Monday, October 31, 2011

Post-Snowtober: Occupy My Living Room

The snowstorm which washed over the East Coast on Saturday started off looking mighty picturesque. Like a Christmas card.

It put The Picket Fence Post family in the mood for some mischief as we were invigorated by the crisp wintry air. We “ghosted” two friends’ houses (meaning you anonymously leave a bag of candy at a friend's door with a note explaining “ghosting,” ring the doorbell then run like a fugitive back to your car) on our way to drop The Girl off at a Halloween party. (The Girl was dressed as Women’s Professional Soccer great Abby Wambach.) The Spouse, the boys and I enjoyed take-out and played games. The Eldest Boy and I watched some episodes of The Mentalist together while The Spouse and The Youngest Boy watched a movie. The Spouse picked up The Girl later in the evening and she came home happy but tired. All was well.

Until morning.

That’s when we realized that power had gone out sometime in the middle of the night. Everything – except for an outdoor paintball birthday party that The Youngest Boy was going to – was cancelled. After spending a portion of Sunday afternoon shopping and dining out at places that had heat and electricity, we headed home.

Cue the ugly pioneering phase of our story:

Unlike when we lost power for days in the heat of August courtesy of Hurricane Irene, it was unseasonably cold. Of course it was. There was snow all over the yard (about 5-6 inches), weighing down fully leaved trees sending several of crashing to the ground. We made it through dinner (grilling outside and using our propane-powered stove top) but then, despite our propane gas fireplace (which doesn’t throw much heat unless you’re right up next to it), the temperatures began dropping inside the house.

That’s when The Spouse brought a small tent into our family room – the one with the fireplace – and we created a makeshift encampment which reminded me of the Occupy Wall Street tent cities I’ve seen on the news. The boys were in the tent in front of the fireplace in their sleeping bags. The Girl was on a sofa in her sleeping bag under a pile of blankets. The Spouse and I were mushed together on another sofa (and not in a romantic way) under blankets. Our dog Max was thoroughly confused as he went from person to person, occasionally napped on his doggie bed that we’d brought downstairs, hopped onto the couch with The Girl, then scratched at the door to be let outside in the wee hours of the morning.

By daybreak, the temperature in the downstairs was 56. The temperature in the upstairs bedrooms was 48. School had been cancelled. Trick-or-treating had been postponed too. Then we got word that the electric company was estimating that power would be fully restored in our town by 11:45 . . . p.m. . . . THURSDAY!!

If that estimate is to be believed, that likely means that if there’s no power in town, the Picket Fence Post kids will likely be out of school all week. I’ve got my fingers crossed that The Spouse will be able to borrow a generator from work so that we can get the heat and hot water heater cranking (*praying the water pipes don’t burst*). If things don’t improve, it’s likely that my brother will soon be hosting a family of five, plus a fluffy dog.

Oh and it’s The Spouse and my wedding anniversary. (Yes, we got married on Halloween . . .it’s a long story, but suffice is to say it was a scheduling thing, not because we’re huge fans of Halloween or anything.) I suppose this is a great metaphor for our marriage: Things are never dull and, just when we life is running semi-smoothly, unexpected things occur and test us to make sure our senses of humor are still intact. After 19 years, they’d better be.

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