Friday, December 04, 2009

Town Circuitry

Brother! What a day it was yesterday -Thursday, December 3rd. Definitely a day to remember, that much is for sure.

While watching the 11 p.m. news on Wednesday night, I took note of the weather forecast for the overnight and heard the forecaster mention that some stormy weather was on its way to our vicinity and that it most likely would hit -most probably areas north of Interstate 80 the hardest -and that it probably would happen somewhere around 3 a.m. too.

And wow, was he ever right!

Along about 3:15 to 3:30 a.m., as I sat happily working on the same tablecloth project (trying really hard to work as fast as my not-so-nimble little fingers will let me) all of a sudden, I was in the dark!

Granted, I often function in the dark but that is a different kind of dark -as in my mind, ya know but last night I was literally sitting in total, pitch black darkness as the electricity had gone south on me and everyone else in this little village. Turns out it was that way for virtually every little town around these parts too though so I was in good company I guess you could say.

I sat there for a few minutes debating if I should get up and shuffle my way around the living room and the rest of the downstairs in that darkness to see if I could maybe track town a couple of candles. Problem with that idea though was I couldn't remember where Mandy might have stashed any of the big fat candles we usually have around here. That, plus the living room floor was quite littered with bunches of the kids toys and I really wasn't looking forward to trying to find my way and then step on some sharp toy, injuring perhaps a foot initially and who knows how many other body parts too in the off chance that something like that could also trip me and I'd fall and break a bone then for sure.

The cover of darkness though sure didn't stop the kittens from racing and chasing around the house. Up and down the steps they ran at what sounded like it had to be break-neck speeds and made one thing there was a whole herd of some kind of animal romping about for sure.

At one point as I sat there I heard a really loud noise -a crash-boom -come from upstairs. I also heard a tiny voice saying something too that sounded like "Boy, sure is dark" and at first I thought it was Kurtis talking to himself -which he does at times if he wakes up in the middle of the night. I braced myself figuring if it was him and if I was hearing things correctly then it probably would be just a matter of minutes before he would get frightened by it all and start wailing.

I waited -but no wailing. Quiet for a little bit and then, I heard -distinctly this time -someone pounding on a door upstairs and an impatient voice calling out, "Daddy? DAD! Something's wrong and it's all dark!"

Now I know at times Kate -the 17-year-old -can be a tad of an airhead but I figured heck, surely she realizes there is a storm outside cause you could hear the rain pelting down by then.

By that time, I decided I'd best try to find some candles if at all possible so I set up by shuffling my feet across the floor, figuring by doing that I wouldn't then step down hard on any sharp objects like oh, some matchbox cars maybe or worse, some of Maya's little Bratz dolls and those infernal detachable feet those things have!

Then I also noticed that apparently my eyes were adjusting to the blackness a bit and there was a little bit of moonlight kind of streaming into the living room so I could get my bearings a bit from that as to the furniture placement and not worry about stubbing a toe on the leg of the sofa or some other piece of furniture.

I made it to the kitchen, found one barely usable candle there and some matches and got it lit. This gave me just enough light then to find my way back to the living room and there, lo and behold, I found three candles on the shelf above my computer, got them lit and presto, magic, "Let there be light" ya know!

Here's where I really got brave though.

Because of the problems with my knee and ankle joints who often have minds of their own and don't like to function quite properly -especially not on stairs -I rarely venture up to the second floor of the house and only go down to the basement if I absolutely have to -as there is no rail along the cellar steps, they are rather narrow too, and the last thing I really want at any time is to take a header down any steps and end up with a broken leg, arm or hip, ya know!

But last night, I decided circumstances necessitated that I make my way upstairs.

What could impel me to do that?

I had taken a candle and gone out to my room to check on Maya, thinking if she was awake out there, alone, in the dark, she would probably be a bit frightened.

Imagine my surprise when I looked into my room, at the bed, covers pulled down to indicate she had been there but wasn't there now! The bed was completely empty of any small person there!

So, quite cautiously, candle in my left hand, right hand firmly gripping the banister rail, up the steps I went, slowly, very slowly as I sure as hell didn't want to have my knee act up and throw my balance off and fall down the steps with a lit, glass holder candle in it either, ya know.

When I got to the top of the steps -to the landing there -I discovered what had caused that loud "crash-boom" sound I'd heard earlier.

Because one of the cats we have here -Chino, to be precise -tends to camp out upstairs a lot of the time, Mandy had set up a second litter box at the end of the hall and it appeared to me that the cats (kittens, really) romping about up there had managed to slam into that litter box and upend it!

Wonderful! Now there's something you really don't want to encounter at any time -a litter box full of crapola -but there it was, right in front of me and all over the floor.

I managed to skirt around it without losing my balance and went on the check in the room Mandy's been painting and trying to get it ready for Maya and Kurtis to take up sleeping occupancy there sometime in the near future, thinking maybe Maya was up there and sound asleep but aside from all kinds of clothes belonging to the kids being in nice stacks around the room, there was no Maya.

So I checked in on Kate -in her room -and she was sound asleep in her bed with no little sister there with her.

Last resort, I lightly knocked on Mandy and Bill's door and called out to Mandy, asking if Maya was by any chance in there with them. And, yes she was!

Seems that little girl had made her way through the downstairs without bumping into the Christmas tree, tripping over any toys, knocking into Kurt's pac'n'play bed and managed to get upstairs -all in total black -pitch black -darkness!

Needless to say, I was amazed at her prowess in doing that!

So I told Mandy then that if she or Bill had to come downstairs at any time before the sun came up (figuring the power was going to be off at least 2-3 hours) that they should call downstairs to me and have me come to the foot of the steps with a lit candle so they could see to make their way down safely. Also, so they could see where the litter was spilled out all over the floor and not step in that mess too, ya know.

Then Mandy giggled and told me that Maya had just told her something. "Tell Gram I'm sorry for the mess but I knocked over the litter box!"

Okay -that mystery was then solved. And as I started back down the hall to the steps, Mandy called out that Maya said for me to please be careful that I didn't step in the cat's poo then too!

It was only a matter of perhaps about 5, maybe 10 minutes at most, that I heard people moving upstairs and slow, deliberate footsteps coming down the stairs. It was Mandy and Maya coming down because they both had to go to the bathroom (which is located on the first floor of the house) and they could see to find their way because I still had the candles lit and placed on the mantle above the fireplace.

After they came out of the bathroom, we learned the reason Maya had awakened was because, of all things, she had wet the bed -in my room, my bed! Lovely! Not.

And about that time, Kurtis did wake up -fussing, scared and only wanting his mother to tend to him, so we got Maya settled in to lay down on the loveseat, Mandy and Kurtis together on the sofa and I pushed the back of the recliner -my normal seat -so as to be able to stretch out and maybe catch a little bit of much needed shut-eye then!

When I woke up around 8 a.m., I happened to see the next-door neighbor's daughter hauling their garbage can up to the road for pick-up and since her Mom is a teacher at our school, I hollered out the bathroom window at her to see if they knew if the school was going to be on delay or would they be closed for the day. (Our phones here, by the way, both being of the cordless variety, don't work when the power is out so I was hoping somehow the neighbor had managed to learn something about the school's operational status for the day.

Yep. She informed me we were going to be on a two-hour delay.

Too late by that time to get Kate up to get ready for school since there would be no hot water for a shower and no power for her to use her special tools she needs to do her hair either, we settled in to wait for the power to be restored. Around 9 a.m., finally, the power came on and Mandy began to get Maya ready for school as her bus would be coming around 10 a.m. to pick her up.

She doesn't understand time yet -nor school delays either -so she began to obsess a bit about why hadn't she already got dressed and ready for school as she could tell by the amount of light outside that it was obviously around the time, or even later, for her to be on her bus and on her way to school already. But, finally 10 a.m. rolled around, the bus showed up and Mandy got her off to school then.

But that hour between 9 and 10 a.m. -after the power came back on -also saw it go out again, then come back on for a few minutes only to go out again -several times. Finally around 10 a.m., the power came back on and stayed on for at least 90 minutes before dying again but only briefly that time.

Mandy had made arrangements previously to go with her boss over to Bellefonte and State College so as to take Deb, her boss, to some auction house over there and also, to the various second-hand clothing places Mandy likes to haunt too so by 10:30, she had left to pick Deb up and they were on their way.

After getting Kurtis ready and out the door, on to his van and to school for the day, Kate had begun to pick up and straighten up the island in the kitchen as well as the round counter top that goes around the wall between the kitchen and the dining room. Since she was busy with that and truthfully, the entire downstairs was in dire need of a good cleaning up, I kicked in gear and got toys picked up, papers tossed, the floors swept and then scrubbed too. Then I cleared off the top of what had been my old computer desk and pushed some living room furniture around to make room for the desk between the arm of the sofa and one of the two big radiators in the living room. Not the best arrangement possible for the furniture placement and certainly not an appearance that would win us a decorating award, but it was functional and got the old desk out of the archway between the living and dining rooms where it had been parked for several weeks since Bill had picked up a "new-to-me" desk at a household auction a few weeks ago.

Finally, by 2 p.m. I was ready to sit down, check my e-mail, read some blogs and such but when I did, I got a shock and a half in that the olde computer here (which isn't really old, having only had it for not quite two years) wouldn't work! Monitor wouldn't display a thing!!!

So I called a friend of ours who is pretty good about getting computers to come back to life and he came over to check things out. In the interim, I had called my internet provider to tell them all the lights on my cable box weren't coming on only to be told the one light that wasn't functioning was an indication that the computer and that cable box were not communicating.

The technician suggested I unplug and re-plug every thing on the back of the computer -a job I hate to do because inevitably, I forget which plug goes into which hole there ya know.

Well, I checked the plugs into the surge protector and everything there seemed to be working okay and had just started to check the plugs in the back of the computer when Bobby -our personal computer techie -showed up.

When he came in and as I was explaining my dilemma, I was finishing up with checking connectivity, etc., and turned the computer back on and surprise, surprise -the monitor came back to life.

Kind of like when you have a car that is making a strange noise and you take it to the mechanic and of course, the car refuses to make that strange noise for him then was how this made me feel with the computer! Apparently the appearance of the computer techie friend scared the computer into behaving properly! My theory there, anyway!

By that time it was close to 4 p.m. and another friend of ours called to say he was stopping by for coffee -which meant more delays in my getting some of the things I had wanted to do done! After he left, it was time to start supper and before you knew it, it was 8 p.m., time for the kids to get ready for bed!

Yeah, they fell asleep -one on the couch, one on the loveseat and I crash-landed too as I fell asleep for about an hour in, yes of course, my recliner!

Woke up in time to catch the last half of "The Office" -one of my favorite programs and after that, I started to try to wheedle down the number of blogs I had listed on my reader that had new and unread postings.

Between doing that, checking back and forth to my e-mail and facebook, I finally got everything under control then with the computer and that stuff around 2 a.m. -even managed to write a post and get that up too!

Now, here it is going on 3 a.m. and I see I have some new e-mail to check and after that, the morning newspaper from State College will have today's edition online so I'll have to read that and all this just means I lost the entire, freaking day to this stuff and didn't get to do any work on the darned tablecloth in the process!

But one good thing about how things played out for me is this. You see, the power lines in this little village are set up such that there are at least two different circuits that handle our needs and lucky me, the section of town where I live just happens to be on the circuitry that got fixed, up and functional first. Things could have, you see, been much worse as if I were living in the section of town called "Dobry Town" I'd have been without power till around 5 p.m. as that's what time those folks finally got electricity again!

I'd have been dead for sure if I'd have had to wait that many more hours before getting my first cup of coffee for the day, don't 'cha know!

I know - a long, boring story but that's the truth and that's how this one day in my life actually transpired!

I can hardly wait now till the freezing rains of winter come along and the power lines get knocked out yet again!



Mary said...


Well, that was quite a day, for sure. Power outages are no fun at all. I'm glad you were able to safely make it up and down the stairs. My knee gives out on me, so I know how dangerous it can be to go up and down stairs if the knee gives out.

Be careful and I hope you're sleeping like a baby right now.


TechnoBabe said...

Every day is an adventure in your house. I am always ready to read the happenings there. I especially like the cat litter box part, but I know that is not your favorite event of the night.

Sandee said...

Never a dull moment at your house is there? I think not. Just keep your sense of humor. You need it.

Have a terrific day and weekend. Okay try. :)

Marguerite said...

What a night you had! A comedy of errors, for sure. We hardly ever loose power, except during hurricanes. Have a great weekend!

Skittles said...

Now that I've been to your place I can picture you stumbling around. At least on the main floor. =)

Suldog said...

Well, you had it all, eh? Dark from a power outage; poo on the floor; pee in the bed... Hit the jackpot, you did! :-)

Glad it's all OK now, of course, but darn.

Dianne said...

we lose power too often around here so I relate to this

I really recommend keeping a battery operated lantern in each room
whenever there's a storm warning I make sure I have one near me

as for the PC, each time we lose power I have to take all the plugs put and put them back in which calls for crawling around which I am not very good at anymore