Money in Flames: Power Outage Edition

Up until Hurricane Irene, I never had a discussion with anyone in my life about the importance of the following:

–Sump pumps with battery back ups

–Sump pumps, in any capacity

–French drains


I guess I was living the Polyanna life all these years.  But there I was this morning, at my two year-old’s play group, talking with four other moms about all of this.  And let me tell you, we were all terribly well-versed on these topics.  More so than any of us wanted to be.

Not just because of Irene and the related problems she caused in August — but also because of last weekend’s insane October snow storm.

It all sounded so quaint and fun at first.  A little snow before Halloween — how sweet.  I passed around the projected accumulation chart at happy hour on Friday night — because nothing screams “let’s party” like a weather graphic.  And we all had a good laugh, in a mocking sort of way.

But when it arrived, this little storm was distinctly not sweet.  Or  little.  Or fun.  At all.

The trees, still heavy with leaves at this time of year, snapped everywhere from the weight of the snow and ice.  Roads were blocked.  Lines down.  And yes, power out.

For the second time in 60 days, we faced a multi-day power outage.  This was also known as my Amish Training.  Or my Laura Ingalls Wilder reenactment.  Either way, not areas of strength for me.  Because I am not a fan of weaving at the loom by candlelight.  Or, more desperately, having to read Us Weekly a riveting book with a flashlight.  How am I supposed to hold my wine if I have to also hang onto my trashy tabloid magazine book and a lighting source?  How did the Ingalls family do it?

I guess they had those giant lanterns.  But since I didn’t, you can see the dilemma I faced.  Without enough hands, obviously the reading went by the wayside so I could safely hold my wine in the dark.  In the name of survival.

And, if you were ever wondering which is worse — a power outage in the heat of the summer or in the cold of fake-winter-in-October — guess what?  It’s your lucky day, because I am now qualified to tell you.

In the cold is way worse, especially if your heat is in any way reliant on electricity.  Oh, and super especially if you have a little something like a gaping hole in the side of your house  from an endless basement renovation, which allows all of the freezing air right in.  {Have I mentioned the basement renovation before?  I have, haven’t I?}

Good times, my friends, good times.

What’s that?  Why didn’t we get a generator after Irene?

Well, we were simply waiting for the electrical upgrade in the basement to be finished.  We didn’t realize that 1) this work might not happen until 2017 and 2) it would snow like crazy in October.

So there was only one thing on fire in the cold dark night:  Our money.  As in, the $200 of groceries I had just purchased that were spoiling in the refrigerator.  Because, surely I didn’t think our cute October snowstorm would mean ultimately sacrificing fresh meat and dairy products.  Trust me, I would never knowingly endanger cheese.  Or chilled white wine.  Or — for the love of all that is holy — an unopened pint of Edy’s Slow Churned Mint Chip.

But, there I was — just about 60 days after the last time I did this — emptying out the refrigerator into my trash can after the power was restored.

Money.  On fire.

And snow in October.  I think it’s going to be a long winter, folks.

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  1. I can talk sump pumps and generators like a pro. We actually got a portable generator after Irene. Problem was, the power went out at 5 on Saturday and huz didn’t get the generator working ’till Sunday afternoon.
    It was so cold Sat and Sun nights! How in the world did you handle it? You slept elsewhere I hope?

  2. You should have just taken the food out of the refrigerator and put it next to the gaping hole in the wall.

    Lucky for us, the South Shore of L.I. didn’t get much of anything. But I’m having a very bad feeling it’s going to be a brutal winter.

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