Yesterday we were blessed with a rain/sleet/ice storm. We saw all of the warnings the night before…high winds, sleet, dropping temperatures, beginning after 3am. My husband and I sat cozily on the love seat in the den watching TV, with our 16 year old daughter watching TV in the living room, perusing Facebook on her phone. Plugged in to the charger in the kitchen was her new tablet that she got for Christmas, and plugged into a charger in the living room was her tablet from school, should she decide to do a little homework. We had received a phone call earlier that day from our son in Dallas saying that he, his very pregnant wife and our 3 precious granddaughters spent hours in a closet with at mattress over them as the tornadoes ravaged the surrounding areas. Our daughter in Seattle had called earlier in the week saying that she had to get off of the phone because it was starting to snow. Being raised a Midwestern girl she did not have a problem driving in snow, but people living out there seem to panic when a dusting of snow falls from the sky. As we retired for the night, I could hear the wind picking up, but decided to snuggle in and get a good nights rest.
Monday morning started out as usual, the hubby was sent off to work and I decided that I would put my feet up for a little while and then get busy for the day. ( I had arthroscopic surgery on my right knee last week so I am off work for a few days) As I was about to get up and do a few things around the house it happened…blink…blink…dim…dim…out the lights went, off went the tv, and at that point life as we knew it was over. My husband called from work and said that they were working on generator power, I told him the electricity just went off, we spoke a few more minutes and said our goodbyes. As I hung up I realized that without electricity we had no power to run the sump pump, which meant a flooded basement for sure. I quickly texted my husband and he said a few choice words and said he would hurry home to start the generator. At this point I realized just how much we rely on electricity. First: I decided I would get the generator out of the garage to have it ready to go when he gets here….wrong! I could not for the life of me get that garage door open without the opener. Second: I realized that we needed gas to run the generator…hmmm…where are the cans? How can we get gas if the gas pumps can’t pump because no electricity? Third: Do I have cash on hand in case the debit card machine does not work?
So after maneuvering his way through back roads because of downed power lines and flooded roads, he arrives to pick up our daughter, 2 gas cans, and they head out to the gas station near the interstate, which seems to have lights. SCORE!!! They come back with 10 gallons of gas, paid with the debit card. Now getting the generator going took some coaxing, pleading, and a few choice words, but finally it fired up. Down went an extension cord to the basement and the sump pump was once again pumping. Just in time too because the water was beginning to back up into our daughters bedroom, but nothing was damaged. So I received instructions on what to do if the electricity comes back on, and off he goes to finish his day. For the rest of the afternoon Maddie and I spent time playing on our phones, reading, and trying to keep our sanity. Of course the phones had to be plugged into the cars chargers, and on the way out hers dropped briefly into the water. Now we have a whole new problem on our hands… and into some dry rice it goes.
About 4:30 we were so pleased because the lights came on….the generator was stopped and the sump pump plugged in, where it continued to run and run and run. I quickly made supper, cleaned up the mess and supper was on the table as my husband arrived home, cold and exhausted. Unfortunately, our joy was short lived because poof…off it went right after I took the food out of the oven. A romantic candlelit dinner for 3 was on the menu for the evening. SO…out comes the generator, the sump pump get plugged in and we wait…and wait…and wait.. At one point a fire is started in the fireplace, I decided to be greedy and use up some of the hot water for a shower, and we wait…and wait…and wait. The phone, ( Maddies is not charging at this point) gets plugged into the car again since we need an alarm for the morning, and about 10pm we decide to just go to bed and hope it comes on by morning. OK…at this point my hubby has made numerous trips to the basement to plug in each freezer for awhile, and to be sure that sump pump is working. I looked at him at one point with such respect and awe at the responsibility that he assumed to keep our home going as well as possible, and all without a complaint. I always know that he is in charge and will do what ever is necessary to protect us and keep us safe.
So the generator got one last fill of gas, and we head to bed…only to realize that there is no electricity to run our C-pap machines…CRAP! Anyone who sleeps with this little breathing machine knows how hard it is to sleep without it…plus at this point the temperature in the house iis dipping close to 63 degrees. We just look at each other, I set the alarm on my phone and we fall into a restless sleep with the reassuring sound of the John Deere generator running outside our bedroom window. Fast forward to 3:18 am….the lights come on….the generator is now shut down, and for a few hours, before daylight, life returns as we know it, never to take something as simple as flipping on a light switch to get light for granted again! Thank you to those men and women who were out in the weather fixing the power lines so that we could resume a life of laundry, meals, cleaning, and using our numerous electronic toys again. We truly appreciate your dedication!