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Winter storm Saturn came through my neighborhood Wednesday, and it sucked.

I’ve been wanting a good snow storm all winter long. The kids and I like walking in snow and sledding and even shoveling. I love sitting in my glass-front house watching the snow drift down. I love knowing that I’m stocked up on food and booze and have nothing to do but watch the snow and make cookies and hot chocolate.

But this storm was different. It was heavy, wet snow that bent pine trees over, some of which snapped. Some of which landed on power lines. By 6:40 am on Wednesday, only a few hours into the storm, we lost power. I was naively hopeful that the lights would come back on before nightfall. We have no fireplace in our house, and the heat is electric, so it gets very cold very fast.

With nothing to do but sit and wait, we did what every other family does when the power is out. We lived like the Ingalls family – it was a day to pretend we were the Little House on the Prairie with no modern conveniences. We had to entertain ourselves the old fashioned way.

First we took a walk in the snow. We needed to take umbrellas though. Snow was falling in big clumps from tree branches and I was not in the mood to get a pile of wet snow down my neck. After hearing the crack of breaking branches a few times in the distance, I figured it was just not safe to be out at all and made the kids come in with me.

We played games – Uno (which I love) and Monopoly (which I hate) and finally I was able to play a game or two of Solitaire, which I love, but my kids hate because it doesn’t involve them. And I read, which was something I had not done in a long while. I meant to do some crocheting too, but I somehow never got around to that.

Cooking was a challenge. After we lost power for almost 3 days back in 2010 I made my husband buy us a grill with a side burner. I never used it even once before yesterday, but I’ll tell you that thing was a Godsend. I was able to make tea and hot chocolate which really helped keep us toasty. I made us soup for lunch, and for dinner I made burgers and dogs, and even managed to fry bacon on the side burner.

When the sun went down we used our portable DVD player, which I had wisely charged, to watch movies, but by 8:30 we were all bored and tired from trying to watch a 4 inch screen and decided to go to bed. We all crammed into one bed and drifted off to sleep. Every time I woke up I prayed that the power would snap back on – there had been times in the past it had been restored in the middle of the night – but sadly, by 6 am we were still sans power.

It was cold – 48 degrees inside our house – so I trudged out to the garage to start the grill and make some tea. After it was done I sat and read until the rest of the family woke up. I managed to cook bacon and eggs on the grill, and then washed the dishes by hand in very cold water.

I was miserable by now. I changed my clothes and tried to do something with my disgusting greasy hair. After trying to fluff my bangs I found they stood straight up – yes, they were that greasy. Ick. I made two neat braids, and washed my bangs in the sink. Afterward I felt better. At least I was making an attempt to look presentable.

I thought of another day without power, and it bummed me out. I noticed that hubby isn’t at his best without the modern conveniences – he seemed lost without the TV. I should’ve suggested sitting in the car listening to Howard on Sirius…even if he is on vacation this week. We were all getting very grumpy. I was seriously considering getting a hotel if the power was not back on by nightfall, even if it was just to take a hot shower.

I sat at the table shuffling cards for another round of Solitaire, the girls were rediscovering their love of Pokemon, and hubby was watching The Odd Couple on DVD when suddenly the garbage disposal began grinding loudly. We all jumped up and began screaming and dancing. I immediately turned on the computer and set the kettle to boil for a cup or 5 of tea. It was 11:05. We’d only been without power for a little over 28 hours, and it felt like a week.

I can only imagine what the folks who had to endure hurricane Sandy went through – going without power for WEEKS. Here it was just a tad over one day for me, and I was ready to throw in the towel. It made me realize something…I need the power. I really do. I am not a rustic gal who can make do, at least not with a family to take care of. If it were just me, maybe. But having to cook and entertain and keep peace between 4 people without the distractions of television or internet was more than I could handle for more than a day.

I’m no Mrs. Ingalls, that’s for sure.

I’d love to get a generator, but they are soooooo expensive. I’d be better off investing in some battery powered gadgets and some really good board games for the next time we lose power.

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