Saturday, February 24, 2007

ICE 2/24/07

As I sit here in my living room, listening to the sleet and rain mix snick and patter on the windows, my toes are already growing numb, even under two heavy blankets. The power has been out for three hours now, and there's no heat. The temperature outside is twenty-one degrees, but that's not counting the wind chill. My estimate would be that the temp. is actually somewhere in the teens, with the wind chill added in. The wind outside , according to this mornings' weather forecast, which I saw before the power took a crap on us, is roughly forty to fifty miles an hour. The rain hits, freezes, hits, freezes. There are downed power lines everywhere and in some places the power line poles themselves have snapped.

It's cold. I want to get my family somewhere warm before it gets any colder, the thermostat inside reads 45 degrees, but I can't. All we own for vehicles are two Chevy Cavaliers...I'm not sure even a four wheel drive could make it. The roads are treacherous out there, nothing but glare ice at least a quarter of an inch thick. It would be madness to drive the ten miles to my parents place where they got a wood burning furnace. So here we stay. No heat, no way to warm up but huddling next to each other under a few heavy blankets.

I tried calling the power company for this area using my cell phone, but according to the automated woman on the other end, they are "experiencing a high volume of calls due to power outages", and can't take my call at this time. I want to reach through the phone, grab that mechanical woman by her non-existent throat and-

No. I must calm myself. There are a lot of folks out there in the same hollow boat as I am. They're cold too. They need help too.

I can't help but wonder if this might be some sort of prelude to what it would be like a year or so before we kill each other with all those nuclear missiles aimed every which way? I wonder how cold it will get then, before death finds us all? I shiver at the thought, instead of the growing cold in my house.

It's an old house and has little insulation because of the fact. So I imagine it's colder here than say a newer home. A new home we're planning on building come this spring. A month or so too late.

I write horror stories, and this power outage would be something I'd throw in as an added scare factor. It's scary to know how much we take for granted. It's scary not knowing how long the power we rely so heavily on will be out. It's scary to know you just might freeze to death.

This is not a horror story, however, but it's scary enough for me.

My family and I are fine now, I might add. My dad managed to make his way to our house in his Ford Explorer and save us. The power is still out in my town and now it's just a waiting game. Weather forecast predicts a foot of snow or more to cover the sheets of ice for tonight and tomorrow. They say the power will be out for a couple more days. I wrote the above while sitting in my cold house. I wrote it in my note book. I wrote it to cope.


Travis said...

Glad you and your family are safe. What an awful time though, waiting in the cold to see what might happen.

Christina said...

It has been so long since our power went out. I think the last time was when I was young and living in Arizona, but the problem mostly happened in the summer when it was so hot and if it is storming, you can't just go swimming.

Stay safe.

Lucas Pederson said...

Thanks Travis and Christina. The power is still out in my town and we're holding up at my parents place.
I've got to go to work tomorrow, but the weather says there's another storm coming our way tonight. It never ends. (Sigh)

Charles Gramlich said...

Sometimes indeed it seems that we cling only narrowly to civilization, and that it wouldn't take much to tip us over the edge.

Susan Miller said...

That sounds incredibly brutal, Lucas. I, too, am glad to hear that you and your family have found a warm place for the time being.

Lucas Pederson said...

Thanks Charles and Susan!
Charles, I think we're already tipping over that edge.
Susan, it was brutal. Thnak God for my step-father, though. Without him we'd be in a pretty sore spot.
Oh and the power is back on today, so I'm at home now, happy.