Recently, my city was hit with a terrible ice storm. We made it through, and now that I have power again I can blog about it.
We knew it was coming, but Saturday wasn’t as bad as they said it would be. I worked my shift, got groceries and gas and spent time with the family. We put the kids to bed at nine as usual, made up a bunch of bottles and then around 10pm the power started flickering.
By 11pm we had no power. That meant no light, no heat, and no sound other than the freezing rain pelting the house. We don’t have any candles in the house because they aren’t safe with kids and animals. Lucky for us, a few of our Christmas decorations run on battery power so we used those to help provide some light. Hoping it wouldn’t last long we went to bed and huddled for warmth.
It was a long night. By 3am you would awake to a creaking noise, followed by a smash. At first, I thought it was just ice falling from the roof. It wasn’t. It was trees breaking under the weight of the ice.
I got up early because I was supposed to go to work. My phone said there were 50,000 people without power. I could barely get to my car because of the fallen trees and when I did I couldn’t get it out of the parking lot. I really didn’t want to go to work and leave hubs to deal with three kids with no power, but it was really vital that I go. I came home and checked the transit. All above ground subway was closed and streetcars were cancelled due to ice on the lines. I realized there was no way for me to make it to work, so I sat in the living room trying not to be frustrated and upset as this control freak realized she had absolutely no control over the situation and to accept it.
Around 9am, everyone got up. We gave the girls cold bottles because we couldn’t heat them up. They didn’t like it but
they drank it. They are used to eating cold baby food already. The problem was, we knew when they ran out we could not get boiling water to make more.
I called my parents and they still had power. So we had a backup plan. Trouble was they are on the other side of the city and with lights out all over town and icy roads driving there would not be easy. I was hopeful the power would return soon. I turned on the news again, this time to hear that over 250,000 people, and two major hospitals had no power, and estimates were that it was 72 hours before we would get it back.
The house was growing cold, so we bundled up the kids and ourselves and tried to stay cheery hanging out in the living room, while all the groceries in the fridge got warmer and warmer. I knew by 5pm it would be dark, and it wouldn’t be safe to have the babies crawling around and we were running low on bottles so we would have to make a decision.
Cold and tired at 3pm we decided our only choice was to venture out to my parents. Long story short, two hours later we made it there, and we were able to bask in the heat and light and even eat dinner. At 8pm, I left the kids there and drove home. I had to work the next day, and the animals were still there.
My mom had given me two candles and a little radio, and I set up camp in the living room (upstairs was freezing cold) and curled up with the dogs to sleep.
At 4am, the power returned! I was so happy. At least I didn’t have to try to do my make up by candle light. As I drove to work I passed areas that still had no power and lots of fallen trees. After my shift I will be driving out to my parents to pick up the kids and then taking us all home. I will work an extra shift to make up for the one I missed. At least we will still have power for Christmas.
The next day I worked my shift and drove home to take out the dogs. Then I left to get the kids. The crazy drive took me an hour and a half and was really stressful because of all the downed trees and power lines roads were closed, and many major intersections were still without power making them “four” way stops (since there are three lanes of traffic, I don’t think four is the right word) and it was pitch black. I got the kids and got home by almost nine o’clock now 48 hours later and tried to get caught up on chores and wrap all my presents since I was working Christmas eve (starting at 6 am) and going to the family party as soon as I got home from work. I had to throw out almost all the groceries because even though we put some in the back yard, they didn’t stay frozen enough.
It’s funny that ever since I decided to be more mindful, it seems my resolve has been tested over and over again. I have to say how thankful I am for this tool because I don’t think we would have coped nearly as well without it. I could tell hubs was stressed and that made me feel stressed and it upset the kids. If it had been both of us, it would have been much worse. I am not saying I was perfect, but I felt like I just went with the flow.
I learned a few tips from this experience I will write about later. One thing is for sure. We would definitely have been in trouble if it was the zombie apocalypse. 🙂
I hope everyone out there has a wonderful Christmas and never forget how lucky you are for the simple things like light, heat and of course family.