This is Snow Big Deal
Remember when you were a kid, and a snow day was pretty much the best thing to ever happen to you?
Then you become an adult, and unless there’s a statewide emergency, you have a pretty slim chance of having the day off of work to frolic around in a sea of fluffy white powder. At least for me, working for four and a half years or so of retail barely ever warranted an actual snow day, instead, an ongoing game of “which employees will show up today?” In fact, the one day we did close because of a government-inflicted travel ban, we still had a complaint waiting in our inboxes when we returned the next day claiming that we ruined their daughter’s birthday by being closed, and that they had driven all the way to our store just to find out that they had to turn around and go home empty-handed. Do you know what also might have ruined her birthday? Her entire family dying in a wintery car crash.
When I moved to Nantucket almost two years ago, I never imagined I’d ever have a snow day. The amount of snow needed to make the three mile drive I have to work too dangerous to attempt hardly happens here. In general, we’re about 10 degrees warmer than the rest of America, and we tend to have more rain than snow in the winter. But last year, we had not one but two snow days. There is nothing more liberating as an adult (even when you like your job) than being told you don’t have to go to work on a Tuesday. It’s like all of a sudden, the possibilities are endless! Are you going to sleep in? Get up early and get things done around the house so you have your entire weekend free for fun? Binge watch a whole series that the rest of the world has convinced your life is nothing without? That’s the best part – you can do anything.
Unless your power goes out.
Ah, the dreaded kryptonite of what could be a perfect snow day. You know, when I was younger I actually thought it was kind of exciting to be without power for a night. We would have barbequed food on the grill, read books by candle light (especially American Girl, obv), play a game or something, and within a few hours, we’d be back to our twenty-first century, power-using selves. Then something shifted, and as I got older, the power outages in and around my hometown of Derry, New Hampshire seemed to get much worse, like the time my parents lost power in December 2008 FOR ELEVEN DAYS (which in case you’re wondering, is magical right before Christmas). Weird that even as technology gets better, PSNH’s way of dealing with power gets worse.
I have been told on more than one occasion that Nantucket never loses power. I still don’t entirely know how it works, but from what I gather, our main source of power from the mainland is underwater, meaning that it doesn’t malfunction the way that normal power lines do in storms. So even though I knew yesterday at around 3 P.M. that today was going to be a snow day, I did virtually nothing to prepare for the worst, other than braving Stop & Shop at 5:30 PM to get a loaf of sourdough bread for baked French toast. Yes, that’s right – despite the impending Juno storm, I planned a brunch. Between Steve’s X-Terra and the extremely short distance to my friend’s homes, I never really live in fear of getting around on the island, even in a storm. So when we woke around 6:30 A.M. today and saw nothing on the face of my digital alarm clock, I was surprised but too sleepy to be concerned. I figured it was a temporary problem that would be rectified before our scheduled brunch time.
It’s now 2 P.M., and nothing.
I had many grand ideas for how my snow day would go. After brunch, I would finish my SAG blog (because let’s face it, it’s my dream to have the day off after an awards show to compose my thoughts), catch up on a little DVR that I had been waiting for Steve to get back from his trip off-island to watch with him (because I’m such a good wife), organize under my bathroom sink (leftover weekend project that just didn’t quite happen), and of course, spend an ample amount of time snuggling with my little Schooner-pup under a blanket.
Instead, I have done nothing. And by nothing, I mean stay in bed until I physically had to pee so bad that I thought I had forever damaged my bladder, only to find that due to an electric water pump, we are unable to flush our toilet without power. I mean that I haven’t eaten anything, partially because I really don’t want to have to go to the bathroom and also because Steve is so paranoid about losing money that I’m not allowed to open the fridge. I guess I did accomplish one thing, which is make a dent in an overflowing pile of Entertainment Weekly magazines that have been accumulating on my coffee table for weeks. Oh, I also discovered that my new portable battery charger does NOT come out of the package 100% pre-charged and ready to go. After refreshing the #ACKJuno tweets repeatedly in hopes of hearing any news about what is happening on the rest of the island right now and when our lives… I mean power… would be restored, I am now at a strong 31% iPhone battery charge and therefore, am soon-to-be disconnected from the rest of the world. Literally.
There are so many ways we could have better prepared for today, had we even thought that we might be electricity-free for this long. Besides ample charging, we could have washed all the dishes in the sink (dirty from preparing the French toast at midnight last night), as we now have no clean pots to make soup. We could have filled the tub up with water, instead Steve spend the morning boiling snow on the stove (in the last clean pot, whoops) for us to pour in the toilet (which in case you’re wondering, a small Rubbermaid container filled with snow gets you enough water for about one flush). Most of all, I could have mentally prepared myself to return to the ways of my pioneer relatives (and Kirsten, everyone’s favorite Swedish-braided American Girl doll), instead of entering this weird stage of paranoia that is starting to take over with every bar of energy I lose on one of my devices.
Listen, I get that this is a #firstworldproblem. I know that there are people that live every day in extreme temperatures, without running water or a source of technology to entertain them. But I’m not one of them. I don’t ever plan on trying out for Survivor. I always expected to be the first to die when playing Oregon Trail, and every time I see a Hunger Games film, I debate whether or not I would be taken out in the first ten seconds or the first twenty seconds after they pop out of those tubes in the arena. I’m just not built for stuff like this. Why do you think I don’t ever go hiking?
So instead, I’m snuggled under multiple layers of clothing, blankets, and pups (well, just one) as we wait this one out, while the wind savagely beats trees against our apartment that I now consider to be a little too close for comfort. I’m trying to prepare myself for the loss of daylight we’ll no doubt experience soon, and am wondering how desperate for a connection I’ll have to be to venture outside and charge my phone in the car. Also wondering if eating an entire family size bag of white cheddar popcorn is forgiven when in a state of emergency. I’m going to say yes.
Stay safe, East Coasters.