FYI, when a big piece of your tree falls over for no reason, it’s a pretty sure bet that most of the rest of the tree will fall over if you get a really heavy snowfall. And of course THAT section of tree will fall RIGHT ACROSS THE DRIVEWAY.

FYI, your husband will not find it humorous when you keep stomping around the house, occasionally gesturing to the tree which has formed a barricade to your escape, declaring, “APOCALYPSE. NOW!”

FYI, when the power goes out for two hours in the afternoon and then comes back on, you would be very foolish to assume that everything is fine now.

FYI, cooking dinner while the power is back is a pretty good idea, though. Just cook something QUICK.

FYI, the power will go out the second time just as it’s starting to get dark. And you will realize that all of the flashlights are dead. And you have no battery-powered radio. And really, um, perhaps someone should’ve done some emergency preparedness or something.

FYI, after reading by candlelight and listening to all of your trees fall over for a while, you’ll decide to just give up and go to bed. Surely the power will be back on in the morning.

FYI, a child will not wake up when you rattle around in its room pulling out extra blankets, but will sit up with an exclamation and a start and a trail of drool when you put said blankets on its bed.

FYI, you will wake up fifteen times in the night, turn to the bedside clock—which is still dead—and wonder WHY THE HELL THE POWER IS STILL OUT.

FYI, you will be delighted to discover the house is only down to 55 degrees in the morning, and you’ll talk about how that’s “not bad at all!” as your husband goes outside with a chainsaw to hack up the fallen tree blocking the driveway. Fifteen minutes later you will be diving back under the blankets, teeth chattering.

FYI, driving around town is more entertaining when you can all count up the abandoned rear-wheel drive cars.

FYI, it’s significantly less entertaining to drive around town when half the restaurants are closed and the other half are mobbed by people like you, people whining, “Coffee. COFFEE. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, WHERE IS THE COFFEE?!?”

FYI, you will wonder how you survived such atrocities before the iPhone. Because really, you spent 18 hours with no heat or electricity, but BY GOD you were able to check your email.

FYI, when you finally find a restaurant where you can 1) get coffee, 2) feed the children, 3) borrow some internet, and 4) hang out for a while without your nose freezing, you will do so. You will eat verrrrryyyyyy slooooowwwwwwlllllllly. You’ll get bagels, and hang out, and then a little while later, you’ll go order lunch. You’ll call the home phone, and the machine won’t pick up (electricity still out!) and you’ll consider staying for dinner, too.

(FYI, I may have had a leetle bit too much coffee.)


  1. ben

    FYI, this is awesome. Sorry about all that (waves hand in general direction of post), you should come here where the kids were bitching that it gone down to 34 overnight.

  2. Megan

    Ya. In our little California town we could expect about four power losses a year (wait, is that right? felt like more…). First one – charm! Delight! Fire in the fireplace and stories by candle! After that comes the grim realization that the house had electric 1) furnace turner onner thingy 2) stove 3) EVERYTHING ELSE. No phone (ha! and no bars at the house!), no computer, no nuffin. Charm wore off remarkably quickly, particularly when fate was cruel and the fabulous little Mexican diner up the street was hit as well.

  3. Gaylin

    Vancouver (BC) got snowed in over Christmas – for 2 loooooong weeks. Usually it snows, it is pretty and then it gets beat into submission by rain. I don’t have kids to try to entertain but 2 weeks in a 700 sq ft apartment and getting the flu part way through being snowed in. I was really tired of myself by the end of it all.
    We had one power failure and I found out the hard way that my smoke detector (hard wired into the building) squeals LOUDLY the whole time the power is out. I got to walk 15 blocks to my nephews place in a blizzard in order to get some peace.
    Good luck with the rest of your day.

  4. Kati

    “FYI, you will wonder how you survived such atrocities before the iPhone. Because really, you spent 18 hours with no heat or electricity, but BY GOD you were able to check your email.”

    Heh. I too am obsessed with my precious, precious iPhone. I’ve even included a charger attachment for the crank-powered radio in our hurricane kit. It means I can Twitter about how miserable we are while the storm passes overhead. That, and keep up with the sports scores…

  5. JennyM

    Heh. After losing our power for over a week in The Great Southern Ice Blizzard of Ought Five, we got ourselves a generator. And now whenever a stray flake happens past, we pull it out and test the starter and dare the power to go out NOW. So far, it’s worked. We’ve only used it once in four years.

    Hope your power’s back on soon. Our few inches has mostly melted away already here.

  6. Lori N

    FYI I will now stop complaining about my snow day – you win!

  7. Lindy

    Hope you stocked up on bread.

  8. Kelly

    Guess you got it worse over there…. Westside of Atlanta wasn’t too bad – other than a very stir-crazed toddler who found out that mommy was on a short fuse and will put her in time out many many times.

    Hope you have power and coffee!

  9. meghann

    Bummer. You should have come down here to Augusta to hang out. We didn’t get ANY snow.

  10. Jean

    FYI – Based on recent ice storm history in these and other parts, hunker down and brace yourself because it may be a few days before you get that blessed electricity back. Sorry to be the bearer of bad recent experience, but now’s the time to play “pioneer people” for real.

    Good luck and may the gods of heat and light and internet be with you.

  11. Kris

    Wow. We only lost power for an hour or so – I’m sorry! I did have to be at work at 6 this morning, and let me tell you how much fun THAT drive was. Hmmph. I bought some crank flashlights and a crank radio last year – I kind of thought that was going overboard with emergency preparedness, but I was glad I had them when the power went off! Hope everything is back to rights at your place soon.

  12. Tammy

    I’m going to avoid one of the cliched “if you lived in Minnesota” pieces of advice & just send some warmer weather your way!

    Although I have to wonder…what kind of steel-laced snow do you have down there that it takes trees down?? I’ve seen heavy snow break branches off but not entire trees. Must be Super Snow?

  13. Tracy

    This reminds me of Hurricane Gustav. We were without power for a week. No phone service and surely no cable. We do have a generator and a 5th Wheel camper. So, it wasn’t too bad but very, very inconvenient. We live in back of a subdivision and on a different breaker/pole whatever they call them. The front of the subdivision gets turned back on on the 2nd day. It takes the power company another 3 days to come and cut the trees down in the swamp and turn ours back on. Never ever fails. This happens every single year. Now, who ran those powerlines in the middle of the swamp—that’s who I want to meet! Good luck and I hope your power is on soon!!!!

  14. Michelle

    55 degrees? In Kentucky, our gas heat went out and our thermostat wasn’t able to drop anymore past the 40 degree mark because THAT’S AS LOW AS IT WENT.

  15. Laura

    Are you missing the woodstoves of New England right about now?

    I feel your pain – when we lived near Seattle 2 years ago, the power went out for FIVE DAYS. I nearly hated my husband, simply because he got to go to work in a building with heat.

  16. Barbara

    My sincere sympathy, Mir.

    My Hubby is one of those Boy Scout, always prepared, survivor types. We were prepared for the Y2K disaster that did not happen, and will be forever since. Plus, we have experience camping. Toughens one up. The chirruns, too. Think about taking up camping this year. Chickadee can learn about our hunter-gatherers ancestors (she can relate to the gatherers.)

    That’s all the distraction I can muster. Hope you tip well. Sending warm thoughts.

  17. Trish C

    Hehe. Sounds exactly like the ice storm we just had in December here in New Hampshire, right down to using my iPhone to feel like I still had contact with the outside world, since the storm took out the phone lines as well as the power.

  18. Amy

    You did use to live in New England, didn’t you? Has the south made you soft already? ;)

    We had a storm here in Maine last week that left us without power for 3 days. But we heat and cook with wood, so it wasn’t really a problem. We buried our food in coolers in the snow so it wouldn’t spoil, which was kind of fun, actually. We did go to a friend’s to shower, though. I can only handle so much 19th century living.

    Actually, our house is 55 degrees every morning in the winter until we get the woodstove going again!

    Tammy, trees in the north are made to hold snow. But southern trees just can’t handle it. Our spruce trees can be completely coated in a foot of snow with no problem. The birches, though–forget it.

  19. Sara

    One time when I was a kid in the early 1990’s we had a big wind storm and our power was out for a week! It was mainly because we lived in the “bad part of town” and they fixed everyone else’s power first. Anyway, I remember doing a lot of eating out and hanging out a little too long at the grocery each afternoon after school.

  20. Melissa D

    Oh Mir. Did you go to *our* coffee shop? Because there’s nothing better than a desperate need for coffee than a little hostility from another patron….

  21. coolteamblt

    I wish we had snow. In Colorado, it’s 70 today. I live in Colorado because I LIKE SNOW. Shall we trade?

  22. Abbey

    So glad you have your iPhone, wish I had one. We do have crank flashlights though and love them. They are good for entertaining toddlers event when you have electricity. Lost ours for a day or so in recent tornado, but have promised not to complain after my parents lost theirs for 32 days in 2002 in an ice storm in very rural Oklahoma… That said, everyone gets their own horror story and I’m glad to hear you’re make it through yours.

  23. Karate Mom

    Last year, we lost our power for 9 days. It was horrible. I’ve never been so happy to see lights in my LIFE as I was when it came back on!
    Luckily we have a gas stove and a campfire coffee pot, so we could still have coffee!
    Hope it comes back on soon!!

  24. Katie in MA

    Nothing better than playing Hide and Seek in the dark. :) We used to LOVE when we lost electricity as kids!

    As a mom? Oh, Mir, can I feel your pain.

  25. The Mother

    FYI, those same trees fall over during hurricanes. But THEY fall on the house.

    And then you spend 10 days in 100 degree weather without a/c, phones, electricity, TV, or internet.

    Man, that was bad.

  26. Pictou

    Def.: Flashlight. n. Carrying case for dead batteries.

  27. StephLove

    Sorry about your day. We had about one third of the big silver maple in our backyard fall down during a windstorm in December. It took out our backyard fence and smashed a patio chair but it spared the glass picnic table and the car so we counted ourselves lucky. Still haven’t replaced the fence…

  28. Tam King

    ARGH! Can we swap countries please Mir?! I live in Australia and currently – outside my aircconditioned fortress its 40 degrees – Celcius. yeah, its hot. Please can i come live in the cold. I dont even mind that you dont have electricity! i can cope with that (Iphone on the ready of course). I just need to stop MELTING!

  29. Pregancy Symptoms

    Sorry about your bad day. We only had about 4 inches today, but the part about the tree has me worried. I’ve lived in the same subdivision for a few years now and every time we have snow, lots of ran or wind, the trees start falling. I can so relate. Hope things are better tomorrow :)

  30. Lady M

    Hey, you know what we had twice on Friday at our house? Power outages!

    Your life and mine, my dear.

  31. Brigitte

    My parents were out of power for 10 days in the eighties after Hurricane Gloria. The rest of the street got power after a few days, but the line up to their house was knocked down, and the power company saved individual cases for last.

    Thank goodness A) it was only September (not too cold), B) they had a pool from which water could be stolen to FLUSH the toilets, C) they had nice neighbors who let them run a reeeeally long extension cable from their house after the neighbor’s power was back, and D) I was in college and didn’t have to deal with most of it. ;-)

    Oh, Kate in MA, I also have fond childhood memories of hide-and-seek-in-the-dark!

  32. Aimee

    FYI… you are pretty. Even without electricity.

  33. ~annie

    Welcome to The South. The power outages perplex my mother, who moved here from Europe several years ago where, apparently, this sort of thing doesn’t happen. She/I don’t remember so many power outages from living in NJ either, so we blame it on The South.

  34. Stephanie

    Hey! I need to know where to get the crank powered radio that allows for a charger attachment for the iPhone!

    Sorry about the tree and power loss…too bad you can’t harness Monkey’s energy! That would light up the whole house, don’tcha think? :-)

    Stay warm!

  35. Mechelle

    I’ve done this before! With a 3 month old! It lasted almost 72 hours. I didn’t mind the cold so much as the lack of hot water. Oh, and the worry that my infant might freeze to death.

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