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Sunday, March 20, 2011

"Please be prepared to be without power for an extended period of time." You can only hear that message so many times before you start believing it. By the first time I heard it this afternoon, I already considered myself to have been without power for an extended period of time. It had, in fact, been more than twelve hours, which is quite long enough.

As you know, in my case being without electricity means not just no lights and no TV and no Internet, but also no heat, no running water, no working toilet, no cooking, and no escape because I can't open my garage door. I tried to cope by doing the two things I could do: sleep and read. I can always use a little extra sleep, and with nothing to distract me I took several naps. And I had my Kindle charged, although I also went back to paper books at times, to save batteries.

Even though I thought I knew what the answer would be, I couldn't help calling the utility company's outage line every couple of hours. And the message didn't change until tonight at 9:30, when I was told that more information would be available at 11:33 pm. So I stayed up (I do have a booklight) to make that one last call. And the lights came on, at exactly 11:32 pm. How did they know?

The lights went out at 1:00 am Sunday morning. To me, of course, it was still fairly early on a Saturday night, but the mahoosive storm that was roaring through the trees all around my house had me nervous for even the few hours before the blackout started. I could hear rain and hail beating on the roof and against the sides of the house all afternoon and evening. I was as prepared as I could be for the outage, but not prepared for it to last twenty-two and a half hours. By the end of the ordeal, I was preparing (with no enthusiasm and very little success) for it to last much longer.

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