Wednesday, September 3, 2008
A Day in the Dark
The so-called “remnants” of Gustav whirled through central Arkansas bringing sustained high winds and sheets of rain, which together managed to flood roadways and down trees onto power lines. We lost power about 5 a.m. My husband and daughter managed to dress for work and negotiated traffic nightmares on their journeys. I miraculously scrounged six “D” batteries, so even though my house was dark, I was able to enjoy listening to NPR on a portable radio. I missed my computer, but I used a trusty flashlight to read the morning newspaper.
After about five hours with no power, I decided I should get the refrigerator/freezer going inside our motorhome. I dressed appropriately in my very unstylish rubber raincoat and oversized boots. I waded through standing water as I pondered a task I had never done before. I braced myself against the wind and realized I had no idea what I was doing. I peeked under every trap door around the lower body of the motorhome before I located the LP gas tank, but I finally “lit” the pilot that ultimately powers the fridge, and after a few trips from the house fridge to the motorhome's, I successfully relocated ice cream and other perishables into a smaller, but cold, refrigerator. Well, I relocated most of our freezer’s perishable contents. Two half-melted Skinny-Dipper ice cream treats, one after the other, went into my mouth. Hmm—I think there’s no guilt involved in dire circumstances.
After a day of clearing downed branches from my yard and sorting fabric in my darkened sewing room whenever rain prevented outdoor tasks, our power was restored twelve hours after our home lost electricity to Gustav’s wrath. After a quickly made dinner of soup and grilled sandwiches, my family decided to enjoy ice cream for dessert. I declined. I may have already gobbled more than my share, but at least I had saved the ice cream from melting into unappetizing goo.
I heard that the weather forecast calls for more rain before Gustav exits Arkansas, but I think the 25- to 35-mph winds have finally subsided. I look forward to a quiet, restful night and a normal tomorrow. Hmm—another day, another ice-cream treat—but just one.