Friday, January 28, 2011

The Golden Rule

I’m no weeny, but enough is enough. We live in an aging neighborhood. When it was built in 1951, the streets were lined with lovely little trees, much like any new development you drive through. But beware. What does those lovely little tree lined streets mean? They mean in 50 years (you may not care if you buy when brand new)…yes in 50 plus years, those trees won’t be those tiny, lovely, little decorative trees that line your street…NO! They will be branch falling, branch cracking, overgrown, creaky, falling on power lines so you don’t have POWER trees! When we moved into our 1951 built home just a mere 8 years ago, we rarely had a problem. But in the last few years, if the wind blows, it’s too sunny out, the rain came down too hard or sudden, someone sneezed too loud – OUT GOES THE POWER! Granted, 2010, we were hit with 3 blizzards back to back…it’s understandable. We did only go 2 days without power but believe me, 2 days is enough. The boys think it’s an adventure, yes I will agree. They love dragging their bunk bed mattresses out to the living room, where the only possible heat is the fireplace. Not only are their mattresses out there but every stuffed animal, every blanket, pillow and piece of crap you can imagine all piled up in the living room! Glad I cleaned house…..WHY? The latest forecast was 3-5 inches of snow. Okay, sounds reasonable. Of course the last 3 times weather predictions they have made, we got nothing. This time however, they completely missed the boat! So at the last hour, they changed the forecast to 6-8 inches. Considering the previous storms had been way under par and not worth the time to grocery shop….who’s worried?! But before the snow could even finish its journey, we were once again without power. The branches began to freeze, the creaking and bending began (as I walked to my car, one branch almost removed an eye – I was totally unaware that the branches had bent all the way down). Then the snapping, falling and destruction started. I really think there MUST be a funny song in all this – don’t you think? I have a friend who writes hilarious Haikus to post on facebook during outages. Her love hate HATE relationship with PEPCO runs deep. Ever since our blizzards of 2010, the newscasters have had fun giving play-on-words names to these events. Now of course, they think it’s funny because we KNOW they have heat and could afford a hotel room if needed. But us poor folk, who would not only have to dish out a lot of cash to survive days on end of this bitter house but also, what would be involved to pack up 3 boys and all their crap that they MUST HAVE in order to make a journey to a place of civilization! So we try to hang in there and tell ourselves that it’s just a few more hours, maybe just until morning and then the power will be back. No internet, no TV, no phones (thank goodness for cell phones), no heat, very little hot water, very little comfort. Though I will say, there is a lot to be thankful for this go round of power outages….we are not trapped by mile high walls of snow – we can get out! All roads out are also clear! We don’t have to use an outhouse (as my sister so kindly pointed out) even though our bathroom temps seem below zero and I fear every time I put my tush on the seat it will stick! Did I mention again that we can just drive away? So tomorrow dear friends, I will be making a break for civilization. I’m not weak. I’m no weeny. I’m definitely not Wonder mom! Amenities like TV, internet, warm beds, lights…all those were invented for a reason – to be USED! I am not a camping queen and I am proud. I know some of you find great pride in camping for a week with your kids or living off the land (or no heat). Believe me, I AM proud of you. But I’m proud of myself too – for being able to admit defeat, admit that I need the amenities set before me, admit that a warm bed is exactly what I need to have a decent night’s sleep, admit that camping is for boy/girl scouts and they were invented to help children with moms like me who say NEVER. I forever stand by my golden rule…”Camping is staying somewhere without room service”. Hello PEPCO? Are you out there?