You can go to hell, Nemo. or, why we’re going to get a generator.

*Hi there! So – we migrated the blog (yay!) but for some reason the images for this post went AWOL (boo!). I’m trying to dig them up but no promises.

Sure, we’ve weathered some storms. There was that Hurricane that blew through here not too long ago. And that crazy windrain storm we got right after wards. Then that time somebody drove into a telephone pole down the road. I guess what I’m saying is that we’re prone to losing power, and when it happens, it’s gone for a while. I really don’t know what it is, but it seems that we lose electricity at least twice a year, and for an uncomfortable amount of time. HOWEVER, until now it was never in the winter.

Enter this thing they were calling Nemo. Sure, we knew we’d lose power. What we did not expect was how long it would take to get it back (in light of how prepared the town seemed to be) and how difficult it would be to keep the house warm and comfortable.


We took the day off of work because it was going to be a giant mess out there. As it is, they declared a driving ban sometime around 4PM. We were feeling pretty good about it. It was snowing real heavy-like, and we were shoveling and drinking and having a good time. At about 8 o’ clock everything died. Being prepared, we had the heat up high to keep the house warm, and moved the Chinchillas into the living room, etc. Candles, blanket, bed, done.


We woke up still amused with the novel idea of sitting through a blizzard with no power. I think we started drinking really early and made a hot breakfast the only way we could- by using the grill that we winterized in the shed. In the shed. Literally. Here we see some delicious bagels and a pot of boiling water for the coffee.



Once the breakfast adventure was over (it took us a while), we kind of sat around waiting for something to happen. This included watching the thermostat steadily decrease as the day progressed. It got really cold. We donned as much clothing as we each dared and sat on the couch trying to wait it out. We were still stuck inside since the roads were still a mess, and I think there was still a driving ban going on. Note the amount of steam coming off the warm beverage here.



As the day went on we had to find alternate ways of creating heat and food. What you are about to see here is NOT TO BE ATTEMPTED AT HOME. WE ARE PROFESSIONALS.


Yes. A propane turkey fryer used to boil water hot and then eventually to cook dinner. We had to use it in spurts because after a while the burning propane small was unavoidable. This was an all time low for us, I think. On the upside, we were able to have a hot meal and warm the house up by a single degree. It was after this when it got dark and the desperation set in.

I noticed a utility truck drive down the road, so I ran outside to converse with our neighbors across the street, who had spent the entire day trying to get their generator to work ( they finally got it to work by dousing it in starter fuel or something and lighting it on fire. WE DO PAPER PLATES HERE.) The utility guy had told him that it was a blown fuse down the road that was the problem, or something, and that we should expect power by 8 PM. Sure, sounds good. Well, 8 came and went. Then 11 and the National Grid estimated recovery time still had not changed all day.

At some point I was in three sweaters, a wool poncho, thermals, and stuffed inside a harsh weather sleeping bag. Seeing our breath in the house was no longer amusing.

Channeling warmth from a candle.

The waking hours were the worst. When we finally decided to pass out, we put all the animals in the bedroom and closed the door, using the corgis as little heating pillows. The wind throughout the night was frightening, and we left the water running in all the facets and showers to prevent the pipes from freezing.


Morale was pretty bad when we woke up to the same conditions on the third day. The house’s internal temperature was at 37 degrees when we got up. Jessica was raving from the moment of consciousness. Somehow we thought we’d be able to retain the heat better, or have power returned sooner, or just generally fare better than we did in our situation. I spent my time staring out the front window watching the stream of cars leave the neighborhood, children and supplies packed in the backseats. At this point we considered jumping town and waiting it out with my parents down in Rhode Island. The driving conditions were still not great, but we needed to regain some modicum of sanity and warmth. It was sunnier outside though, and things started to thaw a bit, so we stuck it out. It was a market improvement. We managed to get the heat back up to around 45 by letting the sunlight in and resumed our tradition of bundling up on the couch and boozing up early to help with the cold (just me).

At about seven o clock there was a click and suddenly the house came back to life. I have since come to consider the structure a living, breathing being. Now, after three years of talking about getting a generator, we will probably get one. I think the only ones who got through this whole thing unscathed was Corgi Nation.



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