And I promise something MUCH lighter tomorrow. And actually, this is pretty light, too, in retrospect.
So, as you may remember from yesterday, we had no power. And we were completely snowed in - road blocked, driveway filled up, etc. But the house was still relatively warm, so we believed the power hadn't been out that long. It was around 8:15, thanks to our assortment of cell phones and my DS's watch. We called DTE. We reported our outage. We called them back. The estimate of service was not too bad - three hours.
I cleaned out the dishwasher, put in another load, got the house back in order from the dinner party. C. found all our flashlights and spare batteries (just in case). D went outside, started our cars, and charged our cell phones (again, just in case). We had Coke (D and me), Hawaiian Punch (C) and bread with peanut butter for breakfast (we hardly EVER drink sugar drinks - they were in from the canceled party). We did NOT open the fridge. We might have been snowed in and with no power, but life was good.
We did notice that the house was getting cold, rapidly. We started to worry about the piggies, who can't really tolerate cold. We covered their habitat with a big comforter. They found this to be a grand adventure and we could hear them exploring, wheeking and generally expressing their curiosity and approval.
Eleven o'clock rolled around. It was COLD. We began to worry about the piggies. We called the vet. They told us to do what we'd already done. And then I said, "So they'll be alright that way, right?" The vet tech answered, "Well, I didn't say that. They really need to be kept warm."
We knew from past experience that DTE's service estimates are more like a promise a player keeps on a Saturday night to the three different women he's dating. And our service countdown was continuing with no hint of service actually being restored.
So, just in case, I started calling around for places the piggies could go. My one friend, R, lives about 5 minutes from us. Yes, they'd be delighted to take the piggies. The only problem was, she lives off our road, and we couldn't leave our road. We prayed for the road plow, but knew that was probably a moot point as we are a "tertiary" road and they usually get to us dead. last. I called my friend A. We were supposed to go to their house that day for an open house. They live half a block from us. And they had power. Wooohooo! But their son was allergic to guinea pigs. We thought of other neighbors - B and W had a dog, K and D had cats, S was out of town. Finally, we called the sweet Italian family from the night before. Yes, they had power! Yes, they'd take the piggies! Problem solved, if necessary.
Well, twelve rolled around. We called DTE again. Now the "new" estimate was 11 hours! Time for piggy action. So D and C walked the quarter mile with the piggy cage (minus the piggies, who couldn't have tolerated the cold), to sweet Italian family's house. Then we each took a piggy in our coats and walked said piggies over to sweet Italian family's house. Some piggies thought this was a grand adventure and one piggy still isn't speaking to us.
We arranged piggies, thanked sweet Italian family profusely, and went on our way to A and F's open house, where we feasted on traditional Japanese New Year's food and caught up with A and F's charming children (and A and F, themselves). We were warm, our stomachs were full, and we'd been able to use a bathroom with toilets that flushed. Again, life was good.
Oh, but I forgot the stuff in between!
It turned out that the reason our house didn't have power, and everyone else did, was a downed wire. This upped our status with DTE a bit, but only a bit. We'd called them and then they suggested we call the local fire dept. Then the fire dept. suggested that we call DTE, but they said they'd come out anyway. And all this was taking place while we were arranging piggy arrangements, eating delicious Japanese food, etc. So, by the time we got home, a yellow "do not cross" tape had been placed by our downed wire by the fire dept., and a DTE truck was pulling into our driveway. We were saved!
This was the guy to see if they had to send guys out. And they did. (Need to send guys/girls out). But they had no idea when that would happen. Might be today; might be tomorrow. And although our sweet neighbors the Italians, and our sweet neighbors A and F had offered places to sleep, we knew it was really inconvenient for both of them. And our driveway was now passable, and enough folks with four wheel drive had plowed through our road, so that it was sort of passable, too.
We love our house, but as it was getting dark, and as it was freezing, we wimped out and called a local inn which just happened to have a good holiday special. And we blasted out of our dark, cold house and were so grateful that we were able to do so!
We had a warm dinner and crashed. Hard. The next morning, power was restored, our line was no longer dangerous, and we were able to retrieve piggies from our very patient and very sweet Italian neighbors.
We lost most of the contents of our refrigerator, which was a huge bummer, but we didn't lose the contents of the freezer, which was a huge relief.
And 2008 started for real.
Happy New Year.