What do you do when the power goes out?

We had ourselves quite the weekend this weekend. It all started with our company Christmas party. They served drinks, dinner, and dessert. I stuck to ice water, but the food was good.

They gave us soft, fuzzy blankets commemorating the company’s fiftieth anniversary. There were raffles all night long. I won a hundred-dollar gift card.

Afterward, we followed a coworker and his wife back to their house. We played Fun Employed for hours. If you haven’t played it before, you should check it out. We got home at nearly five in the morning. Our plan for Saturday was to sleep in and then take it easy all day.

Saturday arrived too soon with the symphony of wind whipping hard outside our bedroom walls. It was kicking and howling and screaming along the narrow corridor between our bedroom and the shed. I could hear the trash cans being whisked away. Once it woke us up there was no way we were getting back to sleep.

We reluctantly crawled out of bed around 1130 in the morning. Clark retrieved the trash cans. We listened as the wind continued its barrage outside while we sipped our coffee. We stayed in; safe and warm. Around four o’clock the power went out.

Less than an hour later, the sun started to set. It gets dark early and quick here in Michigan this time of year. We lit the candles we had. The scented ones started to blend together and cause headaches.

We found old phones and hoped they’d only been turned off and not left to die before being tossed in drawers and boxes. We turned on their flashlights and set water bottles over them. Later, we changed the water bottles over to small glass yogurt jars.

I filled a large stockpot with water. I dropped broken pieces of cinnamon stick, clove, and orange peel in the water. I simmered it all night on our gas stove for a bit of warmth. I don’t know if it helped, but it seemed the safest option to try.

Clark played guitar for a while. After that, we listened to music via cell phone and portable speaker. It kept us from sitting in the quiet. I wrote a little bit. 15 crocheted as she often does to fill the time.

Tenzi: 15 shouted “I got it”, so I froze. I was so close but so far away.

Clark and I spent hours playing Tenzi with 15. It was a lot of fun with a whole lot of laughter. We haven’t a clue who won because we weren’t keeping score.

I cooked dinner by mini battery-operated lantern. There were pan-seared pork chops, wild rice, broccoli, and cornbread stuffing. I did my best to avoid opening the fridge.

15 slept in the living room, buried under four or five blankets, and snuggled up with the cats. She stayed relatively warm. Clark and I slept snuggled up in bed as usual. It was only cold when one got up to go to the bathroom.

Clark’s granny always served instant coffee. I keep a jar on hand for when anyone’s feeling nostalgic. I was grateful for that jar when we woke up Sunday to still no power.

By the time we’d woken up, the temperature in the house had dropped further. I cannot tell you how cold it was because our thermostat is digital.

I wore sweat pants and a sweatshirt beneath a hooded fleece robe. I snuggled up beneath a fleece blanket. I shivered a bit as I sipped my instant coffee for warmth.

I attempted to log on to DTE’s outage center. It couldn’t recognize my phone number or my address and suggested that I call. I called the number provided.

It told me to enter my ten-digit phone number, which I did repeatedly. Repeatedly it swore to me that it could not find my account. I finally managed to request a live person to speak with.

I was breaking up so bad that they couldn’t hear or understand me. The woman on the other end even resorted to asking me to push buttons on my phone if I wanted an update on the power outage. She hung up when she couldn’t hear me pushing buttons.

You see, another fun fact about a power outage is that it can bring down the local cell towers, too. When there is no electricity running to the tower then service is intermittent and shoddy at best. I managed to get a text out to my sister. She got me an update that said we could expect service to be back up and running around ten pm.

Sunday around 2 pm the power finally came back on. We used this handy guide from foodsafety.gov to help us determine which foods we could keep and which foods we’d needed to get rid of. We threw out two full garbage bags worth of perishables.

Slowly, the temperature began to rise in the house, and we could shed some of our layers. I made a couple of lasagnas for dinner Sunday night. I learned that I was right to never use those oven-ready, no-boil lasagna noodles and will never use them again.

We opted to skip the shopping this weekend as one of the two local stores was affected by the power outage, and we assume the other was likely extraordinarily busy as a result. We opted to place an order online at Kroger.com to pick up Monday before work.

Monday; back to work like we didn’t just spend the weekend freezing our asses off.

How was your weekend?

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