we didn't take one thing into account this christmas when
making all our plans: the weather. we have been having wind advisories since friday
evening. not that a wind advisory really means much, usually. but this year it
decided to cut into the christmas day celebrations with a vengeance. we opened
presents christmas morning, or more precisely the kids opened presents, under
the glow of our christmas tree lights. saxy and i discussed when to get the birds
in the oven (as we were going to have our traditional christmas dinner with cornish
hens and all the wondrous trimmings) and decided somewhere around noon would be
a good time. his parents weren't expected until 2 or so and the hens only take
about 2 hours to roast up stuffed. about fifteen minutes later, at approximately
10:15, the power went out.
admittedly, at first none of us noticed. despite the fact that the tree lights
went out and the radio (which was playing soft christmas music) went quiet, for
some reason no one realized the power was out. then saxy came out of the kitchen
and looked at the stereo and said "did the power go out?" we looked
around and, sure enough everything requiring electricity had died. (now i never
did say we were the most observant people about!). we waited about an hour, maybe
an hour and a half. i took a shower, saxy finished preparations to make stuffing,
the kids played. shower by candlelight is an interesting experience, especially
of you already can't see well. saxy finally dug up the one working non-cordless
phone and we called the electric company to be told it may take up to 4 hours
to get things fixed as lines were down all over the city.
now their christmas HAD to suck, since a number of people now had to go out and
work on power lines rather than spend time with their families.
and it seems we weren't the only ones in our christmas party having difficulties.
turns out that the guests, saxy's parents, were experiencing flooding from a broken
water line to the bathroom that morning as well. with their arrival time now closer
to 3 or 4, we figured waiting 4 hours for the electric company to fix their lines
was no big. it would be a bit of a late dinner for us, but that's ok.
four hours later my daughter picks up the phone and gets an automated message
saying not to expect the power back until 9:45 a.m. the following morning.
four hours was acceptable. heck, a few hours beyond THAT may have been acceptable.
the next morning was NOT acceptable. so i tried calling the emergency number again,
only to get a recording announcing that they were experiencing difficulties in
our area (no duh!) and that the usual repair times for these things was about
an hour. of course i could not reach a live person. and we were now stuck trying
to decide what to do for Christmas dinner. the oven, while gas, requires and electric
spark to spark the gas into flame. no way and baking was getting done. most of
us were huddled under blankets half dozing because the heater wasn't firing up
either. even saxy, the eternal inborn heater, got cold! saxy tried calling a few
places to see if they were open. you know the respectable above ihop (international
house of pancakes - barely qualified as a restaurant in most places) but the below
the "you want how much money for a turkey dinner?" type restaurants
which tend to be open at least part of the day each year. Most closed at 2, if
they answered the phone at all. so now we are really stuck for dinner.
the parents finally show up about 3 with gifts in tow, including some really nice
stuff for saxy and i (plus my cat who has been visiting us since yesterday. she
leaves back to saxy's folks' house tomorrow, but having her here is definitely
one of the best presents i received. i've missed my baby!). the kids rip in and
have a great time. then, once again, we discuss dinner. we finally settled on
jack in the box, with the majority of us deciding on sourdough burgers.
you have to pity the jack in the box employees. they probably expected a nice
quiet shift for their christmas day. then the wind decided we didn't need electricity
this year and, from my understanding, they all got swamped. perhaps they should
have indicated that they do NOT have a backup generator and can't cook either?
not too sure the customers who basically were desperate to eat something for supper,
anything!, would have appreciated that though.
so this year we all sat together around the dinner table unpacking fries and cheeseburgers.
while there was a pile of dishes to wash, it wasn't from christmas dinner this
year. We stored the birds and the rest of the food to be cooked another time (tonight
as it happened!) and spent the holidays with our family and jack. (his head isn't
nearly as round as it looks on commercials, trust me.) the heater kicked in somewhere
in the middle of dinner, announcing the return of our electricity.