Growing Older

Bonnie, November 2013<
On November 17, 2013, a storm hit the Detroit area and has since been billed by Detroit Edison as the biggest in ten years. It started as a thunder-storm with heavy rain. I could hear the wind blowing and I learned later that it reached gusts of over 70 miles per hour. About and hour into the storm, my house lost power. I have electric baseboard heat so I also lost heat. At the time, it was about 40 degrees F. Losing power is not commonplace here, so I got my battery operated lantern and sat down to wait. I reported the outage To Detroit Edison. It was dark and looking out the window, I could see that my neighbors had no power. I had just finished dinner so at least I wasn’t hungry.

I got out a book to read and read by torchlight until I was tired. I went to sleep early and woke up cold. I fed my dog and I had a cold breakfast. I checked the mobile outage map on my iPhone and saw that we were supposed to get power right before midnight that same night. I decided I could tough it out. The house got colder and colder. Bonnie, my dog, and I went to the car to warm up. I started charging my electronic stuff.

By mid afternoon. The car wasn’t cutting it. Bonnie was shivering in the house. Bonnie will be fourteen next month and I have seen signs of her age. I can see that the hair on her muzzle is turning white. When I come home she recognizes me first by voice. At night when she goes out, she sometimes has trouble seeing and navigating the stairs. She doesn’t get up on the bed as easily. Unlike people though she is not plucking her grey hairs or complaining about pain in her joints. the sight of her shivering was a reminder that she is more fragile than she used to be. We went riding in the car. We both got warm. I finally stopped in a coffee shop which turned out to be and ad hoc warming center. While drinking the coffee, I checked the outage map. More were out of service and I was now scheduled for return of power in two days. I began to call kennels and got Bonnie a warm place for the duration. When I went home to pick up her food, it was colder and the temp was supposed to fall below freezing that night.

I delivered Bonnie to a kennel and stopped by a motel and booked myself a room. I was lucky. While I was there, another motel called to see if they had any rooms left. I got a cheaper room. It was clean and warm.
I went home to pack and go to the motel. I had offers from a couple of acquaintances to stay at their home. I did not know them well enough to stay at their homes.

I had to eat out. One was the “American BLT”. I thought it would be a normal BLT. Imagine my horror when I found a slice of the processed cheese product some call American cheese melted on the sandwich. I was able to scrape it off so I could eat it.

I stayed only one night. My power was restored early. Bonnie was two nights in the kennel. With my kind of heat it takes about 6 hours to warm.

The next couple of days, I had to go through my food. I had to throw out a lot. I had put some in the freezer which didn’t work. I had packed some in ice and it didn’t work.

Finally, by Saturday I was through the clean up and by yesterday I was back to normal.

One thought on “Growing Older

  1. Marsha so that sure wasn’t any fun! I am glad you and Bonnie have power and are warm again. We had 50mph wind gusts that week and I think that storm moved out of our area and into yours. We live rural and we are pretty used to our power going out but it doesn’t make it any easier. I know that had to be scary and worrisome and costly. It is always hard too when a little 4 leg furry body has to be thought of too. Sorry you went through all that but I think you sure handled it much better than I would have done. I probably would have done a lot of hand-wringing!

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