Tag Archives: power outage

Adventures in Inadvertent Homesteading

So, as you may be aware, I am on vacation. 9 days in the mountains! In my parents’ nice, quiet cabin! Just me, the pine trees, and Dumbcat!

What’s that loud noise from next door?

That’s the best-laid plans of mice and men going astray, ladies and gentlemen.

I am presently sitting at the picnic table, trying to beat sunset to write this. Because when it gets dark, well, that’s it. You can’t blog well by flashlight. I tried last night.

But, I’m jumping ahead.

Yesterday I came home from work, threw everything in the car, and immediately almost passed out from heatstroke. It was 95, but the handy-dandy weather app on my phone said it felt like 105. (I’d put the degrees sign in there, but I don’t know how with the WordPress app. Sorry. We’re bare-bones until my brother brings me his mobile hotspot thingy tomorrow around these parts.)

It was probably not best to travel under those conditions, but what can I say. I’m stubborn as hell, and I wanted an extra night of vacation.

I put an icepack in a towel for Dumbcat, prayed to the gods of weather that it would cool down, and took off. (I also packed a ton of cold water and ice for myself and some cold wet washcloths in a baggie in case I needed to swab myself off, guerilla-style, while driving. I’m awesomely planning-ahead like that.)

We got about an hour and a half from home (with Dumbcat melodically alternating between yowling and panting the whole way, which scared the shit out of me, even though when I’d pet him he was purring, weirdo) when I realized he was soggy. “Why are you soggy, buddy?” I asked. He yowled. I thought, maybe the icepack is leaking?

The smell in the car made it immediately apparent it was not a leaking icepack, but a Dumbcat TAKING a leak. In the carrier. All over his fur.

So I pulled over at a rest stop, praised all the random deities I may or may not believe in for the planning-aheadness of the wet washcloths, and swabbed off my cranky-as-hell pee-soaked cat. And his carrier. He then looked like a drowned rat, and while I cleaned the carrier he ran around the car saying “Meow meow MEOW” very cheerfully because he thought he’d escaped. (I’d let him ride without the carrier, but he’d fall out a window. He’s not called Dumbcat for shits and giggles.)

Back in the carrier. Hit the road and BAM! Thunder! Lightning! The way you love me is frightening! Oh, wait, that’s a song. No! HAIL! All the hail! And rain! In the ten minutes to clean Dumbcat’s mess, AN APOCALYPSE HAPPENED!

I drove in the terrible rain with my windows only cracked a little so as to not get soaked and grumbled about my lack of AC.

I FINALLY arrived at camp, Dumbcat yowling the whole way, and the lights weren’t on. “UGH!” thought I. “Why did Mom and Dad not turn the lights on?”

I called them. “Where’s the breaker box? You guys didn’t turn the lights on for me.”

Dad was silent. “Um. Amy? The power’s been out in the whole area for about three hours. The lights are out. REALLY out. We had a huge storm.”

This means no water, no showers, no toilet-flushing, no lights, no television, no phone-charging, no laptop-charging, no Kindle-charging…


So I unpacked the car with a flashlight, was VERY pleased to see I had cell service so I could tell my people I wasn’t dead, tended to a very smelly Dumbcat as best I could, and went to bed early. What the hell else am I going to do? It’s not like I could do anything else. TOTAL DARKNESS.

When I woke up today, the power was still out. (The loud noise mentioned earlier? The neighbors’ obnoxious generator. SO LOUD. Yet I want one, because I WANT A SHOWER.) So I tried to call home. House phone was out. “How lucky my cell works!” I said. Nope. No coverage.

No power, water, phone, or cell.

I did what anyone in this situation who hadn’t showered in 36 hours, was covered in sweat and cat pee and sunscreen, couldn’t have breakfast because the milk had gone bad and hadn’t eaten in 15 hours would do.

I started to cry and threw on clothes and headed to my parents’ house.

Yes, I’m almost 40 years old, thank you very much.

On the way, I stopped at McDonalds. SHUT UP I AM ON VACATION. That Egg McMuffin was like manna from on high. I HAD NOT EATEN IN FIFTEEN HOURS.

I also emailed people because I couldn’t when I woke up and called Mom and Dad and said, “I AM COMING HOME I AM DISGUSTING AND SMELL TERRIBLE I HATE VACATION RIGHT NOW.”

They very wisely agreed this was a good plan.

I got home. I showered. It was GLORIOUS. I felt like a new woman. Until I spilled iced coffee all over my clean clothes, but we can pretend that didn’t happen.

THEN I got to spend a few hours with The Nephew! That was unexpected. We played Lego and raced cars and he showed me all his toys and he was SO HAPPY TO SEE ME! And listen, if you haven’t heard the person you love most in the whole world say, “You’re funny, Aunt Amy” and giggle? (Well, substitute your name in for “Aunt Amy,” unless you, too, are an Aunt Amy.) Then you have not LIVED, my friend. He makes my whole heart hurt with the happiness of him.

(Tomorrow I get to hang with him for all the daylight hours. ALL OF THEM! We will be watching Finding Nemo and reading books and playing games and blowing bubbles and playing with Play-Doh and I am MOST excited. I cannot wait!)

I got to meet my brother’s cat, Abby, who is the teeniest calico you have ever seen and who I wanted to hide in my teeshirt and bring home with me, and cuddle with his dog who I love very much and she went “haroo! HAROO!” when she saw me because she is a beagle and that’s how she rolls, and my brother made me lunch! WITH A FRYING PAN AND MEAT AND VEGETABLES! “I’m a grownup who cooks now!” he said gleefully. (I’m apparently still a kid, because when he wasn’t looking, I put my carrots on his plate so he would eat them. Blech, carrots.)

Then I braved it and came back to the mountains. Where there is still no power.


There are 178 people without power in this town, and 180 people live here and are serviced by National Grid.


Better still, where do they live, and can I come take a shower at their house?

(I told Dad I thought it was the mayor and his mistress; Dad said “That town doesn’t have a mayor. It’s too small. Stop making up things.”)

Also, on the drive through town, I saw many funny things, like:

A sign that said “wood ahead” and I yelled, “EUPHEMISM!” (Really, they were just selling wood. FIREWOOD. Not “wood.”)

A lot of houses that had just collapsed from neglect; I kept saying, “Well, THAT fell down.”

A deli named “Shat’s.” Is that not the worst named thing you’ve ever heard of? When I told Dad that, he was all, “That’s a good name. You city folk are so weird.” YOU DO NOT NAME YOUR DELI SOMETHING THAT SOUNDS LIKE POO.

Now I am going to publish this, and read on my Kindle for a bit because it’s too dark for anything else, and go to bed early because what else can I do, and also, The Nephew will be here early! (Also, supposedly, the power will be back on around 10pm-midnight. WISH ME LUCK!!!)

Oh, vacation. You certainly are turning out to be more work than was intended.


%d bloggers like this: