|The littlest branch on my 157 year old oak|
Now for the tale...
Around 9:00pm, I was getting ready to take Mom up to bed when BOOM, BANG, the sky positively lit up like I've never seen! At first, I thought it was lightning but then a second round came and it was louder than the first; I was wondering if a house had blown up - the noise was that dramatic. Wasn't sure what the hell was happening but Armageddon came to mind....Anyway, the electricity going out was enough of a clue for me. The house lost ALL power - everything was beeping. We have a lot of items on battery these days such as battery backups for computers, Mom's "I've fallen and I can't get up" phone line, Mom's oxygen, the chair chargers, etc.
I grabbed a flashlight and went outside cautiously. We've had a similar occurrence before, and there were live wires in the front yard jumping around resulting in a lot of fried worms the next day. Since I didn't want my hair permed, I shone the light off of the porch but couldn't see anything wrong. A cautious peer out the kitchen window saw the massive cherry tree still standing so I knew we weren't hit on that side. That happened just a month ago when the other 'was massive' cherry tree came down and struck the house (note to self: have to call re: the hole in the house....). On the other side of the house the magnificent oaks were still magnificent so that was good. But, hell, SOMETHING went on!
Since I had no internet and Bobbi was the only one who answered the phone, I had her call the power company and report it for me. So, this was 9:05pm. The power company finally appeared around 2:00 am after three pleading calls from me. Power was restored at 2:30 which was not a minute too early.
Since the oxygen tanks are electric, I had to use the portable gas unit and fill it every hour to hour and a half, wake Mom up and plug her back in. What a hassle! Mom, thankfully, stayed asleep most of the night except when I woke her. I put a flashlight in her room to act as a nightlight.
So, as I was lying in the dark, ruminating on the fact that I was not in the least prepared for this power outage for a night, I thought of a few disaster preparations to make:
1. Have more than two flashlights on hand! And, know where the damned batteries are!
2. Come up with a routine whereby all items are switched off. The TV came back on at 2:30 am and was BLARING. Scared me almost as much as the original blasts!
3. It wasn't necessary to throw out every single candle. Between Mom being a bit unsteady on her feet, a cat who likes flames and 6 dogs running around, I purged the house of wax candles. I'll get a few and keep them in the living room so I can find them quickly in the case of emergency.
4. Buy a battery nightlight to have on hand for Mom's room.
5. Don't store vodka so far back in the cabinet.
Anyway, today was fine and Gert is good. As almost always, she took the turmoil in stride. Another lesson learned. When times get tough, go to bed!