#Alfred — A “Winter’s” Tale

It didn't stay this pretty.

I dropped off the live blog radar pretty early on. Partly because I was drunk in New Jersey and partly because I got busy dealing with my power-outage woes.

When I got back to the Prissy Bitch’s house on Sunday all seemed fine. The lights were on and the snow was mostly gone from her yard. I hopped in my car and headed home. The highway was fine but when I got off of Route 3 in Glastonbury, it was a different story. I turned right off the exit going past Somerset Square, figuring if the lights were out it would be smarter to go up Naubuc Avenue which has stop signs. That was when I started driving on the other side of the road to dodge downed power lines and fallen tree limbs. It was pretty much the same all the way to my house, where limbs are still dangling from power lines and those lines are hanging low across the road like clotheslines.

I, of course, did not have power. I started texting and found that my friend in West Hartford was without power but did have a fireplace, which was more than I can say for myself. So I headed over to Nana’s  to check in on her and my cousin, who were sitting around the table with a couple of lanterns. I grabbed a quick shower, rummaged through a dark closet in search of sweatpants for Nana, and then headed toward West Hartford.

I got off exit 43 which was dark and pretty much a disaster. Trees were down all over the place, and by then it was completely dark. I found myself swerving wildly every time I happened upon a branch or a stray power line. And since I am unfamiliar with the area, I was constantly slamming on my breaks when I snuck up on a darkened stoplight.

Camping out by the fire was actually kind of cool, and warm…if that makes any sense. Battling the hordes at Barnes and Noble the next day in hopes of doing some work  was a different story. I work from home so when I don’t have power or internet, I’m kind of screwed. But I’m not the only genius who went to Barnes and Noble in search of free WiFi and a power outlet so the connection was so excruciatingly slow I eventually gave up. I started relying on my iPhone and spotty, but semi-functioning cell service.

After attempting to spend some time in my 45 degree house — which resulted in me laying in bed under my comforter for 3 hours — I headed back to West Hartford to camp out again. Somewhere along the way, my cousin convinced someone to rig my grandmother’s furnace to stay on — effectively bypassing the problems with the electric pilot light — and keeping the house warm. Meanwhile, I was back to sleeping on a floor. But somewhere around 5 a.m. every light in the place came on. Unfortunately, there was still no cable or internet. So I was back to searching for an internet connection the next day. This time I found a seat and a decent connection at the Starbucks on Hebron Avenue in Glastonbury. I bought a bagel and some orange juice (the closest thing I’d had to a real meal in days) and camped out for many hours.

After sorting through my email, answering the ones that needed it, and downloading some stuff to edit offline, I headed back to my house to see if there was power. Nope.

Nana, however, had  gotten power back so I headed over there. Meanwhile, my friend back in West Hartford was now playing host to his own powerless family.

Wednesday rolled around and I got up, headed to my house to feed the cats and check on the power situation. Nothing still. So back to Nana’s I went to continue working. Later that afternoon I put my mind to clearing debris, hauling enormous branches with my mother. I’ve never wished I had a mule so bad in all my life.

That night my cousin said a friend of hers posted on Facebook about getting his power back, and he lives close to me. But it was late and I knew my house would be cold so I waited until the morning to head over and check it out. I was hopeful when I saw the stoplights near my house on for the first time in days, but when I took a left into my neighborhood and saw the limbs still dangling from wires I knew i’d hear the familiar hum of my neighbor’s generator when I pulled into my driveway.

I sho’ nuff did.

So here I am, still at Nana’s, typing about how I don’t have any power, waiting to make my afternoon trip to the house. Damn you, Alfred!

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