The Little Storm That Could

It was a dark and stormy night. The remnants of Hurricane Ike were blowing hither and fro- even the little birdies couldn’t stay perched in their trees. Whoosh! Bam! Zoom! It was a sight to behold. But there was work to be done and assignments were due. I retired to my computer room to embark on the journey to an “A”.

Then the children called me to the porch. I saved my work and joined them to witness the amazing force of Ike’s baby winds. We were all duly impressed as we’d never before been visited by a hurricane in BFE, OH. That’s when it happened. The ever-present hum of electricity stopped dead. The power was out.

FUCK!

That was Sunday night about 6:15pm. I cursed and hollered but was sure the power would soon be restored. I was wrong. Sunday night rolled in and we busted out the candles and oil lamps. Then Monday morning rolled around and we went to find bags of ice (and coffee). Then we headed out to lunch. I had until midnight to finish my project and was sure I had plenty of time. The power would be turned on soon.

We turned the radio on to hear how bad the damage was. Trees were literally uprooted and had landed on houses. One poor guy was driving under a tree when it decided to keel over- right on top of his brand new car. 300,000 AEP customers were shit out of luck. Estimated time to get the lights back on: 7 days.

Holy shitballs!

I high tailed it to the library and emailed my professor. I couldn’t even borrow a laptop because most people don’t have Visual Studio installed. And I couldn’t get to the school quite yet because, well, my kids needed me. Didn’t she understand? Could I please have an extension? “Sure”, she wrote back, “You have until Wednesday.” Fuck! I didn’t even know if the power would be back on by then.

That night we played games that I imagine the Amish play. I told long, drawn out stories that didn’t have any real end. The kids fell asleep and I sat on the porch willing the power company to get to my house RIGHT NOW. It didn’t work. We were screwed. Thank the heavens for the lamps.

The next day we all got up and went for breakfast. Every school in the county was closed. The country kids couldn’t get to school because of fallen trees and wires. Apparently this was the worst storm in AEP history (I have no idea how long that is). Still they were saying “7 days”. Dur. It was already almost 2. What the hell? I went to school for my morning class but didn’t actually go to class. Screw that guy. He gets on my damned nerves anyway. I found an open computer and attempted to do my project. I only had until noon. Sadly, I didn’t get very far and had to give up.

That night I went to Millie’s to do some laundry (she had power on Monday). Lil’lady and I were like fiends getting a fix while we watched television. It was a truly pathetic sight to behold. When we went home I was happily surprised to see the left side of my street alight. Whoo-hoo! The nightmare was over1. My excitement was quickly dampened when I looked at the door bell. There was no light. We had no power.

When I went inside I fumbled around for some light and was cursing the neighbors. A few houses up, on my side of the street, a street light mocked me with it’s brightness. I contemplated making a sling shot and shooting it out. It was so unfair! My next thought was to go invite myself to the neighbor’s house. I don’t know them, they don’t know me, but dammit we were in a crisis situation! I decided against the violence and intrusion and went up to bed. Some more stories and a sleeping pill made all right with us. I was convinced Wednesday morning would be like Christmas and I would wake to glorious electricity running through my house.

I was wrong. We went to breakfast again and then back home2. We found things to do together, things that no family should have to endure. “My Little Pony Memory” and “Trivia Pursuit”. And who really wants to sit in the back yard and draw pictures? We’re not barbarians, dammit! We actually had conversations and shared thoughts. It was like nothing I’d ever experienced. Where was my beloved Twitter?

As suddenly as it happened, it was over. At 1:56pm the lights came back on. The kids cheered and I wept with joy. We were saved! It was a beautiful thing. I spent a few minutes hugging the television and then decided it was time to attempt that damned project. I only wanted to catch up on the politics and my soaps! The cruelty!

I was going between reading blogs and doing actual work when it was time for math class. I was able to go in a good mood, so my mind was able to process the numbers and equations. I was once again able to lose myself in looking at my prof’s…numbers. My world was right again.

When I got home that night I went back to working on my project. Millie had taken Lil’lady, so I was able to stick my ear buds in and lose myself in my mp3 player. I was typing merrily along- with only the occasional banging of the head against the desk – when the lights started to flicker. Double fuck! Lil’ Miss ran in and asked me what was happening. Were aliens descending? No, it was happening again. We were being thrown back into the dark ages.

The lights went off. We were resigned to more days of bleak darkness and gathered up the lamps and candles. We got comfortable for another night of closeness as I silently cursed AEP and whichever Republican was responsible for Ike. Lil’ Miss shared that she was able to finish a whole book. I wondered aloud if I still had the ability to process more than 140 characters at a time. And then- just like that!- our lights came back.

And the sharing was over. Thank the gods we had our technology again and could go back to allowing our brains to slowly rot in our skulls.

P.S.

I turned in my project on time, but the bitch still docked me points. WTF?

I like geeky stuff, politics, squirrels and monkeys.

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