Hey! Who Turned Off The Lights?!

Everyday at 6:30, I eat my breakfast while checking my email. The house is quiet and peaceful. Each morning the same, predictable routine. I like routine.

Well, yesterday's routine was interrupted by the electricity going off when I was halfway through with my cereal. The computer when black and the house was completely dark. I started to make my way to Charlotte's room by running my hands along the walls. Charlotte was already awake and reading in her bed so I knew she was going to be worried about being in the dark. I got to her as she was coming out of her room. I calmed her down and then I heard Evan calling from his room, "Mama, my lights not work!" So, with both kids in tow, we made our way slowly to the back door where they could look out and see the pre-dawn light while I searched for a working flashlight or lantern.

It should have been an easy task since we have about 20 flashlights and several camping lanterns. This task was made more difficult since it was completely dark inside. None of the flashlights that I found had working batteries in them. I finally found a small flashlight and replaced it's batteries by feeling my way around the junk drawer... a scary job. I found our camping lanterns then with the help of the flashlight and found that they were too cold to work properly since I store them in our unheated storage closet.

After finding out from the power company that they expected power to be back on in our neighborhood by 10am, I called the daycare parents and told them to go ahead and bring their kids and we'd have an adventure today. On parent offered for us to use their house if it got too cold in mine.

I helped Evan and Charlotte get dressed and ready for school by flashlight. Boy, the sun sure takes it's time rising when you need the light desperately! The lantern started to warm up and give off a little light as the sun came up. Figures.

I got Charlotte onto the bus and then the kids and I played in Evan's room because it was warmer then the playroom. When we returned home after dropping two kids off at preschool, I noticed the temperature inside. 53* inside! No wonder I was so chilly!
Did I mention that it was 15* overnight in NORTH CAROLINA?!! The high was going to be 32*. This is super cold for our part of the country. This is our second cold snap lately. The average temp. for this time of year is 53*. We've been far from average for weeks now. The sink in my bathroom only had hot water because the cold water pipes had frozen. Luckily the pipes didn't burst.

So, with two daycare kids in tow, we drove to the daycare parent's house to hang out until our electricity came back on.

Every 15 minutes I would call my house waiting to hear the answering machine that would signal that we had power again. I was never so glad to hear the answering machine working around 11:00. So, after we picked up the preschoolers at noon, we headed back home to find the lights on and heat on. Luckily the house was up to 63* which felt quite balmy compared to 53*.

After our interesting morning, I've decided that any future house of our must have an alternate heat source. A heat pump just doesn't cut it when it's this cold outside. The emergency heat has been kicking on a lot more then it should because it's just too cold. I need a wood stove. Not only would a wood stove generate heat during a power outage, it would also help supplement any other heat system during these unusually cold winter days and nights.

Santa, can you bring us a wood stove? Oh, and the chimney it would need, the hearth, the neatly stacked wood outside, and pretty kettle to set on top of it? That's not too much to ask, is it?