Normally, I’m not one to worry about storms. One of my great joys in life is going to the grocery store in the middle of a blizzard. But I will admit, the prospect of going another week without electricity is enough to drive me to drink…
You see, when Hurricane Irene hit, I was crashing in the spare room at my aunt’s house. What was supposed to be a few weeks between the time my lease was up and when I closed on my house had turned into much, much more than that. At first, people were the problem. A shady contractor put the time line behind schedule. But then, just as we were getting ready for the final touches, Irene hit and knocked out the power. We couldn’t have the proper inspections done, and the floors couldn’t be finished. So things got delayed…again… When I was finally able to move in it was late September.
I had a whole month in my new home before Storm Alfred hit, and knocked out the power to my domain once again. This time, I was without power for a week. (I should also mention that I work from home, so it’s not like I can go to the office during the day. No, I spent most of my time searching for a free outlet at Barnes and Noble.) Being without power sucks a lot worse in the fall/winter. It gets dark early, and if you rely on electricity in any way for your heat, you’re screwed.
But being a homeowner sucks in general when a storm comes along. For me, these giant pine trees behind my house are a constant source of concern. They’re big and they’re close to my house and if I win the lotto, the first thing I’ll do is chop them down. Any time the wind blows, I am convinced I’ll wake up with one of them on my roof. Sandy is not helping with that anxiety.
I spent much of today preparing for the storm. I hauled plants into the basement, and random outdoor crap into the shed. I flipped my patio table over so it won’t catch the wind and weighted down the chairs with a cinder block (there’s no room at the inn for those guys). Then my mom came over so there would be someone to call 911 if I fell off the ladder while cleaning my gutters. The back gutters are easy to do, but the front ones are a biotch! My ladder wasn’t long enough so I just dangled out my bedroom windows while wielding a toilet brush (to give me a little extra reach) and just kind of “did my best.” Luckily the front gutters don’t get as clogged as the back ones (goddamn pine trees).
I have not gone out to stock up on food, because that would be stupid if I’m going to lose power. I did, however, try to buy some batteries for the one flashlight I own. If my power goes out, my house is pretty much uninhabitable. I have an electric over, and though my heat is gas, the damn thing is useless without the help of electricity to light the boiler. My mom and my grandmother both have hot water and gas stoves, so when the power goes out here I abandon ship and only return to feed the cats.
For now I’m just enjoying having my own electricity and hoping all the tree crews that have been in my neighborhood over the past few months mean we might skate through this one… or that whatever shitty karma led to us all being powerless for a week has been sorted out and this time around I can stay put.