• J Mess

POWER

I was busy preparing for a pandemic then a hurricane happened.


I'm struggling. It's okay to admit that. While it might seem like everything is dandy, I'm literally just getting by day to day. And it's Day 151. Yes, I counted. Some might say there's light at the end of the tunnel. School is starting back up in September. And while that's amazing, it's also worrisome. Trust me, since March I've been dreaming of the day I could drop my kids off at daycare and peel away singing FREEEEDOM! But the idea of doing that in only a couple of weeks still gives me pause. Instead I'll drive away slowly after masked people rip my hysterically crying kids out of my car and wonder, "should I have done that?" Then probably head home to online purchase hordes of toilet paper, pasta, and meat to prepare for what I lovingly call the inevitable Q2. Winter is coming.


Because for Q1 I stocked up. Hard core. My freezers were packed. Pizzas. Raviolis. Bagels. Hamburgers. Chicken fingers and other specific frozen things Nathan likes. I honestly even forgot what was in there until I was cruelly reminded during a tragic reenactment of Sophie's choice as I debated what could be saved and what I would have to sacrifice to the 2020 gods. Because if this year wasn't already epic enough, why not layer on a hurricane AND a power outage. Goodbye rations, goodbye.


I learned a really important lesson. Never go food shopping the morning of a hurricane.

Besides my freezers full of quarantine food, we also thought it was a good idea to go to the supermarket that morning. Josh even called me from the store to inform me that the power had just gone out there, which in hindsight probably should have been a red flag. But alas he came home with hundreds of dollars worth of fresh groceries and then our power went out. At 5pm. After the storm was over and the sun had already come out. After I thought I was in the clear. And I deserved this because earlier in the day as everyone else in town was losing their power, I was being so cavalier to not even charge my phone. I'm good! And then I wasn't.


After the initial shock, I forced Josh to go obtain ice and I frantically packed all of our brand new food into 300 coolers. Then I had to explain to Nathan why he had "nothing to watch," as we gathered up all of the lanterns and flashlights and proceeded to the car to charge our electronics and use the hotspot to fulfill Nathan's desire to watch his iPad. He was starting to twitch. I texted PSEG. Then I texted them again. Then again. The system wasn't working to get a restoration time. So I just kept starting at the beginning repeatedly texting OUT over and over. "B" I have no lights. STAT to find out a restoration time. To no avail. Defeated, the next day I took all of our food over to a friend's house who had gotten her power back, went home and waited. Finally when we were about to decide about a hotel, I heard the refrigerator beep and felt the air conditioner on my face like a breeze from God. We were among the lucky ones who only lost power for 24 hours. I was so overjoyed that I even had the audacity to delete my PSEG text thread and complain to Josh that it was cold in our house and put on a sweatshirt.


Well the power Gods didn't like that. Because 2 days later I woke up and realized we had no power again. Panicked I tried to recall the PSEG text number and began bombing them again with my angry messages. OUT. OUT. B! B! B! STAT. STAT. Then the power came back on. Then OUT again. Then on. Then OUT. Then on. And just when I thought PSEG might literally take out a restraining order against me for text harassment, my friend called to tell me that she spoke with a PSEG representative about her power situation. She hadn't had power for going on 5 days and they understand she's upset, but she's part of a known outage. How do they know? Well they can see that she's reported her outage over the text system 33 times. I'm telling you, 151 days stuck in this house with 2 babies during a global pandemic, 1.5 of them without any power, and I cannot recall the last time I laughed that hard. I easily texted them that many times, if not double that...



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