It started on Wednesday morning at 6:42 before I even had put the coffee on. Power outage. We'd heard there would be an ice storm coming during the night and when we got up one look outside told me I wouldn't be going to work. It was gorgeously treacherous. In our front yard were two huge tree limbs and all over the neighborhood more of the same. And electrical wires everywhere. The great 2014 Philadelphia Ice Storm had struck and our township had been hit the worst.
Our neighborhood, unlike our previous one, isn't prone to power outages, so initially I wasn't worried. I thought it might be a couple of hours. Hah! Joe hacked away at the driveway and eventually we got in his van and drove over to the hospital cafeteria to get some breakfast. Interestingly, just as we walked in the door, the power there also went out, but the emergency generators kicked right in. We grabbed some hot coffee and other good stuff and enjoyed. By the time we got home, the house had already begun to feel cold. We'd turned the thermostat down at bedtime on Tuesday and hadn't had the chance to turn it up before the outage hit. That night we drove back over to the hospital for another hot meal and to charge our cell phones. Going home, we took a bit of a scenic tour on the roads that weren't closed. There were fallen trees and down wires everywhere. We heard on the radio that hundreds of thousands of PECO customers were without electricity. For us, that also meant no heat, no hot water, no cooking. Joe had a huge load of logs he'd accumulated and we made the best use of the fireplace, hoping that Thursday morning would bring relief.
Thursday we went down to the village and had breakfast at the diner, sharing our booth with another couple, friends from church. We laughed a lot even though at that point the projected return of our power was 11:00 p.m. on Sunday. Thursday evening found us back at the hospital (the food there is really, really good and amazingly inexpensive) where the regular power had been restored. Fortunately, in this house full of quilts, we slept warm. It was the rest of the time that was the problem! We took our meat out of the freezer and put it in coolers out on the porch where it remained frozen. Friday morning we opened the refrigerator and ate some of the food in it, cold, in front of the fireplace. By then the indoor temperature was in the neighborhood of 44 degrees. Joe discovered another downed wire when he went out with Blackberry. I phoned PECO to report it and they told me that the projected return of our power was 11:00 tonight. We were jubilant as we'd begun to worry about the radiant heat system in the kitchen and what would happen if the pipes froze. We drove up to Sherry's for a hot shower and stopped at the VFW post for the free hot lunch we'd heard was to be served. A couple more errands, prolonging the time in the warm car, and then we were home.
And then, mid-afternoon, just as suddenly as it had gone, it was back. After 56 hours. We feel fortunate, as we know there are still those who will be powerless until Sunday night; furthermore, we have had no significant damage to our property (although we may need to employ a tree surgeon to spiff up that big front yard tree). The house is warming up gradually, already up to a semi-toasty 54 degrees. And we'll get to watch the opening ceremonies of the Olympics tonight. Speaking of which, I need to go down and machine on the binding of the most recent quilt; I want to do the fingerwork in front of the television -- and the fireplace -- tonight.