Sunday, November 4, 2012

Storytelling Sunday - One Dark Stormy Night

Journaling reads:


Hurricane Sandy arrived here Monday, October 29, 2012, bringing with her intermittent waves of rain (not nearly as much as Hurricane Irene brought) and high sustained winds. Right about the time that Sandy made landfall at the Jersey Shore, our power went out (approx. 5:50 p.m.). Power came back up at around 8:00 p.m. for about 40 minutes, long enough to get a news update, then went out again.

So what do you do on a dark and stormy night when the lights go out?  We were surprised to find that there is precious little you actually CAN do. We lit lots of candles so we could see, and gathered flashlights for trips to the bathroom and generally seeing to get around the house.

Luckily we had eaten dinner early, because one thing you can’t do when the power is out is cook. None of the appliances work.

Becca was able to type her chemistry lab paper using candles and the battery power on her laptop.  Without power, there is no internet access, so you can’t email, blog, do online shopping or surf the web!

Normally we watch television in the evening. Obviously no power = no television. I thought about doing some cleaning, but guess what? Without power you can’t run the vacuum cleaner or do the laundry. And it was too dark for dusting, sweeping or mopping.

Candles do not provide nearly enough illumination for reading - I used a flashlight to read a bit. Ultimately, we all went to bed early. Other than creaks and groans of the house from the force of the wind, it was eerily quiet - no hum from electrical appliances, no heat cycling on and off.

The power was still out in the morning. Which meant no hot showers. Roads and schools were closed, traffic lights were out, trees were downed everywhere we went. The few places that were open had long lines of people waiting to purchase their morning coffee! At least in the car we could listen to the radio for weather updates.

Our power finally came back on around 1:30 in the afternoon. We were among the fortunate ones. Many people in our area are still without power after six days. We learned just how dependent we are on electricity. And I now understand why so many babies are conceived during winter storms!


***This post is submitted in conjunction with Sian's Storytelling Sunday.  To read more stories, check out the links at Sian's blog.

21 comments:

alexa said...

Your room looks just lovely by candlelight :). We used to read by candlelight on the farm where my mother was brought up because there wasn't any electricity, and during the power strikes in the 60s. Good for Becca on getting her homework done! The radio was a great standby too.

scrappyjacky said...

We used torches to read when the power was out....but also got out board games and cards as well.

debs14 said...

A great way of combining Storytelling Sunday with a layout to create a memory of a historical event. So pleased that you weren't inconvenienced for too long.

humel said...

It was an all too appropriate theme for you this month, wasn't it? I am glad for you that there wasn't too much inconvenience - I hope it felt more like an adventure than anything.... Great layout, is it digi or is it a divided page protector?

Miriam said...

I am having trouble writing a comment for you Cheri. I love your story but wish I didn't, the storm must have been so frightening but I agree it will be wonderful to have the record and then I got to your last line and laughed out loud! Well done & I am pleased that you & yours are safe x Shall we await news???

Sian said...

Yes, what Deb said! I think I was hoping that someone would mark sandy with a story today - it's important, I think, to keep ourselves rooted in the present as lots of us look to the past for our stories. So thank you for this one and for giving us all an opportunity to reflect on life without what we think of as a basic now. Good stuff Cheri!

Irene said...

A wonderful digital page, Cheri. Very atmospheric.
I am glad you and your family survived Sandy without too much disturbance. I have friends on the East Coast who thankfully only suffered the power cuts like you.

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

Wonderful photos! I'm glad all you had was power outages.

Alison said...

very atmospheric pics....and great journalling!
Alison xx

Amy said...

I really like how your room looks by candlelight too! This is the perfect way to combine ideas and I'm glad you have this written down because you have captured feelings and facts really well.

Missus Wookie said...

I have friends in NJ who don't have power yet and some in Manhattan who do.... strange isn't it? Glad you all got through safely and yep the lack of electricity makes things difficult in our modern lives.

Becky said...

Your room looks so cosy by candlelight, but I know only too well how cold it can get without heating and how boring it can get when you can't even read very well. So glad that you came through 'Sandy' ok, but thinking of others who are still trying to cope.

Maria Ontiveros said...

Your last line made me laugh! We have battery powered lanterns which give out a fair amount of light. We love to play cards and board games when the power goes out (and go to bed early).
Rinda

Karen said...

We were once without power for 11 days. Our camp lanterns were a lifesaver, and at that time, we had a gas stove with live pilots so I could cook. By day 3, however, we were so cold, that dinner out became the only thing that got us through. Last year we splurged and now own a whole-house generator. So far it seems to have worked like a charm. We haven't lost power since we installed it. Your photos are really lovely. Glad it didn't last too long.

S said...

I'm glad you all were lucky. I know too well from other storms that feeling of trying to do one thing after another to fill the time and find out you can't. You discover just how dependent you are on the flow of electrons through wires. Great layout to document the event, so that you can remember your experience during a storm about which stories will be told for years to come.

Lisa-Jane said...

We used to live in a village with unprotected power cables so we had regular periods without electricity. We had a gas hob and everyone used to come to us to heat water! I can't imagine what it was like to live without instant bright lights, its such a strain on the eyes isn't it?! So glad you were okay and out of the worst of it.

furrypig said...

wow what a storm and what an experience, glad it wasn't too traumatic for you and the family, hoping everything is getting back to normal xxx

quiltingfool said...

Like others have said, it really does look wonderful there in the candlelight. The photos are great and your writing is it's usually wonderful, and knowing nothing terrible happened at your house makes it pleasant to read. So glad you escaped damage!

Chipper said...

I am glad that you made it safely through the storm. Thankfully my family weren't too badly hit either. There was one time when i lived in a house for over a month without power as a kid. We began to enjoy it. We played word games, guessing game, tested each other with tongue twisters, told stories and got really good at seeing in the dark! It was quite social but is a shock to the system.

Abi said...

I'm glad to hear you made it through safely. It's amazing how much we rely on electricity. When I visited the states this summer we had a power cut in a storm whilst we were eating supper. We finished the meal in candle light which was quite romantic in the end!

Melissa said...

So glad you documented this adventure. I need to get some stories written down about Rita & Ike when my family evacuated to our house.