Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Dancing in the Dark

Here I am, the naysayer, about to eat my words.

On Saturday night, Ashley and I went out to one of my new favorite places: El Camino Real in the Northern Liberties section of the city (oh my God - best pulled pork sandwich, salsa, guacamole, fries, margaritas...I could go on). I didn't bring my phone inside because of the torrential downpour we had to run through to get from the parking lot down the block to the restaurant doors, so I missed a call from my neighbor telling me the power went out in our apartment building. Damn.

A ridiculously large portion of a ridiculously large tree in front of the neighbor's house broke in the wind (landing on one of their cars...ouch) and ripping down the electrical line that connects to our building. It came to a crashing halt in our driveway. Double damn...not only did I lose my ever-so-carefully chosen parking space (one that seemed to be clear of all potential falling branches) and have to find an alternative on the street, but the darkness came too early.

Thank goodness I picked up the last couple packages of tea light candles I could find and an extra package of AAA batteries for my camping headlamp. When it's dark, it's...dark.

Without the usual hum of the fans, we heard every. little. noise. there was to hear, and of course popped up to look out the window any time something that sounded like a large truck drove by. Despite all the wishing and watching, no PECO truck for us. Sunday morning brought the neighborhood out to clean up. Some helped cut and move the tree, I babysat my landlord's dog...a great figure in the neighborhood...and we all chatted, thankful that people were safe and the damage wasn't much worse.

Luckily we have gas stoves/ovens and a gas water heater, so we weren't at our worst. I went to a few stores to look for a large cooler and ice so I could empty the contents of my fridge and pack my freezer. By yesterday afternoon, the freezer didn't seem to be faring so well, so I packed everything up and took it to the office to load in our freezer so I didn't lose everything. Thankfully I hadn't done a major grocery shopping trip recently.

After coming back from delivering my freezer contents to the office last night, my neighbor and I smelled something burning. We walked all around the outside of the house, and eventually around the block, but couldn't find a source. Twice we were passed by a fire truck and heard sirens in the distance - I guess they were having a bit of trouble, too. Maybe it was the paranoid state my mind was in, but around midnight I shot out of bed, unable to remember if I'd locked the office door on my way out. I could visualize when I set the alarm, but the door wasn't in my memory. Back to the office I went to check the door (locked, of course), and just a minute after getting home, a PECO truck drove around the corner and slowed in front of the house. YES! They were here to replace the electrical line!

About an hour-and-a-half later, we were back in business. I was giggling at all of the people who would be woken up when their lights, fans, TVs, etc. came back on in the middle of their slumber.

So, we survived.

Beer by candle light.

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