Every experience in life is an opportunity to learn something new. Sometimes what you learn is interesting. Other times what you learn is that you never want to have that experience again. Following Hurricane Sandy, we lost our electricity for 8 nights. While widespread, the power loss seemed random. Luckily there were pockets of the area that still had electricity. I spent a week roaming the county as a nomad in search of an electrical outlet. Evenings were long, dark and cold. As I sat shivering in my home under piles of blankets, I contemplated the irony of being so cold as a result of a tropical storm and the lessons I had learned from this experience.
- Smartphones are the Swiss army knives of the 21st century.
- Using a power strip when charging multiple devices at a public outlet is proper power outage etiquette.
- Thoroughly scrubbing the refrigerator and freezer is much easier to do when it’s empty because we’ve had to throw out all of our food.
- Thanks to the cold, I’ve had the opportunity to do a complete inventory of every blanket in our home.
- It takes approximately 4 days without power to stop trying to turn on light switches.
- Sleeping with a hat on gives me a wicked combination of bed-head and hat hair. Yikes!
- Darkness can be a blessing. There is no fashionable way to wear so many layers. I would have been horrified to catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror.
- I don’t need light to shower; I know where all the necessary body parts are.
- Toothpaste and toilet seats get very, very cold.
- Ziploc bags filled with hot water and laundry detergent are a great way to wash underwear, but it will take days for them to dry since there is no heat in the house.
- I’ve memorized my car’s license plate because I needed to know if I could get gas on even or odd days while it was being rationed.
- Always, always, always get a full tank of gas before a storm. (see above)
- If I owned the company that makes orange traffic cones, I’d be rich.
- Using a hand cranked radio is a great way to keep warm and burn calories.
- A candlelight dinner is not nearly as romantic when I’ve actually had to cook that dinner by candlelight.
- When I go to bed when it gets dark at 6:30 p.m., I wake up at 2:00 a.m. and it is still dark.
- I don’t have what it takes to be Amish.
One of the most important lessons I learned is that I have caring, generous friends who opened their warm homes, refrigerators and washing machines for us.
Oregano and I were very fortunate that our home only sustained minor damage. Others were not so fortunate. If you want to help the people deeply affected by Hurricane Sandy, you can donate to the Red Cross.