.
- I ate graham crackers.
- I went to bed and prayed our electric would be restored soon.
- I woke up at 7:45 AM – still no power.
- I ate a small amount of cereal and two graham crackers for breakfast.
- My mom and I worked on a 500 piece puzzle.
- I got another case of the not-so-sleepy, but sleepy-ha-has.
- I decided that I was going insane.
- I thought that it was funny how an hour storm caused more than 36 hours worth of damage.
- My mom, brother, and I started a game of Monopoly.
- We took a break to eat lunch.
- I ate a cupcake my mommom made.
- We started playing Monopoly again and my brother went bankrupt.
- My mom and I paused our Monopoly game 3 hours into it because we needed to get other things done.
- My brother started to mow the lawn.
- I cut my dog’s hair so she could actually see.
- I realized the house felt cold and I could smell our air condition.
- Wait…our air condition wouldn’t be on if we didn’t have electricity.
- I checked our oven….
- THE CLOCK ON THE OVEN WAS ON.
- 2:30 PM: WE GOT BACK OUR ELECTRICITY!!!!!!
- I turned off our generator – hallelujah!
So what did I learn from this experience? First, don’t mess with Mother Nature. A storm that lasted less than an hour caused A LOT of damage in our area – She doesn’t mess around! Secondly, I am grateful for the things in life I sometimes take for granted. Electricity is oftentimes overlooked but a lot of things we depend on for cooking and activities of daily living depend on power. We should be grateful that 98% of the time we do indeed have electricity – because when we don’t people don’t know what to do with themselves! Also, I have come to appreciate the entertainment my family and I provide for each other. Sure, we can get on each other’s nerves sometimes but at the end of the day we’re a family and we can laugh and make memories together!
So for the rest of you out there who are still without power, I’m praying for you! I hope that your power is restored soon and that you can return to normalcy in a decent amount of time. For you though, your list of things you’ve done in the power outage of 2015 can continue to lengthen so you may have many stories to tell when you look back on things and realize that maybe the power outage taught you some very important life lessons as well!