Power to the people: My so-called pioneer life

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I am a weak, weak woman. I embrace this about myself. I like hot meals. Cold milk. Running water. I love power. People would not normally use the terms ‘pioneer lifestyle’ and ‘Kym’ in the same sentence. They would not generally use those words together in the same lifetime.

I understand that the first 24 hours without electricity was supposed to be our ‘grateful’ period. I’m all about ‘oh aren’t we lucky? It could have been so much worse!’ after Hurricane Ike’s remnants roared through our region.

That’s plucky. I can do plucky. I can even venture into ‘intrepid.’ We’ll light candles, eat cold canned goods, and flush the toilet with buckets of water hauled out of the pool.

Day Two

By Day Two when the power company was reporting that it might be a WEEK until we got power — plucky and intrepid had morphed into a deepening sense of dread.

Thus, it was a high point in my literally dark days when my neighbor called to celebrate that the power was back on. Meanwhile, I was standing in my eerily silent house saying “Is not!”

“Sure it is,” she says. “I just saw the guy, and he said we’re all on.”

I glanced around, um … no. Still quiet. Still dim. Who is this guy? What guy is this spreading unfounded urban legends about my return to power when nothing could be further from the truth?

It was clear that the powers that be (or don’t) were of the very much mistaken belief that they had restored power to the entire street.

So I did what any sane, rational (and somewhat caffeine-deprived and stinky person) would do. I screamed, “Get in the car kids!,” and set out on a quest. I was going to find this guy. I would not return until I had my man.

Quest

There! Up ahead? What is that? Why, what to my wondering eyes should appear but a shiny white bucket truck manned by the handsomest, most precious 50-something utility professional EVER to sport a safety vest!

I parked (safely), ran up to his truck, and proceeded to grovel. “Ohmygosh I am so happy to see you! Ohmygosh this is the MOST BEAUTIFUL TRUCK ever!”

When he finished laughing at me, he said, “Ma’am, I am trying very hard to get that school back on and I have a crew on the way,” and I conceded that I’d put the needs of the children over myself any day (Hello karma, are you listening? That was some selfless stuff right there).

I am always, in the end, fairly self-serving however, and could not resist questioning if my house might be hooked up sometime in the next 24 hours or so? At that point my new best friend smiled and said, “How about today?”

And then I threw myself at him and smothered him with kisses. OK, not really but I WOULD have. Only my suspicions that the power company frowns on the sexual harassment of their employees kept my emotions in check.

Hope

His assurance gave me a heady sense of hope, until hours later when it was STILL dark at home and Mr. Wonderful had started to laugh at me.

“Of COURSE he told you it was coming on tonight. Would YOU have said ‘Sunday, lady’ to a woman bent enough to track you down like a dog?” Good point.

So we went to soccer practice much disheartened and stood around and chatted about all the fun things we would do without power such as tear out our hair and endure the bickering of the children until we cracked.

We headed home well after dark, passing all the lit homes of our lucky neighbors (I was admittedly bitter about them enjoying all that electricity and not sitting in the dark in solidarity with me).

All lit up

Then we crested the hill, turned at the top of our driveway and LO AND BEHOLD we saw Life Out Loud Manor all lit up like the Fourth of July!!! With God as my witness all four of us erupted into cheers! I think I may have teared up a little.

It was also the first time in memory our kids didn’t get a lecture about leaving every light in the house on.

Oh, happiness! Oh, joy! Oh, hot showers, flush toilets and LIGHTS! I swear I walked around turning things on just because I could!

We surely had the same rapt expressions seen on the faces of cave people as they first witnessed fire.

Thankful

In the end, we stayed fairly comfortable by dint of our preparedness (Mr. Wonderful), cunning (Mr. Wonderful), and incessant whining (me).

Giving credit where it is very much due, I am very impressed with the utility company’s dedication. They worked tirelessly and WE REALLY APPRECIATE IT!

Oh, and a final note to all the men out there. You are wasting your time collecting sport and muscle cars. If you want to impress the ladies, there is just nothing hotter than a bucket truck!

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Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless.

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