Oh my gosh, we have power again. We figured out that it was 138 hours; 6 hours short of 6 days. Gulp. Hopefully it holds... I do have pictures to post at some point too.
I have had such mixed emotions about this whole situation. On one hand I am so grateful for so many things and situations in the way that this has all played out. The people that I work with and our other friends in the area have been so kind and so supportive. We have received offers for everything from a home to stay in, to meals, to laundry, to showers, to a sympathetic ear. I’ve mostly taken advantage of the ears—that’s what I needed the most (besides electricity in my home). We have been so blessed to remain healthy throughout this ordeal and not be faced with any all-out emergencies (knock-on-wood). All things considered, the contents of our refrigerator are a small price to pay to be able to come out of this whole thing. I have talked to a number of students who have witnessed much more damage to homes and cars as tree limbs and power lines have come down. We were so lucky to have been able to shelter at my parents’ house since, although their power was also out for 100 hours, they had a generator that was able to run their water, heat, and a handful of electrical appliances. Additionally, we were quite fortunate to find (and be able to buy) a generator on Monday. That has kept our house warmer than it otherwise would have been. And, although we had extension cords running all over our place, it helped us feel a little more "normal." So, I know that we have fared very well. My heart is so warmed at the out-pouring of concern and offers of assistance from everyone. You all have my most sincere thanks and gratitude.
On the other hand, I have a pit of fury burning in my belly as well. I am outraged at the electrical company (yeah, there’s only one) for their irresponsibility in this whole manner. One guy at the grocery store was blaming President Bush...not quite sure how that works, but I know that so many of us have been looking for a scapegoat. Mine is the utility company. Our rates have done nothing but go up, and they have continued to cut back and eliminate things on their end which have resulted in years of neglected maintenance that could have at least lessened the effects of this storm. I know that part of the NH charm is the extensive vegetation by the side of the roads, but if they had been trimming the trees away from the lines during the summer months, there wouldn’t have been nearly as much flora laying on the lines and snapping them in many cases. It would have made restoration so much easier and faster. I also understand that this anger that I feel is mostly wasted energy since it's not productive to do anything with it. So, I fester.
Additionally, I’m not sure that this could’ve come at a worse time. We have been so short on money this year for a variety of reasons (mainly our automobile and child care expenses), that Christmas was going to be a challenge, at best, regardless of this whole mess. Since this has played out, we have spent hundreds of dollars trying to keep our house and our lives from coming apart at the seams. And, I’m not done with my Christmas shopping. Again, I know that we have been so lucky, but luck isn’t bringing Christmas to my house. If we lived in Whoville, it might be another story. I just want…I don’t know…I want to be able to give my family and friends an appropriate gift so that they each know how much I love them and how much they mean to me. Somehow, I just don’t feel like I’m making it this year. I know that I’m the only one that can bring this kind of stress and guilt upon myself, but, I’m there. Is this what happens at this stage of life? I get pulled so hard in so many directions that nothing gets done the way that I want it done. Grr.
Oh well. My commiserating over the situation isn’t going to fix it either. So, I’m going to go try to pick up what pieces I can find and throw out everything that’s in my refrigerator and freezer since the trash guy comes tomorrow (I hope). At least I can now see the hundreds of dollars of food that I'm throwing away now. Is anyone looking for a gift for me? I’m easy to please—I’ll be happy with mayonnaise.
This too will pass and we will endure, but keep your fingers crossed for us--we've got a couple of more storms on our horizons. In the meantime, I'm hoping that my alarm actually goes off in the morning--it's all about the little things :)