We were just exiled from our home for three days due to a freak snowstorm that hit before the month of November--before the contract for our snowplow guy kicks in. I have a theory; if it snows before Thanksgiving, then we're really in for a rough winter. I've now amended that to include Halloween.
As a Jew, I should be somewhat familiar with the concept of Exile, but it is nevertheless unsettling and creepy even if it is only the weather forcing me out my home and not the Cossacks. Some very hardy souls hunkered down amidst their quilts, flannel pjs and gloves, optimistically hoping Orange and Rockland would perform a miracle. The rest of us, the non-believers, fled like rats from a sinking ship. I ended up in Queens at my daughter's apartment and spent a calm night lulled by the sweet sounds of my slumbering toddler granddaughter.
My husband called from China, concerned about my whereabouts and my Plan B. I assured him it was all working out fine. "And she doesn't even snore!" I told him.
My seventeen year old son had been at a friend's house in New Jersey when they were hit late Saturday night. He hastily drove back to Rockland County early the next morning expecting the electricity to be on over here in time for the Giants game Sunday afternoon.
He was less sanguine about the situation, "We've had electricity for over a hunded years--you'd think they'd have figured out a way to keep it on by now!" Upon hearing his grandparents, one town over had power he dashed out the door, leaving me in the dark. I called my mother and gave her the heads up.
"You are about to be invaded by an electronic laden teenager. Make sure your outlets are clear and I hope you like football because that is all you're going to be watching for the next ten hours." She now knows what an interception is.
The lucky few who were able to think clearly and act decisively booked hotel rooms as powerless people from portions of New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey frantically filled hotel lobbies. A friend of mine was lucky enough to have a generator. Her extra bedrooms filled up very quickly and she found herself serving breakfast to a crowd. Ironically, her electricity via the town is still off even after most of our neighborhood was restored. I asked her how she was managing now that our roles had reversed thelmseves. "My bedrooms emptied out, but I still don't have internet or cable service. I'll be too busy doing linens for the next two days anyway. Hopefully things will right themselves soon."
So now that some of us have our lights back on, we are now trading war stories--Where were you? How did you manage? It doesn't rank up there with Where were you when Kennedy was shot, but it's still our story to tell.
Yes, we managed, we coped, but we didn't like it one little bit. We used our wits, our sense of humor, and we're glad our loved ones are safe. Progress is two steps forward and one step back. Of course people stayed warm and their homes were lit centuries ago, but they had fireplaces in every room and a steady supply of candles.They'd never have dreamed of our need to know what was happening in every part of the world. They could never have imagined the craving to do something as simple as turning on a switch and getting light, turning on the computer to check emails, or even catching up on the eleven o'clock news or the latest late-night monologue. I think I might have been the last person to know Kim Kardashian was getting a divorce. On second thought, make that two steps back for Progress.