Saturday, August 25, 2007

If a tree falls on a power line, Part 2

Damn. You'd think the folks at Allegheny Power would spend a little time just cruising around in their big trucks looking for and cutting down threatening trees, wouldn't you? Especially since the last time this happened was just two months ago. [Disclaimer: I did not take the photo. But I could have!]

Mr. Shrinking Knitter and I ate dinner a little earlier than usual yesterday. By 6 p.m.
I was working playing Solitaire on the computer and he was reading while we waited for the evening news to begin. Suddenly … no power.

You know what's worse than 100 degrees and no rain? That would be 90 degrees, a thunderstorm and no power. It only took about 10 minutes for the heat and humidity to become cloying enough that we decided we needed to get in the car – excuse me, the air-conditioned car – and head out for dessert.

We went north to the nearest town with a Dairy Queen®, about 12 miles from us. That's right, Dairy Queen®. Because nothing fixes downed power line anxiety like an ice cream cone dipped in chocolate. About two miles from our destination the road was blocked and an unseemingly cheerful old fellow was informing travelers that it would take at least an hour to get past the tree and power line which were blocking the road.

So. There's a little mom-and-pop pseudo Dairy Queen® about seven miles south of our house. We headed there. I didn't think they had dipped cones, though, which was the comfort food I was needing.

I was right, but not only did they not offer chocolate-dipped ice cream, they asked us to wait a few minutes while they made more soft-serve. They didn't even have non-dipped ice cream!

Seven miles further was another Dairy Queen®; in mere minutes we were there. Mr. Shrinking Knitter was jonesing for a milkshake and I got my treat, but only after checking the poster listing the nutritional value of DQ® menu items. A small chocolate-dipped cone was 340 calories. I'd eaten about 1000 calories yesterday and did half an hour of free-weight training, good for a couple hundred at least. So even though I fell off the sugar wagon yet again, I still came in under the wire calorie-wise.

All in all, we figure we drove about 50 miles for an ice cream cone. But we were cool! And comfortable!

We were on the very southern edge of the storm. Less than a mile south of our house the roads were dry; it hadn't rained at all. It only rained at our place for half an hour, and it didn't even soak into the ground – no lightning, no hail, no wind and only distant thunder. But falling trees
don't care about details like that.

The original restoration estimate was 10 p.m.; we were jolted awake with lights! air conditioning! refrigerator hum! at 1 a.m. Since the second estimate they gave us was 8 a.m., we were pleasantly surprised to be awakened in the middle of the night. I'd had visions of discarding the contents of my refrigerator this morning, but the only thing I'm going to toss is a nearly empty carton of milk.

Most of the time, living in the Middle of Nowhere is lovely, peaceful and pleasant. But sometimes? It sucks.


M@rla said...

Oh right, you had ICE CREAM and then you seriously expect me to feel sorry for your paltry 90 degrees? Hah!

Oh I'm just teasing. I would much rather have 105 degrees with A/C than 90 without. That ice cream was THERAPY. Also, I am stunned that a small cone of soft serve has so many calories! How can it? A half cup of Ben and Jerry's real ice cream is only about 280 calories... what horrible secret ingredient is DQ using??? I must avoid it.

Mary Gee said...

Oh goodness. You just reminded me that my son brought me some dilly bars last night - they are in the freezer - but one is about to be in my tummy!

Laura N said...

Well at least you went back home and waited it out. I'd have probably gone to a hotel for the night... don't know that I could handle that kind of heat with two sweaty kids and a husband who can't stand to be hot (and neither can I).

50 miles for ice cream--wow! And you got my favorite. Chocolate dipped, yum yum. When I was pregnant with my daughter, the last 6 weeks I had a DQ dipped cone almost EVERY DAY. I usually skipped Sunday when we'd go have pancakes for lunch and I wouldn't need an ice cream. Could explain why I gained over 50 pounds, ya think? But man, I do love me some DQ!

ws said...

I loved chocolate dipped cones when I was a I'm not a fan of soft serve though. However, when I lived in california my boy and I would do similar things like drive 50 miles for a $5 food item so I can totally relate. And, I know what powerless and A/C less living is like too - but that is courtesy of hurricanes, at least in FL they've figured out power outages with each t-storm isn't practical. Hope there were no more power blips out in the middle of nowhere...