What 5 Inches Really Means

Posted on January 28, 2011


In case any of you have been living behind LBL’s washer and dryer with an assortment of her missing socks and underwear, you might not know that DC just had a five inch snowfall on Wednesday.  Traffic police in the area were immediately diverted from directing traffic to riding around in big official-looking trucks.  This resulted in a travel commute home for most folks that equaled the exact same time it takes to drive from New York to San Francisco.  There were too many horrible stories to report, so instead, the news recounted the same ones over and over.  Tons of people, either out of gas or battery power, or in a swoon from not having eaten for days, abandoned their cars wherever they landed.  The result was a scene that looked remarkably like LBL’s son’s bedroom floor, back in 1983.

Now Husband and LBL watched the horror shows unfolding on the TV, happy that they were safe and sound at home.  Until, while she was halfway through writing one of her clever comments on someone else’s blog post, the power went out.  The following ensued:

  1. Immediate temperature drop to 55 degrees at the front of the house, tundra conditions at the back, where their bedroom is.
  2. Immediate really bad smell emanating from the refrigerator.
  3. Immediate Bridezilla attitude assumed by LBL, without the need to plan an actual wedding.

Twice, during the next 40 (or 200) hours, the power went back on, just long enough for LBL to rush to the computer and email her kids that she had power again.

Then there was a GIANT BOOM (Imagine these words in zillion point type). The power went out again.  Now, all hope was lost, along with half the contents of the refrigerator.

NH opened the front door to “let the radiated heat from the sun into the house.”  LBL is not making this up.  Had there been phone service, she would have called a divorce attorney or a dementia specialist.  As it was, all she could do was to continue sitting in front of the fireplace with eight layers of clothes on and a blanket over that.

Candles burned.  NH wore his strapped-to-the-head miner’s floodlight, blinding LBL whenever he turned to speak to her.  Miracle the Cat positioned herself in front of the fireplace, and, to LBL’s knowledge hadn’t eaten or eliminated in 40 hours.

Last night they went to sleep at 8:30, under three or four blankets.  LBL wore the clothes she had on all day, which included two pairs of socks and a pair of penguin-theme heavy slipper socks.  They awoke at 6AM to a house blazing with light in ever room, two room space heaters springing into action, and various appliances beeping and bonging away.  LBL sprang out of bed, turned out all the lights, pushed the button on the coffee maker, and assumed her usual position in front of the computer.  After awhile, NH got out of bed, walked around the house and came back to where LBL was sitting.

“Who left the front door standing wide open all night?” he asked.

LBL took another swig of gloriously hot coffee and gazed lovingly at NH.  She didn’t say a word. That’s what having electrical power will do to you.