Well, we survived the Buffalo Blow Storm of 2017 relatively unscathed. We had no power from sometime around noon on Wednesday until 9:50pm. We weren’t home when the power first was lost, but we all were part of the huddled masses by the time dinner time rolled around. The power went off a couple times through the night and into the morning. Most of those outages were a minute or less, but we had another long stretch mid-morning Thursday.
One of the girls was kind of scared about losing power and didn’t want to go to bed. She wanted to sleep with us. Eventually we got them all to bed, all of them sharing the new room for Things #3 and #4. Of course, when the lights came on, said scared child turned on the bedroom light, the bathroom light, and the hallway light. I’m not sure why because it should have been dark for sleeping anyway.
Having no power was more relaxing than you would have thought. There was no background noise. There was no television. We ordered out for dinner and sat around the dining room table, eating by candlelight. We had plenty of flashlights, so we could maneuver around the house after dark. Heck, I even read a good chunk of my book by flashlight after we had dinner.
It was an early to bed night. There wasn’t much else we could do but wait. Might as well get a good night’s sleep. I fully expected to have to go to work in the morning despite the fact that the girls and Wendy were already off. In the morning I was greeted by a text from the boss that we were also off for the day.
A couple years ago, we lost power for a good chunk of time when it was really cold. Thankfully, we have a fireplace, and we were able to keep warm. We gathered in the living room near the heat and spent a lot of time together. I think it was before Josephine was born. We actually used the fireplace to cook our dinner, too. Wendy wrapped some potatoes in foil and stuck them in the bottom of the fireplace so we could have some hot, baked potatoes to eat.
When we first moved into the house, we had a rather long outage that was probably the longest outage I’ve ever experienced in Lockport. Wendy’s dad had to bring us some firewood so we could keep the house heated. That may have been the first time we really started using the fireplace for heat. We hung blankets between the living room and the dining room so we could trap all the heat in the living room. And then we “roughed it.”
Not all the times that we lost power was it in the middle of winter and cold. We had that big blackout in August of 2003. That power outage affected 55 million people. We were sent home from work. There was nothing we could do anyway. So, Wendy and I walked over to my parents’ house to see what they were doing. Within a short amount of time, it became the focal point of the neighborhood.
My dad had a generator and fired that thing up. He plugged in a television so we could keep up on the developing story. In the meantime, other neighbors started showing up. It was a really hot day, so we all decided we should probably grill some of the food that might spoil. We had a neighborhood party. There were blenders plugged into the generator and we prepared some, cool, refreshing boat drinks. We made it a party. That’s the way to make a power outage fun.
I have seen and heard some people complaining about the length of time it has taken so far to get power restored. Me? I’m not worried. We had a little fun with it. It was a bit funny to watch the girls start to freak out a little, but it really wasn’t terrible. I feel bad for the guys who are busting their rumps, working in adverse conditions, away from families to ensure that we get our power restored. MIssing a day or two of Netflix or Facebook won’t kill us.
Relax. Grab a beer. Sit back and enjoy the peace and quiet.
Craig Bacon would like to thank all the police, fire, cable, and electrical companies who continue to work hard to restore order from the chaos after the Buffalo Blow Storm.