Our little family rang in the New Year in our typical fashion. The boys were in bed by 7:00. The husband ordered pizza, I ordered sushi and we sat on the couch all night. Promptly at 12:02 we headed upstairs to bed.
The plan for New Year’s Day was similarly low key. I was determined to win the laundry war, precook a few meals for the week and watch the Steelers. By the time the football game started I was well on my way to accomplishing all of those tasks. Meatballs and sauce were simmering on the stove, stuffed acorn squash was in the oven and Santa Fe chicken was in the crock pot. I was so close to being done with the laundry. The last load was in the washer. Everything was folded and put away. The boys were quietly playing and the husband and I were watching the football game. Then the power went out. It was 4:30.
When the power didn’t immediately turn back on, I knew it was gonna be a long night. It was still fairly light but we gathered some flashlights and a Thomas the Train lantern thing that the boys had gotten for Christmas.
I had actually put batteries in it and it really did give off a bunch of light.
After we gathered everything, I served dinner. I wanted everyone to eat before it got too dark outside. I wanted to use as much natural light as possible. Everyone ate and I did a half-assed job at cleaning the kitchen. I was kind of worried about the chicken in the crock pot. I had been cooking on high for about 4 1/2 hours. I shredded it before the power went out so it was cooked well, but I didn’t want it to spoil. My plan was to just leave the lid on the crock pot and see how long the power went out.
For the next couple hours, we hung out in the living room. Jack watched movies on the iPad and Xander played with us. I was kind of worried about Xander getting fussy. Sometimes in the evening he gets fussy before bed. He’s usually easily distracted but I knew that would be hard to do in the dark. The boys snacked on pretzels and were amazingly well behaved.
We called the power company to get updates. The estimated time for power restoration bounced all over from 10 pm, to 7 pm, to finally 11 pm. As the boys’ bedtime came and went, they started to get a little restless and we headed upstairs. I bathed the boys by the light of the lantern and then got them dressed the same way. We tossed the boys into bed and hoped that they would go to sleep. It took a while longer than usual, but they both fell asleep and we didn’t hear another peep until morning.
Of course at this point, it was still only 7:45 and I still had food in the kitchen that I couldn’t put away. My husband commented that he was bored and everything that he wanted to do required electricity. I was conserving my phone batter because I needed the alarm for the morning. We sat in the silence for a bit. It was wonderful and peaceful. Since the power was out in our whole neighborhood, the whole area was dark. I just stared out the window for a while.
After a few jokes from my husband about a “power outage baby” (damn IUD!), he went to bed and I was looking for a way to entertain myself. I had a new book on my Kindle but my case (with the attached reading light) is broken. Then I had a brilliant idea. I grabbed my Kindle, grabbed a flashlight and hopped into bed. I sat in bed reading by the flashlight for a good 90 minutes. It reminded me of being 9 or 10 years old and sneaking in some extra reading after bedtime when I was supposed to be sleeping.
The power finally came back on about 10:15, almost 6 hours after it went out. After some advice from Twitter, I put the chicken in the fridge as well as the rest of the food that I had prepared. I cleaned the kitchen and headed to bed. My husband only woke when I turned the tv on to watch the news.
I have to say, even though it was a bit of a pain, it was nice to spend the evening quietly with the boys. No distractions, no noises, just us and the boys. And then me and Jim and then me and my book. I love that some of the best times happen when your plans are disrupted. It was a great evening. But I’m still mad that I didn’t win the laundry war.
This work, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.