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Apex Blog: Time Traveling With Hurricane Irene

Earlier this week, I posted a new Apex Blog post called "Time Traveling With Hurricane Irene" in which I pondered how the loss of power threw us back to an earlier era. (If you haven't read it yet, by all means click the link.)

Today's Boston Globe has an article, Outages force a trip to the past, which is on a related subject. Folks who still don't have power are struggling to deal with it in ways that our forebears probably would find odd. But I think even they would agree that once you have the benefits of electricity, you really don't want to be forced to do without it.

This part resonated with me:

Michelle Marderosian is the mother of a 2-year-old, Cheyanne, who, like any self-respecting toddler, believes it’s her inalienable right to explore with gusto, light or no light. And that can impose hardships for mother and daughter alike.

“I wouldn’t be so upset if I didn’t have a 2-year-old,’’ Marderosian said last night.

When we lost power on Sunday, our biggest issue was concern over how to deal with Muffin and Squeaker. I'll probably go into details on that in a few weeks in our The Brookline Parent column.

The other line I found interesting came from an article in today's New York Times, Days After the Storm, Many Are Still in the Dark:

For many of those without power, the main complaint was a lack of solid information about how long their plight would last. Some said they would rather hear that the electricity would be off for a week than to be left wondering.

That was our position on Sunday. Having no power was frustrating, but what was more frustrating was being told that some customers would be without power for days and not being told if we fell into that category. Consequently, we had to make plans for that contingency, which fortunately for us ended up being moot.

In the end, though, our inconvenience pales compared to the suffering felt by those who lost family or friends in the storm. My heart goes out to them, and I am grateful that we got through it safely.


We had power throughout: a couple momentary blips that weren't even enough to reset the clock on the microwave. But nonetheless, I was ready with camp stoves, a water filter, and a bunch of other stuff. Apart from the loss of internet and a hot shower, I'd have carried on mostly the same as always (except cooking on the back porch instead of my kitchen.)

I saw something the other night -- a comedian on Conan O'Brien, who was mocking "kids these days", including the older folks who ought to know better. I mean, we used to have to *dial* our telephones, lamenting those who had zeroes in their phone numbers.

I'm left wondering about the people "forced" to play board games with their kids. How many of them will abandon that kind of group entertainment, and go back to being passively anesthetized on the couch the moment the TV is back on?
After Hurricane Andrew hit the Miami area in the early 90's, I flew down to help my parents with the cleanup, and we had to do without power for a few days. Interestingly enough, there's really only one result of not having electricity that stands up vividly in my mind: cold showers! There was no way to heat up water, even on a stove, since almost everybody down there uses electricity for stoves and ovens.

I really hate cold showers.
The first thing the family notices: the house is quiet. Mark loves to run lots of fans, constantly, and suddenly the house is dominated by the sound of our wall clock in the kitchen, ticking. (It's battery operated.)

Mark compared it to camping out, but "in a big, very solid tent." I didn't mind so long as I could power my phone periodically (to read email) and take a hot shower daily (fortunately, we have a big, well-insulated tank). The kids went stir-crazy.

However, afterwards Liana stated she rather liked the peacefulness. I offered to take away her phone, laptop, and iPod, and let her live by candlelight; she demurred.

December 2016

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