Tuesday, January 23, 2007

I've Got the Power!

Okay, so today I got the power. Maybe it wasn't as powerful a power as Jim Carrey received in Bruce Almighty but it was enough to give me a jump and shout. Not to mention the bit of a startle I received when the timer on the gas range we have been using for heat went off and one of the burner's electric igniters started its familiar click, click, click, click, click.

After 10 1/2 days of being far more blessed than many in my city and community, the utility company restored my power at about 2:45 pm. I say more blessed because we stayed warm enough with the gas range, were able to cook and because we have a gas hot water heater it wasn't as inconvenient as it is and was for many who have all electric appliances.

The worst night, almost unbearably frightening was Friday night. Because I had had a particularly busy week and company overnight on Thursday night I simply didn't take the threat of the ice storm seriously enough. I went to Mother's house shortly after my guests left Friday afternoon, took care of her needs and left just before dark to get home before the storm hit. It didn't really occur to me that it would become such a serious situation or I would have insisted she come home with me that night.

We lost power at about 8:30, Mother lost hers at about 10:30 and with the loss of her power we lost contact because she didn't have a land line. A tree fell across our street making it impassable and my husband simply refused to clear it and go after my Mom in the middle of the storm with trees branches breaking and falling all around us. All I could do was pray that Mother would know we'd be there the next morning. After retrieving her flashlights and some candles she stayed huddled under the covers, very frightened and trying to stay warm until we got there on Saturday morning.

Since then we fared just fine but we were all thankful for the diversions of television and internet service after so many days.

I managed to remain patient and optimistic throughout, trying to make the best of a trying situation but all of us got a little more edgy when the crew told us last night that they'd try to have the power on before they went off shift at 9:00. 9:00 came and went without power. This morning we woke to no signs of the crew.

The most beautiful thing I saw was the day the sun came out and the ice was melting. There was a low, brushy, bending canopy of icy branches in our next door neighbor's back yard, the top was lit by the sun, underneath bits of ice and water melted and fell like rain in the shadow of the canopy.

My hope and strength were kept alive listening to Vincent David Jericho's morning and night time shows. Giving us a window into the world of our community we felt so cut off from and letting us know about all the good samaritan's who were helping those in dire need.

After I got Mother home I didn't want to leave her alone in the house with no portable phone by her side, no stable heat source, etc. Tomorrow will be the first day I will be leaving the house since a week ago last Saturday morning. I plan to go replace a few staples we lost due to lack of refrigeration. I'm really looking forward to the outing. I know it would do her good too but the ice on the ground just isn't safe for her at the moment. Warmer days ahead! Soon she'll get to go out with me, if nothing but a car ride I know it will lift her spirits.

The count I heard tonight was 9,500 still without power in this city. I would have gladly sacrificed my own power for someone who has no heat source but it doesn't work that way. I pray that everyone will get their power restored soon. C.U. claims to have gone from 13,500 to 9,500 without power in the last 24 hours. If they get that many more connected tomorrow they'll nearly cut that 9,500 in half.

Back in the early 90's when I was living in Arkansas I went without power for two weeks. I was younger then, it seemed easier. Maybe I've just forgotten.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Iced Queen

For those of you who are regular readers, Jacke is currently in a Winter Wonderland from Hell. She and family are currently without power in the midst of a sea of ice, as well as a large swath of the Show Me State and surrounding states, from what I understand. She was able to phone me earlier to let me know that she was able to pick up her dear Mother this morning and bring her home with her. They're keeping warm and cooking with the aid of a gas stove. She says they're all fine but have no idea when power will be restored. It could take weeks.

Please keep them and all who are affected by this mammoth ice storm in your prayers. Thanks.