Rain, More Rain, and a Power Outage

After the travel day from Hell (not the ninth level of Hell or anything, but I’d give it second or third), Kiddo’s and my visit with the grandparents was blissfully uneventful–We played in the snow. Kiddo helped Grampie pile wood. We watched movies. All in all, not much to stress about–For about five days.

That Friday night came with rain. Lots and lots of rain. And wind to rival the rain. Wait, ‘rival’ might not be the right word. It was more like an alliance of forces. But hey, we thought, it’s only regular rain. Not freezing rain, not total-whiteout-blizzard snow. No biggie.

My brother can be a bit of a worrier (a family trait). Ever since the infamous ice storm of 1998 (infamous to eastern Canadians, anyway) left us without power for three days, he fills buckets with water whenever there is any sign of inclement weather. We laughed at his over preparation. (See where I’m going with this? You’re so clever.)

Sometime between 7:30 and 8 Saturday morning, the baby monitor beeped. I rolled over, saw the power light was still on, listened to Kiddo singing to himself for a few minutes, and continued to doze for a few more minutes. When I finally dragged my ass out of bed, I realized what the beep meant: The battery power had taken over. The power was out. In fact, the power was out for somewhere in the ballpark of 8000 people in the Kennebecasis Valley alone.

Whenever possible, power companies tend to dispatch work crews such that the largest number of people get their power back in the shortest possible time. Therefore, when you live near a city center, power outages may last anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of hours (short of near-apocalyptic conditions, at least). My parents do not live near a city center…unless you count when the ice road is open and they can drive straight across the river.

By 8:30, I was on the NB Power website looking for the estimated repair time for our area. It said between 10 am and 11 am. Not so bad.

Around 10:30, the estimate changed to between 3 pm and 4 pm.

By 3:45, they estimated 7 to 8 pm.

Keeping Kiddo entertained between sundown and bedtime was a challenge I have no interest in repeating. And changing a poopy diaper by flashlight? Once was enough, thank you.

The power came back on at 8:50 pm. I’ve never been so glad to see the Christmas tree lights blink on in all my life.

That’s 13 hours without power on January 13th. But it was a Saturday, not Friday, so I won’t let that make me superstitious. After all, thanks to my brother, we at least had water to flush the toilets. That was pretty lucky. (I will never doubt his intuition again.)

You might wonder if I felt some resentment towards NB Power after this experience. If anything, I tip my hat to the workers who spent hours in the pelting wind and rain (which did not let up until well into the afternoon and was probably the reason for the sliding repair times) to save us from going all night without power.

After the ice storm, my parents installed a wood stove. Twenty years after the ice storm (almost to the day), they’ve decided it’s time to buy a generator. As for me, I came home with a renewed appreciation for city living.

 

Funny Happenings

1) Glimpse into my future:

My son is eleven months old. I can’t wait to communicate with him with more than gestures and exaggerated facial expressions. He makes lots of sounds including ‘mamama’, but he’s as likely to say it to the cat as me. ‘Bababa’ could mean bottle, but he’s also said it to my sneaker, so I think not. As I eagerly await the day he says his first word, with both meaning and intent, the universe reminds me there are pros and cons to every stage in life.

I was out walking the little guy and happened to pass a house getting a new roof. One of the construction workers was standing at the end of the driveway with a phone to his ear.

“Is mommy there?…let me talk to mommy…ok, buddy, give the phone to mommy.”

As I got closer I could hear the other end of the conversation.

“Yayayaya…ya…dada, ya!”

“Can you give the phone to mommy?”

“Pho, ya!”

“I need to talk to mommy, give the phone to mommy.”

“Yaya!”

At this point he sees my approach. And my smile. “Good luck with that,” I said.

He pulled the phone away from his ear with a smile expressing something between amusement and exasperation. “He’s two, just discovering his words…and the phone.”

Phone back to his ear, “I’ll call back later, ok?”

“Da, ya!

“Say bye bye…ok, love you, bye bye.”

Perhaps I should just enjoy where we are. Greater complexity (and fun) will come in due time.

2) The case of the two fridges:

We are moving. The date of the move came sooner than expected. This meant cleaning out the fridge and throwing away a lot of food. A shame, but part of the process. As it turns out, the fridge of a moving family goes through a few stages.

There’s the ‘don’t throw that away we might still eat it’ stage. This is where mysterious leftovers, some rarely-used condiments, and anything with freezer burn are removed.

Then we have the ‘all contents on the counter while I clean the inside for the first time in…a long time’ stage. Self explanatory. A few more not-likely-to-be-eaten items get thrown out here.

Eventually reality sets in and we have what I call the bachelor stage. Just under a week ago, I opened our fridge and found the following items:

Ham,

Cheese,

Bread,

Pickles,

Mayo,

Milk, and,

Beer.

By that night (the night before the big pack) only milk and beer remained. I call this the beer bare-necessities stage.

Another part of the moving process, at least for us, is a week in hotels while we wait for the moving truck to show up with our stuff. Our new home is an hour and half from the old one, but our stuff will be in the moving company’s hands for six days—assuming all goes according to (the current) plan. The delay is because the truck actually got here before us, and that caused all of our belongings to enter an interdimensional space for a while. That’s a military move for you.

Anyhoo.

We checked into our hotel in city number one (our city of origin, if you will). Something smelled funky in the vicinity of the mini-fridge. I looked. The previous occupants had left something very garlicy in there (my guess, about a week ago).

I threw the food out and called housekeeping to come clean the fridge. They wiped it with a damp rag and left. I cleaned it with white-citrus shampoo. The smell of rotting-garlic something-or-other lingered.

3) Internet from the ether:

Hotel number two (in city of destination). Smells great. Clean fridge. The pool includes a hot tub. Life is good.

Second night (tonight): power outage. We’re on the fifth floor with a non-functioning elevator—at least we weren’t in the elevator.

The internet is still working. Hmmm, I wish my home internet worked like that.