As the evening started, we were getting the grill ready when Phil walked in from work. They had sent him home due to the power outage. Thank goodness we don’t live far from his job. It is only 3 1/2 miles door to door. He had gone through some traffic lights that weren’t working. He looked a little ill at ease. He said when he went through an intersection with the traffic light out that he made a complete stop and just waited for the traffic to clear for a country mile. Since he traveled the route daily, he knew where the lights were and was able to act appropriately. I was learning to never take anything for granted. I was very thankful that Phil was home.
As I was getting things ready to spend the night in front of the fireplace when the lights suddenly came back on. There was a collective sigh from both the boys. Simultaneously!! They were actually disappointed that the blackout was over and didn’t even last an entire hour. It’s understandable that two teenage boys would see this potential disaster as the adventure of a lifetime!! They started to collect their things and disappear again into the “cave” a.k.a. their bedroom. They were counting on getting out of school the next day!! This was profoundly disappointing for them and they complained bitterly for quite some time.
Personally, I was extremely relieved. It would have been a lot of work to keep a fire going all night. Sleeping on the floor was not my idea of a comfortable bed either. I was getting to old to camp out in the living room and my poor achy bones would tell me all about it in the morning. Thus, I was not disappointed!!
I went back to preparing dinner. I put the bread back in the oven to finish off its last ten minutes. I found some chicken breasts to cook Aron’s favorite meal. He loved this recipe I had concocted based on a meal he had loved at school when he was just a kid. I cut the chicken into bite sizes and sauted it in some olive oil with fresh garlic and some finely chopped yellow onions. I drained the oil off and added a can of Creme of Chicken soup and half a can of milk. This mixture simmered till fully cooked and mixed. Separately, I made some fresh mashed potatoes. The chicken mixture was served over a heaping helping of mashed potatoes. It was a big hit with my family and it was a winter meal that stuck to your ribs.
After dinner and dishes, Phil and I sat by the fire talking about how we could be better prepared. I realized that since he was working it was up to me to take an inventory of our essential needs and keep them furnished. I was going to have to be more diligent especially about the wood. Lesson learned.
Another concern, if we had a black out that lasted over night, was our car. How were we going to plug the car in, keeping the battery and other important parts of the engine warm enough so that we didn’t have a repeat of the first winter’s disaster when both cars froze to death? I would just have to revert back to starting the car every couple of hours to warm the engine. It helped a whole lot that we now had a remote starter on our car. This meant all I had to do was point the starting button out the window and push it. The car started automatically and ran for ten minutes. I could repeat this a second time. It was a great deal easier since I didn’t have to “suit up” and tramp outside and actually put the key in the ignition to get it started and then “suit up” a second time to go out and shut the car off.
The next day after school Aron and Davin went straight to a friends house. They were going to be playing some video games. They definitely enjoyed their online video games. Frequently, friends spent the night to just play games. Sometimes they went to the mall and “hung out” but it was not uncommon for friends to congregate and play their games.
I had to go and pick them up. I got dinner going and took advantage of the freedom to get the house cleaned up. With such a small place and four people, it had to be cleaned frequently. I left to go and pick them up and found the friend’s house without any problem. I texted them once I found the house and they came out and jumped in the car. In this regard, technology certainly made life easier. I didn’t have to get out in the elements near as often. They piled into the nice warm car and we started back out of the neighborhood and towards home. As I was heading up the side street slowly making my way to the main road, a pick up truck came hurtling around the corner. He was going way to fast and started to slide. One thing you can’t do on ice and snow is take a turn too fast. He was careening out of control and trying to regain traction. I was trying to stop. Though my car had traction control and studded snow tires, you can only rely on those features for so much. I was sliding and trying to steer out of his way and yelling for the boys to hang on. The truck was now sliding completely side ways and we were heading right into the drivers side!!