Friday, February 26, 2010

Living in New Hampshire is not for Wimps!

My cell phone is what gets me up this morning. Sometime during the night, when I realized the power went out, I set the alarm. Now I’m lighting candles and hurricane lamps to see in the morning gloom. I’m glad we never boxed these up after the ice storm of December ‘08. They are still strategically placed around the house. I light the burners on the stove for some heat. Switching to propane cooking was the smartest thing we’ve ever done. At least I can boil water for instant coffee. I’m counting on the battery backed-up CO units to keep me alerted for fumes. I know the batteries are new so I’m not worried.

I boil water first, and get a gallon jug of water from the kitchen. I make my way to the bathroom sink with both and give my self a PTA bath. Please don’t ask me what PTA stands for, I think you can figure it out. I change my mind about what I’ve decided to wear for today, and put the blouse back and pull out a sweater instead. Then off to the kitchen for instant coffee.

Then I call the 800 number for the electric company. Typically when the power goes out, you can listen to a recording that will inform you of which towns are experiencing trouble and an estimate of when power will be restored. A chill runs down my spine when the voice tells me there is “wide spread power outage in New Hampshire.” No town listings, no estimates. This means only one thing. Disaster has struck! Memories, still vivid in my mind of the days without power, the cold nights, warming my feet by the space heater, climbing into a bed as hard as a rock (remember this if you’re thinking of buying a Temprapedic) and lugging changes of clothing to the office to shower before work.

At first, I think about dragging out the battery powered radio to hear just how bad it is, but decide against it. I’ll know soon enough. My plan today is to head south to the Lexington Massachusetts office as I can’t be certain the Merrimack office has power, so why bother? There is a plus side to a long ride. I can warm up in the car, listen to all the news, and be sure to find the lights on when I arrive. The news on the radio is not good. The reality is much worse than I imagined. Roofs blown off, devastating fires that wipe out blocks, and trees and limbs down everywhere.

When I get to the Massachusetts office, I’m rewarded with warmth, hot coffee, bagels and internet connection. I put my head down to work and try not to think of the long cold weekend ahead. At noon, I cover the lobby for the receptionist. There’s a nice set of windows looking out over the area from this third floor suite. The employees passing by and I can only watch out the window with slack jaws. The Lexington blue sky has become an ugly dark gray, the rain begins to fall in torrents, then mixes with snow. While we watch a flash of lighting streaks past, with a resounded BOOM to follow. The Massachusetts folk complain about no umbrella. If that was the least of my concern, this would be one fine day. I’m heading home in a few hours to no lights, no internet, no TV and not heat. I have no idea how long I will have to endure this circumstance. The only thing I am certain about is that living in New Hampshire is not for wimps.


Anonymous said...


Love the blog! We wanted to point you in the direction of our official NH tourism page that has three motorcycle ride itineraries on it for different parts of the state. All three are great scenic rides that you have probably already taken.'s the link:

Tai Freligh
NH Travel and Tourism

Deb said...

Thanks for the commentary. New England can be a harsh place to live sometimes.
Fortunately for us, power was restored the next evening.
Many of our neighbors have generators, which served them well. My street, and many in the surrounding towns, had downed wires for several days. All is well, now.