September 21, 2017

The Princess and the 3 Peas: Icepocalypse 2012

[jessica]I will never, never, never, ever, ever, ever, complain about my power bill again! It is worth every penny and I may even start to send a tip in with the bill!

You may be wondering how I came to this decision…it came after four days of no power with four children 7-years-old and younger.

I honestly don’t know how I survived it, and I wish I could say I am a stronger person because of it, but instead I am pretty sure those four days sucked like four years off my life!

A couple of weeks ago the weather forecasters were predicting this big major snowstorm for our area. It was supposed to be something unlike we have had in years. We were gonna break records, be snowed in, pretty much they were preparing us for Y2K again!

Snow is what we were waiting for just to remind you, no one said anything about ice. Funny thing though on the day it was supposed to warm up and rain, we had an ice storm that caused our area to be declared a state of emergency! Let me break it down in days for you.

Tuesday– The snow was supposed to come in the afternoon so the schools basically panicked and closed for the day…the roads were still bare at dinnertime!

Wednesday– The snow did start falling early morning just as they predicted but did not accumulate to record amounts. The roads were very icy and it did snow most of the day so needless to say school was closed that day too.

Wednesday 8:00pm– Schools already announced they would be closed the next day due to the snow and icy road conditions and the fact that the below freezing temperatures would make the next morning dangerous.

Thursday 7:30am-ICEPOCALYPSE!!! When I woke up Thursday morning I could hear a noise from my bed that sounded to me like snow falling off the trees. I just assumed that was the noise I was hearing because they had forecasted that Thursday would warm up enough to melt the snow.

I also realized that our power was out. When I got out of bed and looked out the window I saw that it was not snow falling off the trees, it was the own tree’s branches falling off the tree! All of the snow was still there from the night before and now everything, I mean everything, was covered in ice.

If you have seen an ice storm you know what I am talking about. I myself have never seen anything like it in my life. Every inch of every plant and tree were covered in ice. Icicles were hanging from everything, icicles large enough that I would have seriously been scared to stand underneath them!

We have many trees around us and the sound they made as they got so heavy and broke was the craziest thing I have ever heard. For hours there wasn’t a second when we didn’t hear the sound of either a branch breaking off or a whole tree snapping and falling down.

And this was happening not just in my tiny little corner of the world but also in many surrounding cities. Not only did we not have power, but cell towers were down so we had no cell phone service either. No one could drive anywhere because of the icy roads and falling trees.

So day one actually ended up being a somewhat pleasant impromptu family day. We played games and puzzles and even had music until the iPod dock went dead. We have a gas fireplace and a gas stovetop so we were doing okay.

Thursday 5:30pm– Darkness hit! Oh yeah it’s all fun and games until the sun goes down! Throughout the day my 3-year-old would ask about every 10 minutes if I could turn a show on for him, and now that it was dark he kept asking for a light to be turned on. The older ones somewhat got it, but Peyton absolutely did not!

The baby also understandably freaked out at our completely dark house and wanted to be held for the entire three hours of darkness before bedtime. Also speaking of the baby have you ever changed a poopy diaper by flashlight?!?!

Bedtime wasn’t too bad since the house had stayed warm enough that we could still sleep upstairs, and I had some battery-powered candles to use as night lights.

Friday 7:00am– Still no power and no school and a house getting pretty cold! Judging from the estimates of when our power would be back on I knew we had to go to my dad’s house since he has a generator. Being the awesome Daddy that he is, he offered to let us have the generator at our house since I have four kids.

The generator had enough power to run our furnace, a lamp, and four plug-ins we used for a portable DVD player, and recharging two DS’s and my cell phone. You’d think we could have just lived like that forever right? Not even close! Now it wasn’t so bad when it was daylight, but once it got dark I became painfully aware of how little I could do with one lamp.

Friday 1:00pm– My husband’s work had power and was in an area not terribly hit by the ice storm so he went to work. He had not been gone 20 minutes and my mind slowly started going crazy. I still had no cell phone, hadn’t been able to watch the news, hadn’t left my house since Monday, and now had no other adult to talk to.

Now all the questions, all the not understanding the darkness, all the boredom, all the meals that had to be cooked on a stove top alone came down to me. Worst of all I had to do the three hours of dark before bedtime by myself.

Saturday 7:00am– Still no power, all food in freezer and refrigerator had gone bad, no cell phone yet except texting, sticky floors, sticky children, stinky house, stinky children, and was down to feeding my family out of two coolers we had put in the backyard to keep what we could cold.

Jonathan left for work again at one o’clock and I started to realize just how bad my mental state was getting. I actually wished I could do laundry, or clean a bathroom, or vacuum, anything to look like I was busy so the kids would stop torturing me!

This is all I heard: “Why won’t the lights turn on?… what does power out mean?… when will the power come back on?… why won’t the plug-ins work?… when can I watch TV?… when can I play the computer?… what day is it?… what time is it?… I need to go to the bathroom can you shine the flashlight for me?…

Why can’t you cook the things we like?… why can’t you use the oven?… why can’t we eat the food in the refrigerator?… what does rotten mean?… what are those boxes in the backyard?… what is a cooler?… why are the coolers red?… why is our milk in the cooler? … why are you crying mommy????”

I don’t think I can describe it fully you just have to have been here. It just messes with your mind when you are without power that long. Three full days by Saturday night and I knew once it got dark I couldn’t do it again Sunday night.

I knew I had to have power by dark on Sunday or I might not mentally make it. And don’t even give me the whole “they used to live without power” thing. Pregnant women also used to rest their ashtrays on their bellies! Different time people we have gotten smarter and advanced thank you very much!

Sunday 9:00am– Still no power and now the little amount of food in the coolers was almost gone. It was time to abandon ship. I text my dad to see if he had power, and almost forgot to breathe while I was waiting for his response because I was so afraid he would say no.

He had power thank you Lord! I used the few hours before Jonathan left for work to try and pick up and pack up since it was daylight.

Sunday 1:00pm– I left with my four kids and four baskets of dirty laundry and went to Pa’s house. I also had my older two bring their backpacks, because some areas had power back and if school was open the next day they were going!

We did end up getting our power back at 5:00 Sunday night but by that time we were all settled in at my dad’s and in our couch potato positions in front of the TV.

I was doing laundry, we were smiling again, I poured a glass of wine, and the kids were totally pumped for our sleepover anyway so I decided to just stay where we were. Not to mention I was a little nervous about the power going back out as soon as we got home since that had happened to other people already!

Monday– Kids went to school and I returned to my disgusting house! As if my mental state wasn’t already fragile enough, then I had to see how gross a house could get after four days with no power with six people living in it. I cleaned for days, picked up toys and puzzle pieces, restocked the fridge, did laundry, put away flashlights, and put furniture back where it belonged.

I am still recovering mentally and now become almost paralyzed every time the lights flicker. I will never be the same after this event. I now have a new enemy that can cause destruction and damage on a catastrophic level. This enemy could quite possibly be my final destruction…it literally makes me shiver to utter his name…ICE!!!

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