Thursday, November 8, 2012
You Knew It Would End Well
Our street this morning.
The snow started falling yesterday around noon, small, wet flakes blown sideways by the Nor'easter's powerful winds.
Perfect, I thought to myself. Not only do I need to leave work early to avoid the parking lot of the turnpike, but it will be an even colder night, thanks to the storm's high winds and blowing snow. All made that much more painful, due to that small detail of no power at our house.
The walk from the bus to my house took twice as long as usual. The snow had accumulated quickly, making the sidewalks slick and treacherous. I could barely see-it was almost white out conditions and the snow was blowing straight into my face. At one point my glasses were so coated with snow I had to take them off and clean them.
Normally, I would feel festive: The first snow of the season! I got to leave work early! I'd come home to a cozy house in time to make a nice, comforting dinner, maybe some kind of stew (if I were the kind of person who made stew). But no. I knew I was coming home to a cold, dark house. The scramble to get everything picked up in time for darkness would begin, the rush to consider dinner and its few simple ingredients. In no time the house would go from gray, to purple to black. The twins would get lost behind a stairwell or an end table "Where's Harry? Where's Lucy?" A diaper would need to be changed, by flashlight, and then the bundling of four layers would ensue.
Just then a utility-truck of some kind passed me. I'd started to spot them as though some kind of mirage--could it be? A repairman? An angel? To rescue us from our darkness? Was it even real? It barreled along, its turn signal on. Where would he turn? My plan was to catch up with him, to flag him down and see where he was headed and if he had any prognosis for my street. "Sunshine State Electric" read the sign on the truck's door. As quickly as I reached him, he turned down the culdacac across the street from my house.
That's when I saw two of my neighbors, laughing and smiling. My heart raced. Could it be?
One of them spotted me.
"He said it will be about an hour and a half," she said. "He's never seen snow!" Clearly, she felt celebratory too.
I instantly loved these Florida electrical crew snow virgins. I was giddy-filled with more hope than I'd had in ten days.
Thirty minutes later, as I held Lucy in my arms and watched the men work on the street outside my picture window, the lights in my living room and kitchen flashed on, then off, then back on again. The whole house whirred back to life. Digital numbers on appliances blinked yellow, green and blue. The furnace kicked on. Leo and Ellie, in the backyard playing in the snow, rushed to the back door, clamoring to come in, pink cheeked and with enormous grins.
"Mommy! The lights are ON!" Ellie squealed. "Do we get to have our "The Electricity is Back on Party?" (I'd promised this event, which would entail pink and chocolate frosted cupcakes and the wearing of Halloween costumes, the ones the kids never even got to wear, because of the storm).
Leo jumped up and down and flapped his arms so high he could have ascended to the second floor of the house.
Life, as we'd known, was back.