Today was a cold day, literally. I don’t think in my 26 years of life, we’ve ever had off school because it was too cold. In all seriousness this is Wisconsin. We a bred to stand the cold at least nine months out of the year. I’ve also never only had 1 day of school in the last 4. That must be some sort of record.
Yesterday, a girlfriend from upstate New York, was talking about how she lost power in their snow storm. This got my imagination running. Immediately, I turned up the heat and asked Ben if it was possible that our heat could go out. Being the reassuring husband that he’s been to my neurotic self for years, he told me there was no chance of freezing rain so we would be fine.
Fast forward to this afternoon while I’m surfing the internet, binge watching Friday Night Lights and trying to convince Henry that rawhides are not for babies and the TV goes off. At first I assumed Henry took the remote, but nope it was sitting right next to me. Then I thought maybe the TV just shut off. Tried to turn it back on and nothing. It then dawned on me that I couldn’t hear the dryer anymore (insert panic attack).
Right away I checked my internet connection because that’s what you do when the power is out. After texting Ben that the power had been out for five minutes (really it was 30 seconds, but I wanted to gauge his reaction) my wheels were turning. I called the WE Energies info line. Something I had never done before. Low and behold it’s busy. How is a 1-800 number busy? Kept calling. Finally got through, put my info in and found out it was expected to be down for 2 hours! Two hours! In forty below temps that’s a lifetime at least.
Called Ben and told him I was getting the hell otta dodge. I picked up Henry, threw him in his crib with a basket of books and began packing bags for my parents house. I was anticipating being there for days. At this point I hadn’t been dressed yet, so I needed to throw some contacts in, put a bra on and slide some deodorant on my pits. I also had to get stuff ready for the dog, manually open the garage door and warm up the car. This was exhausting, but I was not going to freeze to death.
Got everything all packed up, put Henry in his fleece bunting and pep talked Bernie about why we needed to leave, ASAP. Once I got it the car it dawned on me that after our drive home from the Frozen Tundra Ben didn’t put gas in my car because I had a terrible migraine. No big deal the gas station was right up the street. At this point I was convinced only my subdivision was without power. Get to the gas station and the pumps don’t work. Now I’m about to panic. It’s forty below, we have no power, and the gas lines are frozen. I’m going to die with my baby and dog on the side of the road. No big deal, there’s one across the street. Here, the attendant yells out the pumps don’t work because of lack of power. Awesome, now what? Call Ben to tell him that not only do we not have power, I’m toting a dog and baby around in sub zero temperatures, I’m almost out of gas and now my tire pressure light is flashing. I also was concerned as to why he wasn’t concerned that the power was out in sub zero tempteratues. Does he not remember our conversation the day before about friend in upstate New York without power during a blizzard? Men! When he asked what I needed from him I promptly told him to save me when my tire blows and I run out of gas.
Thankfully I made it to the gas station, the dog did not jump out of the car while I was pumping gas, no one froze and Henry fell asleep. About more than half way to my parents, Jessica text to say the power was back. Found the first driveway, turned around and headed back home. At least we got out of the house, stayed warm and Henry took a nap.
From all of this I learned that I’d be awesome during a natural disaster. In those situations people are told to get out and get out fast. That’s exactly what I did today. Only took the essentials, didn’t look back and knew I was making the right choice. Now, was I being a little dramatic? Probably, but subconsciously I felt myself getting colder by the minute. It’s like that scene from Day After Tomorrow when the ship is covered in ice/snow and Jake Gyllenhaal is about to freeze to death. You’d never see me waiting it out, EVER!