Wow, that was quite a storm! I tend to be one of those people that take upcoming-weather freak-outs with a grain of salt. It doesn’t usually get nearly as bad as people are anticipating. Bread and milk and gas? Those are for wimps.
But I have to admit that Nemo was just as bad as every said it was going to be… maybe a little bit worse. Even hurricane Sandy didn’t hit us (specifically me and Brent) this badly! And, unfortunately, we were a little bit unprepared for the storm, because of our “it’s not going to be that bad” mentality.
Thursday night, I went out to dinner with my parents and the weather was completely fine. My Dad and I had a conversation about what we would do in regards to work if the storm got super intense, but I was not taking it seriously at all. I knew that I’d be at work the next day — c’mon, it’s just a little snow, people. I even double-checked with my Dad if he thought I should fill up my tank or not. Quarter of a tank? I should be more than fine.
In all honesty, I was hoping that the snow would start early on Friday. I was really tired from work and wasn’t looking forward to having to go in to the office on one of my work-from-home days (I had to fill in for a coworker who is on vacation). A big side-effect of my disability is fatigue — the pain is so taxing on my body that I get physically exhausted very easily. But, even though I hoped I wouldn’t have to go in, I was resigned to the fact that it would most likely be happening, and set my alarm begrudgingly.
The next morning I woke up with a text from Brent to be careful on the slippery roads, but when I looked outside, it was barely even snowing at all. I called my Dad to ask what he thought we should do, and he suggested that I should stay at home and do some work that I had with me.
I was relieved that I got to stay home, but felt bad that I got off so easily. But boy was I glad that I had stayed home when, at 5pm, Governor Chafee declared a State of Emergency and closed all of the highways. If I had been at work, I would’ve been stranded at my parents house for the weekend!
It was around that time that the snow started to get pretty bad. We’d accumulated about a foot and it wasn’t looking like it was going to stop any time soon. It was also around this time that we started having problems with our power — nothing serious, but it kept annoyingly shutting off and then immediately turning back on. This happened at least fifteen times, but I was trying not to get too aggravated. I was worried that I’d jinx it and the power would go off for good. Well, I guess my plan didn’t work.
At around 11pm Friday night we lost power and, that time, it didn’t come back on. We brought out our heavy-duty flashlight and lit some candles (if we’d been prepared, we would’ve stocked up on unscented candles, but unfortunately we had to live with the intermingled smells of “winter,” “vanilla cookie,” and “sunflower,” which, surprisingly, wasn’t as bad as you might think).
Again, if we’d been prepared, we probably would’ve charged up our electronics — specifically our iPhones, Kindle, and hand-held video game systems. But, alas, no such luck. My phone did actually have a charge, so I dutifully conserved the battery power while Brent whittled his power down to 0% playing games . Boys! Luckily, I did still have about a halfway charge on my Kindle, so I was able to read without have to hover over the candle with a paperback.
Then I woke up yesterday morning shivering. Not only did the loss of power mean that I couldn’t cuddle up with my beloved electric blanket… it meant that we had no heat and no hot water. Gross. The power hadn’t turned back on during the night and, at this point, I had to resign myself to the fact that we were going to lose the majority of the food in our freezer and fridge. As a cook, this is one of those horrible nightmare-situations you hope you never have to go through. But I’m so glad that it was the end of the week and we hadn’t gone grocery shopping yet!
While I worked on trashing most of the food in the fridge, Brent put some of our most important perishables in the trunk of his SUV and started digging out our cars. The snow was three feet high! It’s definitely the most snow that I can ever remember having in my lifetime, although I might be forgetting a few blizzards from my childhood. After hours of work, we finally got the cars brushed off and dug out, and our landlord plowed the parking lot for us.
Even though there was still a driving ban, we decided that we had to leave our apartment. We have two guinea pigs, and small animals like that are very susceptible to getting sick and can’t survive cold weather. So we packed up some overnight bags and all of the guinea pig accessories, and headed to my parents’ house for the weekend.
I’m so glad that I can use electronics again. Losing power made me realize just how dependent I am on my computer and the television. I barely knew what to do with myself without them! I wish that that wasn’t the case… but, sadly, it is, and I’m not going to lie about it. I can only imagine how I would’ve felt if I wasn’t a book person!
We’re still waiting to hear news on the power front. As of this afternoon, twelve thousand people in our city had lost power! Even the power company itself was out. I’m predicting that it will be at least a day or two more before we’ll be able to go back to our apartment. This storm was a major inconvenience, but I’m just glad that we’re all safe, warm, and (most importantly ) have power!!