Days Without Power

Days Without Power

Early in the morning on Monday, Oct, 30th I woke up, showered, and was just getting ready for work like any other day. The next thing you know the lights started to flicker and the power went out, but it came back on seconds after. My wife finished getting ready for the morning, kissed me goodbye, and she headed to school for the day.

I didn’t think I had anything to worry about, but the flickering of the lights wouldn’t stop. I could hear the rain pouring and wind beating against the windows, but how bad could it be? Little did I know no more than a little after 7:30 the power would go out and it would go out for good. The UPS (backup battery) kicked back on, and that kept my computer running but for only so long. That day I lost a chunk of my work day, but I found out so many others lost much more. Later I found out this outage was one of the most significant power outages Maine had experienced. There is a 90-year-old man who has lived in Maine his whole life who said he had never seen anything like this storm before.

The Accidental Fire

One of the great things we had during the week was a generator. It really wasn’t ours but our landlord's.  She would run it a couple of hours every night to keep the things in the refrigerator and freezer from spoiling. She accidentally kept it on one night for almost four hours, but hey, my wife and I didn’t complain. She had fallen asleep on the couch watching a movie.

On the first night without power we experienced more excitement than we had bargained for. My wife and I were not sure what we were going to eat. We have a gas grill, but we also have a camping grill that has a burner on it for pans. We thought this could be perfect for the food we could cook in a pot, just as if we never lost power. Well, you see, for some reason we had things all over the kitchen table, and the only place we had room for the camping stove was on top of the oven in the kitchen. I had it placed there for the time being, and we ended up deciding we would just cook leftovers on the gas grill. So we wrapped up our food in foil, and I placed them on the grill. While cooking on the grill, our landlord turned on the generator. We were excited, we had power, we had lights, we could see!

A few minutes later our smoke detector was screeching, and my wife runs into the kitchen then screams FIRE! I rush into the kitchen and notice one of the burners on the stove was on fire, so I grabbed the camp stove off the stove and placed it on the floor. Then, I blew out the fire on the stove. But the leg on the camp stove had a little fire of its own. My wife grabbed a towel and took care of that beast. We still had to find a way to turn off the smoke detector. We opened up the windows, grabbed a chair, and sat it under the sensor. I pulled off the smoke detector pushed the button on it that silenced the alarm, but it came back on 15 seconds later. I ended up shoving that thing in a room where there was no smoke. We still had out our fans from the summer, so I placed them in the windows blowing out.

Our landlord ended up coming up a couple of minutes later and surprisingly; she did not hear the smoke detector. The generator must have been too loud for her to hear anything outside her house. She was kind about the whole situation and emphasized how she could replace things but can’t replace us. Both Kristin and I were glad the fire did not get worse and that everyone was okay. From the next day onward, I ended up working from Kristin’s school as they had power and internet. On the way to school, that is when we really saw the damage that had been done by the storm. Trees had fallen and were everywhere. I saw lines hanging down and trees resting on them.  It was different riding with my wife to school as this was something we had never done before. On top of that, I got to see school life. I wasn’t able to get a room that was private to work, so I ended up working in "The Furman", a large hang out room for the students. There were TV’s, couches, ping pong tables, pool tables, fooseball, and vending machines. I worked there for the rest of the week. Eventually, we got power back on Friday some time during the day. In celebration of this event we had frozen pizza that night and watched a movie (I don't remember which one).

I never noticed how much our lives revolve around power and internet. There were times in the afternoon where I wondered what do we do now? How were we to survive without our power? I questioned my job as it is 100% online. Even though we had a generator, it was not on at all times.  Only for a couple hours a day would it run. At night we would light candles. 

 You wouldn’t have guessed this, but this blog was written days after our power had been on. As I was writing this blog about days without power, the power goes out, I kid you not. It did end up coming back 20 minutes later though, and I was able to finish writing. Let’s hope the power doesn’t go out anytime soon!