Last Tuesday South Jersey experienced a severe storm that left many people without electricity for days. There was a lot of storm damage in my town and surrounding towns and too many trees that fell on power lines to count. Just in my neighborhood alone I counted 4 fallen trees on the power lines. My electricity was just restored a few hours ago and it is now Saturday night. Fortunately, this power outage occurred when I had planned a vacation to Colorado so I haven’t been in town since Friday morning.
I had no idea that this storm was supposed to be this severe. I had planned on running at 10k Tuesday night, which obviously didn’t happen. Everyone kept telling me that the storm was coming but when I left work a little after 5 on Tuesday evening the sun was shining and the humidity was high. I don’t often trust the weather forecast because I have found that many times it isn’t 100% accurate. I am more of a “look at the sky and plan accordingly” kind of person. You can not really predict nature. So, when I left work I went on with my plan to run this race. There was no indication that it had been canceled due to the pending storm so I started driving to the race. After fighting my way through the highway congestion caused by road work and rush hour traffic I found myself growing increasingly frustrated, and then I looked at the sky. The sky was now pitch black. It immediately began raining and then I saw lightening. At this point I thought it was safe to assume that the race was canceled. I turned around and got caught in the storm on the highway. I do not like highways in sunny weather and I dislike them more in storms. It took forever to get back to my town and when I attempted to turn into my neighborhood the first thing I saw was a tree down on the power lines.
It was around 7pm when I got home to my dimly lit house so I lit a lot of candles. Its a good thing I LOVE candles and have A LOT of them. I have a gas stove so I was able to cook tacos by candle light. Then I ran 3 miles around the neighborhood to check out the damage. I noticed that during a power outage everyone likes to hang out in their front yards or in the street. When I got done running Phil and I walked around town to investigate even further. Things did not look good at all. I wasn’t really upset about the power outage because I have a gas stove and city water. Having these resources available is a true blessing. When I lived at home with my parents we had an electric stove and well water. If the power went out you lost everything. You can’t even use the bathroom in this situation. Its rough and not something I wish on anyone. So needless to say, I was appreciative for what I still had knowing that so many people had it worse than I did.
Wednesday morning I got a call that the college was closed due to the power outage. I had the day off from work so I took advantage of this and cleaned my house. I did all of the chores I could without electric.
Thursday morning I got another call from the college, closed again. I had another day off from work. This was good since we were leaving for vacation Friday. I now had a day to do the simple things I needed to do before we left that were now not so simple. Our whole town had no electric so our post office wasn’t operational, our bank was closed, the coffee shop was closed, and I couldn’t do laundry. Initially I was happy I had an excuse not to do laundry but when I realized that Phil had no clean clothes for the trip I had a problem.
I drove around until I found a branch of our bank that was open several towns over, success! Phil found an open post office in Pennsylvania near where he works since I couldn’t find one. Then I went to the laundromat. I have to admit that I have never been to a laundromat before. It was a whole new experience for me but I think its something everyone should have to do at least once in their life.
My initial reaction was this ^….I was confused, angry I had to do laundry, and unsure of how the whole laundromat process worked but I quickly caught on. An added bonus was that the laundromat had free wifi so I was finally able write a blog post.
After the laundromat experience I got some coffee at a local Barnes & Noble and went home to pack. At 6:30 Brittany came over and we ran to a small 5k race. The race went well, I’ll write about that later. I had to leave as soon as it was over so I could get home before the sun set completely. I had been showering by candle light with the bathroom door open to get some natural light from the surrounding rooms. I made it just as the sun was setting and finished showering right before I was left with no natural light in the house. Another success!
We lost all of our food but I am thankful that is all we lost. The power outage was insane but I am glad that my electricity has been restored even though I am not home at the moment.