My week since Hurricane Sandy

My power went out at about 8:30 Monday night, as Hurricane Sandy was about to make landfall on Atlantic City, NJ. My power just came back three hours ago.

Let me say first that from today until November 10, I will MATCH AND DONATE to Hurricane Sandy relief efforts ALL PROCEEDS from sales of "Blood Picnic and other stories". I make $2.02 on every copy, so that's $4.04 that I'll donate for every copy sold. You get good fiction, people in need get help. If you'd like to donate directly and NOT get a collection of my short fiction, go to the American Red Cross by clicking here.

So what was it like, being without power all week? Short version: it sucked. Long version...

All this week, I've used lanterns and candles to see by. A gas stove let us continue to cook a lot of things, although the oven was inoperable. Our continuously-stoked fireplace keep my house at around 60F during the day - warm enough to continue to live in. Without any kind of heat, we would have decamped to... somewhere.

We had to clear out the refrigerator, of course. It's been cold enough outside that I was able to keep bottled and jarred foods in coolers out in the backyard. The fresh food - milk, vegetables, meats, etc. - were a loss and had to be thrown away quickly. I've been dumping dry ice into my chest freezer in the basement, to keep the stock-up quantities of meats, frozen vegetables, etc. from being a complete loss. I think that intervention kept it all frozen, but I'll make an assessment at some point now that I have lights in the basement again.

Now that the power is back on, the frayed nerves of the Noland household are knitting back together under the soothing balm of our first-world conveniences.

I can respond to the dimming grayness of the late afternoon by turning on a lamp over my desk and another light in the ceiling, both with the flick of a switch.

I hear the furnace come on and feel the breeze of warm air.

From other rooms come the whirring, grunting, tinkling, crashing sounds of "Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood" and "Wii LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1 - 4". This is no cacophony, for it replaces the 110 decibels of whining, yelling, carping, and arguing that has been rising and falling over the past five days like the scream of an overworked metal grinder. In this closed and warm house, the combined electronic noises are an incidental accompaniment to blessed peace and serenity, like the atonal chimes of an opium den that waft unheard over the quiescent addicts reclining on their mats.

... and I'm able to write a blog post about it all.

===== Feel free to comment on this or any other post.


  1. Poor you. It's awful losing power, especially for that long. Welcome back to the peace that come only come from whiny children becoming engrossed in mindless video games.

  2. Glad you've been able to rejoin the world. Funny, as soon as we cleaned up our preparations for Sandy, we lost power--almost a day's worth. Back on, but that panic fluttered. It's the frayed nerves that bother me the most. Happy you're safe. Peace...


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