Sunday, February 7, 2010

Well THAT was fun

I pictured a lazy Saturday morning drinking coffee, surfing the internet and allowing my child to watch lots of brain-rotting TV while the snow fell. With a repeat on Sunday morning. Instead, we were awakened several times Friday night by our power flickering on and off before it went out completely at around 1 am. We were also awakened a few times by various children in need (Lucy crying due to her double ear infection, Finn declaring at 2 am that he's awake! awake!). At 5:51 am we dragged our exhausted selves out of bed in pitch darkness to attend to a crabby Lucy, and thus started THE LONGEST DAY EVER. And THE COLDEST DAY EVER. Except for Sunday morning, which was EVEN COLDER.

Power was out for about 40 hours. We hung out all day, mainly in the living room, and did our best to stay occupied and warm. We made the best of it, heating ravioli for the kids' lunches in our basement fireplace (note to self - next house, make sure the fireplace is in the living room and not the cold, dark basement) and even brewing some coffee in a camping percolator (yay for caffeine!). There was enough juice in the laptop battery to let Finn watch one DVD. Somehow, amazingly, Lucy managed to nap twice in her very cold bedroom (she refused to nap anywhere else - the girl is a creature of habit, I guess). And we watched the thermostat drop, intently. By bedtime, it read 55 degrees in the living room.

The four of us slept up in the master bedroom, typically the sauna of the house as it's on the top floor, but in this case maybe a degree or two warmer than Fargo in January. The power flickered back on at 8:15 pm for about 5 seconds and then... nothing. All night long. No pleasant sound of the furnace whooshing on, no blinking clocks or beeping fire alarms. We finally caved at 8 am on Sunday (today) and headed for a hotel, after shivering all night long despite 4 blankets. And that was those of us larger people that actually use blankets. Poor Lucy was dressed up in a long sleeved onesie, tights, socks, fleece pajamas and her leg warmers, with 3-4 blankets in her pack n play in an attempt that one of them might actually cover her. Each time we picked her up (of the many, many times she cried last night), her hands were ice cold. It was miserable. When we checked, as we furiously threw things together into bags and M. worked mightily to finish freeing one of our cars (a two day project), the thermostat read 43 degrees. FORTY THREE DEGREES. Inside my house. I'm just flabbergasted. How do homeless people do it? Dude, if I'm ever homeless, I'm going to Miami or some other warm, blizzardless place.

We found a Holiday Inn willing to hold one of its last two rooms for us. Once there, it was like heaven. Heaven. Showers! TV! Hot food! Warm air blowing out of a ventlike apparatus in the corner of the room!

And then, 7 hours later, our power came back on. And we went back home. Perhaps one might say, then, what was the point of going to a hotel? You did not sleep there? Couldn't you have just toughed it out for those 7 hours? No, no we could not have. We were, quite simply, done with living through a chapter of The Long Winter. I argue it was the best 70 bucks we ever spent (see above re: showers, TV, etc). And we didn't even know it would be that cheap. We didn't ask the price when we checked in, the rate could have been $200 and I would STILL say it was worth it.

Next up with be completely restocking our fridge and freezer, which somehow managed to defrost despite the cold temperatures INSIDE the house. Go figure.


  1. I was wondering if you'd get a "deal" on the room. My warm flannel sheets are calling my name...

  2. This totally and completely sucks. At least it will be a memorable story? I think it's totally worth the $$ to get a hotel, particularly with small children. I don't think I would have made it as long as you did!

    And being married to a native Fargoan I can tell you that 45 degrees is at least 45 degrees warmer than it typically is in Fargo in January. ha ha ha! I've been to Fargo once in winter and I told Jon I would never go back, it was that horrible of a place. I call it the tundra.

  3. Flannel sheets on stay by are a great investment (we have them and use them all the time since the master bedroom is the coldest room in my house). Glad the heat it back on - I can only tell you that nightmares of this kind haunt me ALL the time! Poor Lucy, little cold hands!

  4. Every once in a while I think about that book and remember that the dad had to shovel snow off of them while they lay in bed. So really it could have been worse :-) We need photographic proof of the amount of snow you got. Glad to hear that you are back safe and sound. DH and I always ask each other why homeless people live in cold places...I guess because they can't afford/no one will let them on public transportation?

  5. So glad to hear you got some warmth yesterday and that your power is back on! You'll have some great stories about the blizzard of 2010, but I am glad that everyone is doing okay.