Thursday, August 6, 2015


I've got a little story and it's full of a lot of irony. Call me, Alanis Morissette. I think the world is ready for another version of Isn't It Ironic.

Sunday after church: The whole family drove to Golden to try lunch at the Sherpa House (mmmmm!!), buy new running shoes for the mama, and fix something electric at my cousin's house. That last part was Jim's deal, in case you thought I'd picked up a new hobby involving electrocuting myself and possibly starting house fires. As we drove, Jim, my husband, the guy who installs, services, and fixes power generator/switch gear for a living, said that he thought we should get a generator since we were out in the mountains and he didn't want us to be without power for too long if something happened.

I agreed, but really I didn't care because I flip the switch and the lights turn on and I assume that will almost always happen.

Then Jim nonchalantly mentioned that he talked to someone while he was working in Boston and they had an extra generator and we could have it for free. Well, cool. Free is better than paying and then Jim can hook it up and we'll be ready in case there is an emergency in the winter. Win! So, we ended the conversation with the fact that a free generator was in transit to us and would arrive sometime in the next week.

A few hours later, Jim got on an airplane and flew to Minnesota to, you guessed it, fix generators.

A few hours after that, the power went out at our house and stayed out for 25 hours. We are on a well and I don't have a smart phone so in addition to no lights, refrigeration, or oven, we were also without running water (TOILETS!!) and the grand dame of 2015, Ms. Internet herself. I was texting my husband in Minnesota to find out why we didn't have power in Colorado.

Apparently something (transformer?) blew up in a remote, mountainous area, making the fixing process rather tricky. Some drunk guy at a local restaurant regaled us with stories he'd heard of the company flying parts in, helicoptering a bulldozer down to the area, then helicoptering in a person to drive the bulldozer to the job site, fix it, and barrel his way out of the wilderness. I think the worker's name was Grizzly Adams. Or maybe MacGyver. (That last part is my little addition to his tale.)

I'm not saying he wasn't telling the truth, but I am saying I would have trusted him a bit more had he been able to stand upright without swaying. The town was ripe with gossip about causes and possible days we'd get power back and I just nodded because I couldn't ask Ms. Internet anything so they were my best sources of information.

The power went out at 10 pm. That is some scary business. Home alone with four kids and a puppy and the lights go out. I was 99% sure that someone cut the lines to do us serious bodily harm. Thankfully the 1% won. I kept expecting the lights to come back and the internet to reappear, but they didn't so I went to bed like people in days of yore.

The power didn't come back on overnight so the kids and I went to town in search of food. Every restaurant we passed was closed and one grocery store was kind of open. We stocked up on food that wouldn't go bad, fruit that could sit on the counter for a while, and water. It wasn't particularly healthy, but it would sustain us. We listened to the chit chat about power returning in two days, explosions, fires. We started talking about saving our flushes and using hand sanitizer and buying candles. We compared our minor trials and tribulations to our current family read aloud, Little House in the Big Woods, and decided even without power, we still have a pretty sweet gig.

I talked to Jim and he said that the generator would arrive on Thursday. At this point, power was expected to come back on Wednesday. Ha. Funny! Perfect timing.

We passed our day on Monday as we always do. A little school, some reading, and playing outside. Isaac was most disappointed that he couldn't use the internet to log all of his reading hours onto the Library's web page since the kids are doing a summer reading challenge. He figured that with no power they'd read even more than usual.

After dinner out with friends, the kids got ready for bed, used bottled water for teeth brushing, and, armed with a flashlight in case they needed to get to me in the night, hit the hay. I played fetch with Bear in the dark, with a few candles to keep me from peeing myself in fear. When I took him out it was so dark and quiet, interrupted only by the sound of the generators humming. Lucky ducks! Let me tell you, it is scary taking a dog out into the pitch black night holding a little flashlight and expecting a bear or cougar to attack at any moment. It's possible I have an overactive imagination. Just maybe.

Then, like our favorite Ingalls family, I went to bed because it was dark and there was nothing else to do. I did bring my cell phone flashlight up so I could read in bed, but Pa wasn't here to make me any popcorn. (Am I the only one who thought it was ridiculously cool and illicit for Ma and Pa to eat popcorn in bed? I mean, at least some of those little kernels were bound to fall onto their bed. I think this is proof I was a weird kid.)

I turned the flashlight out at about 10:15 and was woken about an hour later to the sound of my toilet refilling. Hallelujah! This was great news since we had just run out of toilets to flush that evening. I walked through the house much more confidently, turning off lights and checking toilets.

The kids woke up on Tuesday, happy to have power back. We all bathed and turned lights on when a room was dark and even used the stove. Fancy!

Now it's Wednesday night, the power's been restored for a day and our generator arrives tomorrow. By now it's pretty obvious that we won't ever lose power again, right? Or at least not until our generator breaks from years of sitting around unused and we decide not to get another one.

Irony. I tell ya.

Have you had any annoyingly ironic moments lately?


  1. Wow this reminds me of hurricane Sandy kind of. The area I was in, I don't think got hit that hard but we were without power for 3 days. Just me and my dog (thankfully I only had 1 dog at the time) in the dark cold apartment. I know how scary it can be taking a dog out in the dark. I just realized this morning that the light bulb to the outside light in the yard was out and I had to take 3 dogs out early this morning in the dark. The older 2 weren't bad but my youngest likes to run behind the row of trees in my yard and then it is a pain to try to get her out. I can't use a flashlight with her because they freak her out and they can trigger her, specifically, to have a seizure. Happy that you all are ok and have the power back!

  2. It is always the same when you have something you never end up using it but when you don't have something it is something that you need to use. I can't imagine a day or two without power, I would be lost. Thankfully the longest I have gone without power is a few hours!