It was some 24 hours we experienced from roughly 5:00 pm Tuesday to 5:00 pm Wednesday.
On Tuesday we got hit by that freak, spring snowstorm that blew through the Midwest. Both C and L had kickball games scheduled, and both games were cancelled. C’s was actually cancelled on Monday night when their opponents all went into quarantine. With kickball out of the way, she decided to join her soccer team on Tuesday. I warned her that it was supposed to snow, be very windy, and very cold. She didn’t care, she was all in.
Wouldn’t you know it the worst of the storm hit right during her game. When we showed up the field was already covered, but the snow seemed to be stopping. As soon as the game began, the winds kicked up and started blowing heavy snow right into our faces. The players, at first, were having fun. But as soon as they all got soaked and chilled the fun ended. As the snow increased in intensity, it became almost impossible to control the ball. If you tried to dribble, the ball would either stick in the snow and go nowhere, or collect snow as it rolled like you were making a snowman. The best bet was to hit it long and hope someone could run onto it.
Soon kids started wiping out left and right. I have no idea why the coaches or referees allowed them to keep playing. In the midst of the slipping and sliding, our goalie got absolutely destroyed three times. The first two times the ref just signaled the kids to play on.
The third time, when our goalie was rolling around in the snow holding his head in pain, the ref finally relented and gave the attacking player a yellow card. The goalie’s dad is our head coach, and he was screaming at the ref, “THAT’S THREE TIMES, SIR!!!” I love how soccer coaches always say “Sir” to the refs. The ref didn’t like that. After he literally told our goalie to get up rather than check on him to see if he was ok, he walked the length of the field and gave our coach a yellow card for dissent.
My friend I was standing with has a very loud voice. He was getting super frustrated. He had cancelled the practices for his lacrosse teams, and his high school junior’s soccer practice had been cancelled. He thought it was ridiculous we were playing. He let it all out, “OH YEAH, GIVE HIM A YELLOW CARD BECAUSE YOU’VE TOTALLY LOST CONTROL OF THE GAME!!!” Everyone within a mile probably heard him.
The other dads and I were almost falling over laughing. After he finished with the coach the ref walked to us and said, “Which one of you has the big mouth?” Dave raised his hand and the ref said, “You’re out of here!” There was some back-and-forth before Dave slowly walked away, only to return two minutes later with a new coat on and an umbrella to cover his face. Hilarious!
It kept snowing harder. Despite wearing long underwear, snow pants, snow boots, a thick fleece hoodie, a down layer, a rain shell, and a stocking cap with the hoodie pulled over it, I was miserable. My glasses were totally wet, so I could barely tell when C was on the field. Every two minutes I had to brush the snow off my body because my clothes were completely covered.
On April freaking 20th!
This was the worst sports viewing experience of my life. It didn’t help that we lost 3–1. Although, to be honest, if we played that team in good weather it would have been 7–3 or worse. I hate that there are no requirements for how evenly balanced co-ed teams have to be in CYO. We were playing with mostly girls while the other team only had two girls on a team filled with really good male players.
Oh well. C was nearly frozen solid after the game. We sat in the car for at least 15 minutes, waiting for our bodies to warm and the windshield to defrost/defog. Once she stopping shivering she said, “Well, at least we had a memorable game!” I liked that attitude.
We ended up getting between two and three inches of thick, heavy snow. That was a problem.
I went to bed fairly early that night. I woke sometime around 11:30 and realized I wasn’t getting any airflow through my CPAP mask. I kept hitting the button on the machine to restart it, but nothing changed. After about five attempts I realized the power was off. That sucked! I tossed my mask aside and went back to sleep.
Fifteen minutes later C came into our room saying that something downstairs was beeping. I got out of bed, looked around, and finally found that the power supply our networking gear is plugged into had drained its battery and triggered its alarm. I flipped it off and went back to bed.
But this time I couldn’t sleep, so after tossing and turning for awhile, I got up, found my Kindle, and read for about an hour. I went back to bed around 2:00 and, after more tossing and turning, finally drifted off again.
Sometime after 3:00 I was again jolted awake by a loud noise. The smoke detectors were all ringing and the girls were wandering the hallway trying to figure out what was going on. S and I raced downstairs. Nothing on fire on the main floor. We went to the basement, where her parents were staying in our gust room. My eyes were blurry from sleep, but our flashlights seemed to show some smokey air as we rounded the corner. Her dad was walking towards us holding something that was giving off a cloud of smoke. Apparently he had woken up earlier, realized the power was off, and lit a couple small candles so he could see. One of them had nearly burned out and when it began to smoke, caused the smoke detectors to go off
We were all extremely thrilled by this development.
Once we got the air cleared and the alarms to stop ringing, it was back to bed. The rest of the night I woke each time I heard any traffic outside, thinking it might be the power trucks coming to fix whatever had caused the problem. It never was.
Finally morning arrived. Fortunately there was enough outside light that the girls could get ready without too much trouble. I found it odd that both of our neighbors seemed to have power. The neighbors to the north are on a different grid than we are, so it wasn’t unusual for one of our houses to have power when the other did not. But the house to the south was brightly lit, and I was sure we were on the same circuit. We don’t have any above-ground lines on our property that could have come down, so it didn’t make sense that only our house would be without power. The folks across the street seemed to have power as well.
I checked the power service website and it claimed 47 homes in our local area were without power, and nearly 2000 across the city. At least we weren’t alone, I guess.
I had no trouble getting the girls to school. All the traffic lights were working and the roads were clear. On the way I heard that we had set a record for both the most snow this late in the season, and the coldest day this late in April. It was a balmy 27 degrees.
I sat at home and waited for the power to come back on. And waited. And waited. I kept checking the power company’s site. Steadily the number of total outages dropped, but our little dot on the map remained. When I went to pick the girls up it was down to about 300 total homes without power, with our 47 all still dark.
By 5:00 everyone was getting antsy. The girls had homework to do and devices that required both Wifi access and charging. The house was getting cold. The food in our fridge had passed the point where it was safe to eat. I texted a sister-in-law to see if we could come over so the girls could do their schoolwork. She said of course and we began grabbing charging cables, devices, and materials needed to do their work and get everything powered for the night. I hoped we could take off for a few hours and come home to a lit and warm house. I had already warned S to do her charting at the office rather than save it for the evening.
We were seconds away from stepping outside when our electronic appliances began chiming. The internet gateway started its power-up cycle. The furnace woke and rumbled as it waited to fire. The one light that was switched on came to life. Nearly 18 hours after losing it, we had power!
We let out cheers, and the girls began debating what to order for dinner while I started throwing all the perishables from the fridge into the trash can.
I think this was a record for our longest-ever power outage. It could have been much worse. We have some friends who went a week without power two years ago. Still, 18 dark hours sucked.
The forecast says it is supposed to be close to 80 by Tuesday. Freaking Mother Nature…