Written by Karen Gellender Friday, 09 November 2012 00:00
I went to the supermarket the day before the storm and stocked up on peanut butter, chocolate-hazelnut spread, fruit cups, and a few other non-perishable foods. For reasons that I now fail to understand, but must have made sense at the time, I also bought hummus, milk and yogurt. Maybe I was convinced we weren’t going to lose power for very long, or maybe I was just in denial, but needless to say, I did not get to eat many of my beloved dairy products.
I didn’t think to go to the gas station beforehand and fill up the tank, which was foolish. However, in my defense I’m normally too lazy to go to the gas station and put it off in the hopes my husband will give in and do it first, so that’s par for the course.
We lost power on Monday, Oct. 29. The first day was okay; eating a peanut butter sandwich for dinner reminded me of my college days, and the total darkness in my apartment made it easy to get to sleep early for once. However, by the second day the situation was beginning to lose its charm. I rapidly realized that just because we had enough peanut butter to ensure we wouldn’t starve to death for a while didn’t mean that we were getting proper nutrition.
It was scary, wondering when we were going to be able to eat real food again. One night, my husband and I went for a drive around the neighborhood in the hopes of finding a deli, or a pizza place that was open, but no luck; it was like we’d entered some horror movie dimension with no signs of civilization. I never thought I would hope so earnestly for the sight of the garish neon sign of a fast-food restaurant.
Compared to many people on the Island, I was very fortunate; I spent the daylight hours catching up on my reading (and by the way, I recommend Neil Gaiman’s Stardust if you haven’t read it), and I got power back two days later. Curiously, the electricity was out just long enough for 90 percent of what was in my refrigerator and freezer to be declared a total loss, but believe me, I’m not complaining. We even got Internet access back a few days later. I’m grateful not to be among the thousands waiting eagerly for power to be restored, but I know that next time we have a major storm, I might not be so lucky.
I have no illusions that I have any wisdom to impart; just another little story to share around the campfire as we all recharge and rebuild. I hope all of our readers who are currently dealing with the aftereffects of the storm have their power and services restored as quickly as possible.