We’re entering day four of our own, personal hell. The power has been out since 8:03 Sunday morning. That was exactly eight minutes after my sweet husband woke me up to invite me to sip coffee and eat French toast while we watch the hurricane rain blow sideways, and exactly three minutes after he warmed up the frying pan and started the coffee. Not the best start to this hurricane morning.
We boiled water on the camp stove so I could pour it through the drip coffee maker and finish brewing the pot, then tried to make the best of it by sulking, shooting the evil eye out the window at the weather, and eating cold banana bread. Stupid Irene.
We put on waders and rain coats and went for a walk to see how much damage there was. There were some trees down, one completely blocking the road in the neighborhood next to our house. It was a big pine that fell and too the power lines with it. All in all, the storm wasn’t that bad. The river came up in the back yard, close enough that we could see it, but not nearly as bad as we’ve seen, and it receded as quickly as it rose. We lost a big limb in the front yard but not the giant dead one that hangs, threateningly, over the chicken coop. The big problem, of course, is that big pine on the lines in the neighborhood next to us.
Connecticut Light and Power’s website tells me that 61% of Andover is without power and there is currently no estimate for when we’ll get ours back. The peaceful sound of our rural backyard has been replaced by that of twenty-five of our neighbors’ generators humming all day and night. We can’t open the windows because all we smell is exhaust fumes. We do have a generator, but it only runs when Luke is home, and since we work opposite shifts, I get about an hour of electricity between 4 and 5pm. I get home from work, rush to take a shower, fill my water bottles, and gather my flashlights, then Luke leaves for work and the electricity leaves with him. It was fine for a couple of days, I knew it was temporary, but now it’s really starting to wear on me.
Luke needs to shower when he comes home from work, he’s so covered in diesel soot and grease after his shift, there’s no way he can go to bed without a scrubbing. This means that every morning around 3 or 4am, the generator comes on so he can shower and re-cool the refrigerator. This also means that I don’t sleep, which might be lending to this at-my-breaking-point, want-to-cry feeling. I miss sleep, I miss power. I miss convenience.
Friday is our anniversary. The traditional gift for the eleventh year is steel. How about those lovely people from Connecticut Light and Power come to Andover and reattach the giant, steel, electrical cables that are dangling on the ground around the corner from our home, and bring back our electricity? That would be the best gift ever.