Back to Normal

It was everything they warned us Hurricane Sandy would be. I applaud the federal, state, and local officials for sounding the alarm early enough and systematically shutting down roads and services in a manner that ensured we would all be safely tucked into our homes.

While at first Fairfield was told to expect 6-10 inches of water, the storm shifted and we got the wind end of the Hurricane instead. All Monday afternoon our lights blinked now and then and our Uverse services shut down twice for five minutes each. We knew losing power was likely so around 5, I completed work on my manuscript and shut everything down. Deb and I simultaneously hit on the notion of cooking dinner early, just in case. About ten minutes after the quick meal was done, we lost power at 5:25 p.m.

Armed with lanterns and flashlights, we rode out the storm as the winds picked up and the sounds were ominous. We read and played cards and hoped for the best.

Tuesday, we woke to see that the worst was over. The lack of rain meant our basement didn’t flood but we did lose a considerable number of branches and one tree limb, which hit the shed in the rear of the backyard, denting it. It took about an hour to gather all the downed wood. Upon hearing from neighbors that a portion of Black Rock Turnpike had power, we ran over in search of coffee, marveling at the tree damage along the way. The few restaurants open were jammed with cars and lines everywhere. We wisely parked behind some stores and strolled down to the Doughnut Inn.  No food but nice, hot coffee and as we walked back to the car, twice we were stopped by people asking where it came from. Our national caffeine addiction is pretty strong.

After lunch, I used up my laptop battery to get some work done and we took turns charging our phones – our only source of communication — in my car.  Our friends invited us around the corner for dinner since they had a gas oven and we happily joined for them a delightful evening. We went home, read a bit and turned in.

Wednesday, we awoke to discover that 70% of the town is still without power but downtown Fairfield was back to normal. We hurriedly got ourselves ready and are currently recharging everything at Chef’s Table, our favorite coffee hang out in town.  I was back to editing and lesson planning, awaiting word on what the rest of the week holds.

After coming home for lunch and dealing with the dogs, it was back to town, using a Wi-Fi-less Fairfield University Bookstore to get more work done. Around 5, it was getting dark so we went home and decided to take the University up on its offer of free showers so we finally got thoroughly clean, despite the lack of hot water.

Lo and behold, we returned home and after 49 hours, found the power restored. We did the happy dance of joy and have returned to routine, as I now plunge ahead with my lesson planning and After Earth writing.

Despite all the bitching about UI not restoring power fast enough, every other element has worked well. Businesses have been generous to all, the local government has communicated quite effectively, and all I keep thinking is that it could have been much, much worse.

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