How storms and PG&E rendered us sans-power for 3 straight days.
If you have followed the news since the last decade, you know California has been in a never ending drought. We never seem to get enough rain. Year after year people abandon their lush green front yards for brown, drought resistant terrain.
So when we heard about the Atmospheric Rain heading in our direction, we couldn't be happier.
Only, we did not know that one atmospheric river will convert into a bomb cyclone that will bring one atmospheric river after another and leave us drenched, flooded, power-less and distraught to say the least.
I was jolted awake at 2am to the frightening noise of wind jostling the doors and windows of our house. When I looked outside, it was bright with lightning and trees were bending half way through in the wind. It was the kind of a scene they show in the "end-of-world" kind of movies! Only that here, it was right in front of me and somehow the sound was so much louder than my surround-sound system can ever create.
However the storm did not wake the kids up(thank god for that) and to my surprise did not wake my husband either! I mean come on!! He will lie awake in bed worrying about the stock market or what Elon Musk will tweet next. But this he will sleep through!
I heard a loud bang and suddenly everything in our house was dark. And when I saw lights in the street behind us, I had a sinking feeling. I learned something very important about human behavior that day. It's so sad for all of us to lose power. But it's sadder to see only you lose power and your neighbor enjoying this horror movie that mother nature is playing from their still cozy and bright houses!
We woke up in the morning to a cold house and cold water in the tap. Obviously kids and adults alike refuse to touch the cold water, let alone take a shower. We scrambled Kiara to school somehow and Vicky went to get coffee. What would this world do without Starbucks! He was met with about 3 dozen people just like us, cold, miserable and groggy. He heard all the storm stories while waiting in the line, wondering how he slept through it. I am wondering about the same dude!! Right there with you!
Then began the saga of refreshing over and over PG&E(gas company)'s outage map in the hopes of seeing any updates on this outage. The problem is, when a storm like this happens, it knocks out a hell lot of people out of power. Except for a lucky few(hello neighbor!). Their entire outage map was colored at this point. While Vicky went from store to store getting candles and emergency lights, I waited and sulked in the bed wishing for a miracle.
After sunset I dragged my sorry ass out of the bed. No amount of sulking was getting the power back. We had two bored little kids and a dark house so we ventured out in the search of light.
And it was actually a lot of fun! The kids have been such troopers in all this mess. They did not complain once. They were so happy to be out and about window shopping and just running around an empty mall, which is a rarest of the rare sight in California.
Once back home, they both helped me light up candles in the house. To my surprise this was actually a fun activity for them. Kiara was so happy to be contributing to the environment(we have a Greta in our home too). We read our bedtime stories with a flashlight, they both fought over who's gonna hold the flashlight. I tucked them both and myself to bed at 9pm. Mommy's night-in indeed!
The next two days continued to be fun for the kids, heating water on the stove, moving fruits and veggies into the garage, camping on the living room floor, and staying out until bedtime. Life can be so simple and content for kids. We on the other hand continued to be grumpy, of course we are not gonna make lemonade when life throws lemons! Throwing right back at ya!
Then on the third day, the Sun came out and so did the PG&E crew on our street! What a sight it was!! They spent 6+ hours trying to get everything sorted. I am not going to lie, with every passing hour my faith in their abilities was dwindling. But they promised us they would not leave until they had it fixed.
And Viola! PG&E delivered! And they delivered in style!
I write this story by my window as I watch yet another storm brewing. So grateful for the light and warmth in my house. Also well aware, a lot of people are still out there, struggling.
Here's wishing everyone finds the light and warmth their home and soul desires. And hope we see the decade-long drought finally fade away.
Short live the rainy days!