Good news for me. I have electricity! Phew!
Yesterday, I was laying in my office at about 2:30 trying to think of something to do. I didn’t want to go shopping or anything (that’s saying a lot…just didn’t want more stuff to lug around). So I thought I would go for a drive, check on my house, get the mail. I have just been there 4 hours earlier but what the heck. I was going stir crazy in my office with the big inflatable air mattress propped against the wall. When I had driven home earlier in the day, I had noticed some of the traffic lights on a major road going toward my house were on, but not the one at the major intersection about a mile from my house. If you have been here before, you know that having lights on *near* your house could mean something or nothing. As I drove toward my house, I started to look for signs of light. There’s a porch light. They have Christmas lights on. I started to get really excited as I pulled onto my blog. The neighbors across the street had their tree lights on. Of course, you don’t know if you have power until you check your own house. I opened the door and it was a balmy 58 degrees inside. I could totally sleep in 58 degrees. Big huge sigh of relief. I brought Jonas in, grabbed the laundry out of my car and started a load. Then I went back to the office to get my camping, I mean living, supplies.
The people that sit down the hall from me probably didn’t know that I was living in my office for 3 days and 2 nights. I hope it never happens again. The worst of it was that I had to keep Jonas with me pretty much at all times as he barks when I leave him alone (I suspect he may stop at some point but hard to tell). The first day in the office, my friend Ann came to sit with Jonas while I went up to the third floor to shower (seems they may have delivered some extra towels to our little locker room up there just in case). The second day, I just made sure I woke up before people arrived for work to get up to 3 to shower…Jonas may have barked but hopefully nobody was around to hear.
Aside from my mental state, it was pretty comfy living in 100. I had the shower upstairs, I had a mini fridge in my office (as well as a bigger one in the kitchen), the iCups coffee maker, the microwave, the soda, the phone, etc. Aside from the weirdness of it, and the fact that I had my dog with me, I could see someone doing that for a while if they needed to. I don’t expect to again. I am buying a generator this summer.
As far as lessons I learned about coping in emergencies; I’d say I didn’t learn much I didn’t already know. Having the crank flashlights and radio, as well as plenty of fire wood for the first few days, were really key. If I get my fireplace wired for gas, I think I’ll be in great shape. Then I would hang blankets to block the heat into the living room and hunker down. Yeah, that’s what I’ll do next time.
In the meantime, I have a ton of laundry and grocery shopping to do and I want to see if I can help out anyone. It’s weird how important laundry became to me during this. Also the showering. I suspect that when something like this happens, you try to cling to some simple routines/comforts. For me, it’s cleanliness. What a shock. I cleaned out the refrigerator fully last night. It’s so pretty and white inside. I swept out the fireplace. I should be back to normal tomorrow.
Unfortunately, I don’t think I can say the same for some other people in my neighborhood. As I write this, I can hear a generator running and I didn’t see lights on in the row of houses behind mine; the houses that the ones on my street share a backyard fence with. On the radio, they were telling people to stop burning a fire when they get heat…the air quality here is really bad. Well, the house behind mine is still burning a fire.
Just got word from my friend and co-worker, Greg, that they got power back last night at Snoqualmie Ridge. That’s good. According to the news, there are still about 180,000 customers without power.
Anyway, I wanted to let you know that I am back home and my attitude adjustment has already begun : ) In a few days, I’ll be back to my old normal self again. Thank you to everyone that said nice things while this was going on. For some reason, sympathy helped. I know this was not the worst thing that could ever happen to people but it was still an emergency and I really appreciate all the kindness.