Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Our adventure

Yesterday we picked up Baby Girl from the sitter at our normal time and began the trek home.  We exited the freeway like normal, drove down one street, then turned onto another and found that the first traffic light we got to was out.  This was still far enough from our house that we didn't think it would affect us.  There were policemen there directing traffic, which meant we waited longer at the intersection than we otherwise would have, but also meant that people had to stop.  The electric company was working in the right-hand lane just past the traffic light.  We got to the next light, which was also out.*  The Hubby and I began to wonder if this would affect our neighborhood.  We turned into our neighborhood a bit further down the road, but looked ahead and saw the next traffic light was functioning, which made us think that things would be fine.

At this point, it was just before 5:30.  It was light enough out that it was plausible that people wouldn't have lights on in their houses and the street lights wouldn't be on yet, so we didn't have much of an indication of whether our electricity was on.  We still thought that the outage was far enough from our house that we'd be okay.  We turned on the last street before we got to ours and saw someone parking their car in the driveway.  Again, totally normal around our neighborhood, but it made The Hubby and I start to wonder if perhaps the electric garage door opener wasn't working.

We rounded the corner and pulled into our driveway.  Garage door wasn't moving.  Crap.  The Hubby hopped out and opened the door manually so we could pull the car in.  Both of us started thinking about the things we needed to do so we could function without electricity.  He started pulling out candles and I started thinking about what would need to happen with dinner.  We'd planned on just reheating leftovers in the microwave, but it's hard to do that without electricity.  Baby Girl was running around like a crazy person and didn't understand why we were cranky.  I sat her down and told her she needed to entertain herself for a minute and she agreed to go color, so I got her set up on her table with some paper and crayons.

I was able to use The Hubby's iPhone and check the electric company's website to see if they had individual outages listed since we still had no idea how long to expect the outage to last.  Nope--just a count of the outages across the counties they serve.  And then I thought I'd submit an outage, but that portion of the site didn't seem to be working.  Thanks for the help, electric company.

So now we have to prepare as if we won't have electricity all night.  We start panicking thinking about Baby Girl's bedtime.  We consider our dinner options--go out or stay in and don't spend money (a goal we've had recently).  The Hubby suggested that he could grill up some hot dogs and just have some pretzels or tortilla chips with them.  I started thinking--if the grill has gas...and the grill also has a side burner that's never been used...maybe we could cook a whole meal out there.  Thank goodness it was still over 40 degrees outside and not raining.  I planned out what needed to be pulled from the fridge so I wouldn't let the cold air out and got out the leftover brats, the hot dogs, cheese, ketchup, milk, butter, and a few other things.  We got a box of Pasta Roni and The Hubby fixed that on the side burner while he reheated the brats, cooked the dogs, and reheated the veggies we'd had with the brats on the grill.

We had our picnic in the living room on Baby Girl's art table, which I could tell she really enjoyed.  As The Hubby and I were finishing up (it was about 6:30 by this time), we heard something.  The furnace!  Woo!  Everything in our house started to function again and Baby Girl said excitedly, "now we can turn on the TV!"  We told her that we weren't going to do that--we were going to spend the rest of the evening like we didn't have electricity.  We read books by flashlight, colored some more, and then did bedtime mostly like normal (I wasn't going to try to put her to bed without her nightlight and wave machine if I didn't have to!).

It was really stressful trying to figure out what we were going to do if the electricity was out for an extended period, but it made me really grateful for lots of things last night: good weather, a nice grill, The Hubby and me working well together, Baby Girl's patience, The Hubby doing some cleaning in the basement so I could get to our overstock shelves, and the ability to interact without a TV on.  We'd actually recently been waiting to turn the TV on until after dinner anyway, but seeing Baby Girl's reaction makes me even more conscious of wanting to spend more time with it off when she's awake.  Yes, it means that The Hubby and I don't get our half hour break before her bedtime while she watches Little Einsteins to wind down, but I think that will be okay for the next few months.

*Why the hell don't people get that when the lights are out they should treat the intersection as a 4-way stop? I don't care that one street is fairly busy (speed limit is 40 mph) and the other is just entrances to a couple of subdivisions.  STOP.

1 comment:

Cassie said...

Kudos to you guys for rising above your irritation and still making a fun evening out of it. Evenings like that are the ones Baby Girl is going to look back on and remember fondly. You guys are such an awesome team, and such great parents.