Five Dog Night*
Around 1pm yesterday, during the Mid-Atlantic snow ass-whoopin’, we lost power. Sometime Friday night, we lost it for about 45 minutes while we slept, and we all sighed in relief when we heard the heat kick back on. But yesterday’s 1pm outage sounded like it meant business… and it did. Until about 10am this morning, we were kickin’ it Little House on the Prairie-style.
Our mood started out pretty upbeat, as I put a battery in the clock radio and we listened to some 80’s music on one of the only stations that would tune in. I lost several rounds of backgammon, and we talked about a dinner game plan, in the event that the power stayed off all evening long. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, anyone? Then I bundled up to investigate the status of our, previously-reserved-for-summer-months charcoal grill, that has been sitting in our outdoor storage bin since October. Imagine my look of thrill when I saw that we had saved some charcoal. Hot damn! I dragged the grill, grill chimney, and charcoal up to the back deck, where I cleared off a grill-sized-spot with the snow shovel. My wife made a grilled cheese assembly line, and poured some tomato soup into a pot. She also (shhh, don’t tell Super Bowl Sunday) threw several pizza rolls into some tin foil. I fired up the chimney and we were cooking with gas! Err.. charcoal. I wedged some root beers into the snow bank (beside the two plastic bags full of other fridge-shunned perishables), and soon we were sitting by candlelight at the dinner table, having a hot dinner.
We lasted until about 7:30pm when, after only one round of backgammon (cancelled due to low light) and one game of Phase 10, we went to bed. Yes, bed. At 7:30pm. We prepared for cold bedtime battle, armed with long sleeve shirts, thermal underpants, and more blankets you could count. We encouraged the dog to sleep on the bed, in an effort to suck his furry warmth. He cooperated, and wedged himself somewhere in between me and my wife. We tossed, we turned, and every time I woke up, only five minutes had passed. My whole body ached. At one point, I woke up and even the cats had pressed themselves up against us for warmth. There’s a picture for you – two ladies, one 80 lb dog, and two sizable cats all on a Queen sized bed. Every dream I had involved someone coming on to turn on the heat, followed by me waking up to a cold cold house. Listen, when your house is starting out at 60 degrees, it doesn’t take long to head straight down to completely unbearably cold.
We gave up around 8am, which is actually sleeping in, for us, on any given morning. I ate a banana, and my wife, due to work at 12pm, headed out to shovel and investigate her shoveling (times three) from yesterday. I started stacking wood to build a fire in the fireplace, and debated drinking a cold cup of instant coffee. Mmm. I nursed her back to health, after she came in from a healthy slip-fall-bang on the solid sheet of ice behind the car. I gave the dog the last four kibbles left in his bin (poor planning on our part). Around 10am, I put in a call to my internet-having-BFF for some help locating a pet-friendly hotel for tonight. My phone rang when she called me back, and simultaneously, everything in our house came back to life. Coincidence?
Soon after, I made a hot cup of coffee and poured my wife some cocoa. We fed Vegas a strawberry Pop Tart right out of the toaster. The heat took a good long while getting our 41 degree house back to the balmy 60 degrees it is now. We took a few hot showers, and put on clothes that didn’t involve hoods. Oh Vegas – the Winter of 09-10 was a doozy. And when you’re older and complaining about how we never get any snow, I will remind you of the night you almost froze to death, despite a heavy layer of blankets and animals.