Lights Out: Living For 64 Hours Without Power
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Lights Out: Living For 64 Hours Without Power

The longest power outage I've experienced since 2007

Lights Out: Living For 64 Hours Without Power

It was 1 am on Sunday and I woke to the sound of my phone buzzing with a weather alert. When I picked it up to silence it, the lights flickered off. The only evidence was that my phone stopped charging and my nightlight turned off. I looked at the tornado warning on my phone and wondered what to do next. I expected my parents to burst into my room at any moment to tell me to take cover. When they didn't, I went to them.

My parents' room was on the other side of the house, which meant I had to scurry past quite a few windows. I shook my mom awake and told her there was a tornado warning and the power was out. She told me she hadn't heard the sirens. I had, but I'd thought they were part of the dream I was having.

I went to hide in the bathroom by my bedroom, and my parents soon followed. We tried to get my brother to join us, but he didn't want to leave his bed. Since the power was out, we couldn't watch the news to track the weather. My mom got out an old weather radio and put new batteries in it, but it wouldn't turn on. We tried to check our phones, but we didn't have service. So, we had to wait for the tornado warning to expire before we went back to bed.

It was only a half hour, but it felt like an eternity before I crawled into my bed. I wasn't looking forward to waking up for church in only six hours. I didn't sleep very well because the storm raged on outside my window and the house grew warm without the AC.

The coffee machine was disconnected and I couldn't open the fridge without everything going bad. I took a quick shower in the dark with the help of flashlights. I was glad that the water was still working. I got ready in time to leave for church early so I could get a coffee from Starbucks. I also needed gas. The QuikTrip and Starbucks were in the opposite direction of the church, but I still made it in time.

I was hot and tired and barely made it through Sunday School and Worship without falling asleep. But I didn't regret going. After church, I picked lunch up for me and my brother. My parents were spending the afternoon with friends. I tried taking the usual way home, but I ran into a roadblock at one of the entrances to my neighborhood. A telephone pole had fallen on someone's roof. I was horrified. I tried to go back out to the main road, but it was also closed off. I had to drive an extra few miles just to get into the neighborhood.

I had my brother come out to help me with the food, and that's when I discovered that there was a hole in my styrofoam drink cup. It'd been leaking the whole time, and the cupholder was filled about two inches with Sprite. Once we got that mess taken care of and ate our lunch, I settled down for a nap. I was so tired that I didn't notice the heat.

When I woke up, my parents still weren't home. But they had texted us to tell us they had a plan for the food in the fridge. They wanted us to pack it all up with some ice and take it to the fridge at my dad's work. My dad and brother did that and then returned with dinner from Wendy's for all of us.

My dad went outside to clean up the plethora of fallen branches, while the rest of us stayed inside and played cards. I love playing games, so I was happy that it was one of our only options. With the power out, no one could watch TV or play video games and we couldn't be on our phones too much without them dying.

We played by lantern light (battery-powered lights, not fire). I'm almost always hot, so the lack of AC was making me miserable. I found a power bank in my room that I'd bought years ago for charging my phone on the go. I didn't expect it to have any charge left, but it did! I plugged in a USB desk fan and basked in its breeze while we played.

I hoped it would be like the Hanukkah candles that lasted for eight nights with only enough oil for one. Alas, the fan stopped after a couple of hours. Still, I was grateful for the time it did work.

When my dad came back in and cleaned up, he agreed to play a game of Yahtzee with me. He didn't understand why we were using lanterns and flashlights instead of candles, so I lit one to make him happy. Not long into the game, he got three Yahtzees. Each Yahtzee over one was a hundred points each. I knew I had no chance of winning, but we kept playing for the sake of his high score.

After that, we went to bed. It was an uncomfortable night's sleep. It took me a while to even fall asleep. I spread out as much as I could in an attempt to keep cool. The whole night, I never used a sheet. At one point, I even pushed my pillow out from under my head. When I woke up in the morning, I noticed I'd kicked the body pillow off my bed.

It was Monday: Memorial Day. We were told the power would be back on by 5 pm. My dad was working until noon, but my mom and brother and I got ready and left the house to do some shopping. We were basically chasing AC. We went to IHOP for breakfast, and it was nice to be able to sit and relax in the cool air. We went to a couple of other places with AC, but it was a hot day and sweating was inevitable.

We got back home around 2. I was supposed to go to Braum's around 3 to watch some training videos for my new job. I napped on the couch for less than a half hour with my head dangling near the open window. Right before I left, my dad called the power company and asked if they still expected restoration by 5. They didn't. They said it could be up to two more days.

I was miserable when I left the house, but at least Braum's had AC. I was there for a couple of hours. When I got home, it was dinner time. We thought it'd be cheaper to get a meal from Reasor's, so all of us except my dad went out. While we were there, I posted a desperate video on Snapchat begging for a place to spend the night. I also texted a couple of friends.

On the way home, I got a pleasant surprise. One of my friends was going to let me stay overnight at her place. I went home and ate dinner and then packed a bag and headed out. Right before I left, I found out that a couple from church had invited us to stay at their house. I had already accepted my friend's invitation, but my mom and brother went to stay at the church couple's house. My dad was stubborn and insisted he'd be fine in the hot house.

I had an amazing time at my friend's house. I sat in the AC and talked with her and her sister. I also got to play with their little dog. When it was time to go to bed, she gave me her room. It was nice and cool and the bed was super comfortable. I felt like I was in paradise. I slept wonderfully.

I woke up the next morning and quickly got ready to leave. My friend was about to leave on a road trip with her sisters and I didn't want to be there after they left. I packed up, said goodbye to my friend and her dog, and headed out. I was going to go to my mom's work to spend the day with her in the AC. She was a school nurse, but the kids were done with school, so it was just her in the clinic.

I made a few stops on the way there and ended up only staying for less than a half hour before we had to leave. She was going to have lunch with some colleagues. My brother and I weren't hungry, but we couldn't stay in the clinic without her. We ran a few errands and then stopped for lunch on the way back to the school. We stayed there for about an hour and a half.

When my mom was allowed to leave, we drove over to my dad's work. My mom had a flight to catch, so we were going to take her to the airport and then stay at work with our dad. He'd agreed to put us up in a hotel for the night if the power still hadn't come back on.

Shortly after we got to my dad's work, we found out the power was back on! I had to stop at a couple of places on the way home, but I got there before my brother since he had to gather up all the food we'd taken to my dad's work. When I walked in, the house was cool. I was surprised because I thought it'd take hours for the house to cool down. There was a lamp on in the family room and some lights on in the bathroom that we hadn't turned off. Everything was back to normal.

I reveled in the cool air that had been so harshly and abruptly taken from me. As a twenty-year-old, you might've expected me to miss my phone the most. After all, I couldn't charge it so I couldn't use it much. But I made do without it. It turned out what I missed the most was the AC and my fans. I didn't mind turning on flashlights and lanterns and having forced family bonding time. I didn't mind eating out for every meal. What I really missed was the cool air I'd become so accustomed to. It's the reason I could never live without electricity.

64 hours without power helped me build character and learn perseverance. But, in the end, I'm glad to have my AC back and to sleep comfortably in my bed.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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