Thursday, December 08, 2005

Times of Yore. Otherwise known as The Great Black-Out of '05.


You know what I love about yesterdays? They are so utterly in the PAST. Gone. Recent. Times of Yore. Well, sort of.

First I should share some basic background information in regards to my great State of Texas. If you live here than you understand that when the cold wintry months overtake us, well... people tend to go a tad nutso. Just the thought of ice or sleet or snow makes them bolt for the nearest super behemoth discount store for truckloads of water and corn meal and Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream. The sand trucks are waiting and ready, the schools are paused for closure and the banks are SURE to be on hiatus... so why all the excitement you ask? Because it only happens about once every 16 months or so and the great people of Texas will be DAMNED if they don't get all excited and frantic atleast once every 16 months. That was yesterday.

The oh-so-professional news teams were out in force. "WINTER BLAST". "Severe Winter Warning!". "Freezing Rain and Sleet are heading YOUR WAY!". These were the stories on channels ABC, CBS, and my beloved NBC. For once, they were right about the weather and I despise them for that. The excitement, the drama, the hullabaloo makes me positively INSANE. I want to yell at the people in their Ford Diesel's that the world is in fact NOT coming to an end. We will get about 43 minutes of sleet and the roads will get a little slick and by Saturday Texas will be back to it's normal, sunny 62 degrees. But, they won't.. they DON'T listen. Yes, I did mumble it under my breath as I ransacked my pantry for extra bags of sugar. Just in case.

I digress.

C has planned a trip to the deer lease for weeks now. Commencing yesterday. A four hour drive to NW Texas and a resulting 5 day stay. Leaving you know who (ME) home alone - with three VERY excitable kids. Between his excitement about the cold weather and the kids excitement about the cold weather I can't help but just ... well, I'm ashamed to say it. OK.. I dread it. I dread it. I dread it. I dread the biting wind and the sound of sleet on my windows. I dread knowing that my electricity will almost definitely go out when it's 22 degrees and atleast an hour until bed time. But, I'm the Mom. The mood-setter. I can't be too obvious with my distaste for all things snowy and cold.

Yesterday.. as the weather rolled in and the kids came home early from school I got afraid, very afraid. I knew that we could have snowbanks the size of Times Square and C would still be leaving for the Deer Lease. So, I did laundry and cleaned house and in my pre-winter state forgot all about the ramifications of being home alone with three (very excitable) kids with no electricity.

At 5:30 or so C left and we watched the news like junkies looking for a crack fix. It was freezing, and windy and sleeting and icy and my kids .. the little fiends.. wanted to GO OUTSIDE TO PLAY. I promised them that the hazardous conditions would still be there in the morning and assured them that their chances of breaking a limb were only being put off for a few hours. After settling them into warm pajamas and hot cups of hyper-activity inducing chocolate we waited. I'm not sure what for - but it was coming.

Then it happened.

The power went off at around 7:45. Approximately one hour before bedtime. You knew it was coming.

I immediately thought about the one good flashlight that I had packed in C's bag and wondered why in the flippin' hell I hadn't been one of those crazy people ransacking the super behemoth discount store for batteries and duraflame logs.

Instead I donned my outerware and braved the icy wind in search of firewood. (Note to self - Thank C for his wondrous insight in regards to keeping the firewood in a water-proof box.) It only took me about 20 minutes to figure out how the damn box opened ....

I was finally successful in my fire attempts, just in time to get the kids settled on the living room couches. Snug as a bug in a rug under about 4 blankets each. What does a girl do in the dark when everyone is asleep and the house is entirely too quiet? Talk on the phone of course. It was the only thing keeping me from running thru the streets yelling for TXU to hurry, hurry, hurry.

I'm really not scared of the dark. But the cold, icy dark... well, it's daunting.

By 10 0'clock TXU had done their job and we were once again safe, sound, warm and most importantly capable of accessing the internet. I do have priorities.

And then the breaker blew - disrupting my precious internet connection and causing my head to fly off of my shoulders and whip around the room in angst. After locating the breaker box in the dark and resetting the silly switches, I settled myself back into my desk chair, in front of my cozy feet heater and resumed my Firefox extension addiction.

Only for the breaker to blow AGAIN. This time my head didn't fly off. I just sighed and walked calmly into the wall. Repeatedly. Walking into the wall repeatedly must have done something miraculous for my brain function because it suddenly occured to me that my comfy feet heater is probably causing the problem. Unplug the heater. Reset the switches. Slam skull into hard surface. Start over.

The only thing I regret is repeatedly passing up this ESSENTIAL Firefox extension.



Blogger wallofdenial said...

wow posting 2 days in row, I am not sure what to say

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Blogger ducklet said...

oh, hey you. i definitely remember winters in texas. totally agree on the nutso part.

loved your comment, btw ;)

1:43 PM  
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