“O Fortune, Fortune! all men call thee fickle…”

I swear I didn’t do it on purpose!

Two weeks ago, I claimed that my writing was interrupted by a power outage caused by a freak August blizzard. I also alluded to the necessity of milking cows on the way home, but I’ll admit that this might not have been the truth.

While I still do not have to milk any cows and my car is still in good working order, I do have to contend with a power outage due to the rare – one might even say freak – occurrence of a hurricane in New York. Very early yesterday morning, falling trees started taking the power lines down. Of the 37,943 residents in my county that are serviced by our power company, 24,097 do not have power. In my town, 4,070 of 5,328 total customers are in the dark – both literally and figuratively, since we still do not have an estimated repair time.

The last time this happened, I could look outside of my window and at least be the first to know when repairs had finally started. It didn't make those three days go any faster, though. In fact, that tree taunted me for much of the time. I am pleased to note that the new mailbox I installed this summer is still perfectly straight and upright.

This should really be a lesson to me about the dangers of making up excuses and the power of suggestion. Even Mother Nature couldn’t resist! In fact, I should probably turn it into a lesson for my students as well, just to, you know, spread the wisdom. The next time someone tells me that she can’t turn in a paper because her printer broke, or that he needs extra time because his computer is on the fritz, I should give them the extra time, but then sneak into their homes the day before their next essay is due to break their printers and introduce viruses into their computers, just so they can understand how their false words can turn into reality.

(In case Big Brother is monitoring, I’m totally kidding about the trespassing and destruction of property.)

In the meantime, however, I will continue to sponge an Internet connection and battery recharge from work, from Starbucks, and from friends who still have power, and hope that’s enough to get some good writing and planning done. And I hereby promise to never again joke about freak storms! You read it here first.

15 thoughts on ““O Fortune, Fortune! all men call thee fickle…”

    • That is a fantastic idea! I really have to work that one in somehow…
      It’s just typical of me to be a little slow on the uptake on how to make this fickle fortune business work in my favor ;)

    • So true! The first day I was afraid to even turn the computer on, worried that I would just wear the battery right out. But when I knew campus was open and I had to go to work, I knew I could recharge it, so that made it easier to think about using it. Of course then I didn’t want to so much! Oh, how passionately desire that which we cannot have! ;)

    • Well, Zelda was starting to give me the stinkeye when I wouldn’t turn on the faucet for her (she likes to drink the running water). And just this morning, I woke up somehow clutching both the cat and my scratched-up knee. I’m still not sure what happened that made her target my knee, but I do suspect it was not accidental.

  1. If only one could take their fridge to coffee shops and the homes of friends to ensure the food would not spoil and water would not seep onto the kitchen floor. Ugh.
    Hope you are back on the grid soon!

    • I know, that would have been great. Some towns were distributing dry ice, but it ran out so fast that anyone who arrived even 15 minutes later was out of luck. Other towns just started giving it out today, after we already lost a bunch of food. I don’t know about other places, but the fridge in the staffroom at work sure was full! :)

  2. Thanks for the well wishes everyone! I returned home about half an hour ago to a garage door opener that actually worked again so I knew I was back in business! I certainly wished I was one of the really lucky ones who never lost power, but I also know that we got off relatively easy and I am very thankful for that. And of course I have a fresh reminder to appreciate the conveniences that we all take for granted. As per human nature, I will probably slip back into the easy assumption that these conveniences will always be there, but I will try to remember the lesson for as long as I can.

    I hope those in areas that were harder hit are up and running just as quickly!

  3. Yep, that’ll learn ya! I’m so glad to know that power’s back for you. My longest stretch for a power outage was 5 days in an all-electric apartment, but we did at least have running water. Now that I’m married to a “bush crafter,” D would actually be thrilled if we had a few days without power to flex his survival skills. I think I would find the “adventure” would get tiresome quickly.

    The pictures of what New England is dealing with are awe-inspiring. I’m glad you’re okay!

    • There are certainly things I don’t mind about the power being out. It was kind of neat to make my coffee outside on the grill (I use a stovetop espresso maker, so I didn’t even have to change my method of making coffee. Just the heat source). What got old very quickly was the lack of water.

      We were water-logged already from a record-breaking wet summer (and snowy winter!) so the rain dumped on us from Irene was just too much for the ground to deal with. It’s much worse in NJ, CT and upstate NY than it is around my suburban area and I really feel horrible for people who actually lost their homes. These are tough New Englanders who are used to being buried in snow, not deal with hurricanes. We know how to hunker down for a powerless few days and shoveling, but the extent of the wind and water damage was unexpected.

    • When that door went up, I lost count of how many times I gasped and said “For real??” :) I still kept my fingers crossed for another hour just in case it was just a power tease. Most of the people I know got power back the same night or the next day, but my sister in CT still has no power. And a lot of folks are still dealing with clean-up. Our school had flooding in some buildings, including the ground floor of the library where I work at our academic support center. The carpet was as wet as the ground outside. It’s still not a pleasant work atmosphere but I still am really lucky that we’re able to open for classes next week!

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