Cold & Powerless

Posted Sun, 12/04/11

Last Thursday, a ferocious windstorm ripped it's way through my part of the world. It began around three o'clock in the morning, bringing gusts of up to 90 miles-per-hour. We were left without power for two days, which meant living sans heat in 30-degree weather.

According to local reports, the gales were the result of "high pressure in Wyoming and low pressure in southern California, which in turn produced down-slope winds." It also caused more than $20 million in damage.

My first inkling of it came in the middle of the night, when noise from the storm woke me. One of my bedroom windows sits eye-level with the long driveway. Each time the gusts came through, it sounded as if a great roar was going up the driveway, rattling all windows as it went by. I stayed in bed, too nervous to open the blinds, but heard debris flying about.

At one point, I moved away from the window for fear the window might come crashing in. Later, I learned the "debris" included shingles flying off the house and garage, a round picnic table on the deck ramming into the rail and bending its parasol stem, and several industrial-sized garbage cans rolling down the street. It was horrifying to say the least. At first, the racket occurred in pitch-black. After the sun rose, winds continued on for several more hours, almost until noon.

I'm not one to typically gripe about the cold. I prefer cool weather to the heat any day, but being without power for two days was even too much for me. Rainee was good, staying upstairs near the blazing fireplace with Mum. However, I was not about to leave Kiki alone in the dark and cold downstairs.

If you've read my blog in the past, then you know my darling Rainee and Kiki get into awful battles if they share the same air space (unless Kiki is in heat, which is another matter). Therefore, I stayed downstairs with Kiki for the two-day duration. We managed to keep warm by huddling under a pile of blankets together, sharing body heat.

Forays outside the protective covers were undertaken only after a great deal of contemplation. Inside the house was akin to a giant meat locker, every breath taken clearly visible. It was igloo-living at it's finest, along with mittens and knit hats.

I've been a collector of scented candles in glass jars for years. They came in handy during the very dark nights, also providing a strange mixture of aromas: apple, blueberry, cinnamon, cookie crunch, pumpkin and vanilla. With them, I was able to read and write by candlelight. Lo and behold, I finally finished Terror at Dark Harbor by Clarissa Ross, and made a great dent in New York by Edward Rutherfurd.

The thing I missed most during the power outage was my morning coffee. On the second day, I tried taking hot water from the tap to make a cup of tea but it was lukewarm and ghastly. When the power finally returned on Friday night, my first action was to brew a pot of coffee.

We're supposedly in for another windstorm tonight, predicted to be not as aggressive at 70 miles-per-hour. If the power goes out again, I'll be ready this time.

Before I go to bed tonight, I'm brewing a pot of java and pouring it into a thermos. The hell with food - just give me a healthy supply of hot coffee, a few scented candles, quadrille pad and pen, and a good book.

Tags: Kiki; Rainee