Monday, February 11, 2013

Surviving Nemo

My boss told me last Thursday the department is working from home Friday.  My first work from home experience in a full-time perm job!

Since I live in Quincy, there was no storm activity in the early morning Friday so I ran out to get groceries and gassed up my car.  Frozen pizza was big for this storm.  As I was working at my dining room table, I noticed that my apartment wasn't really heating up.  I still had hot water so I called my heating oil company.  This is when snow flakes had started whirling.  Turns out I was out of heating oil so I needed an emergency fill-up - sayonara $600.  That afternoon, I was charging every chargeable device in my place when I got a text from a cousin elsewhere in Quincy saying she lost power.

Thank goodness for Sandy months ago!  I still had my power outage supplies.  My place lost power Friday night while I slept.  The apartment was in the 40's when I woke up so I layered on blankets and clothing then stayed in bed for a while.  I could not decide whether it would be worth it to dig out my car and come back to a freezing apartment. You're supposed to come back to a hot mug of cocoa damn it!  Then I realized that shoveling would warm me up and I would have access to a heated car.

Quincy plowed my street once overnight and the driveway had been partially shoveled by kind neighbors.  My landlord only clears snow when it suits him.  Since I have twisted separated ribs, I very carefully and slowly dug my car out.  I couldn't get it out of the spot and pain was getting to an unbearable level.  This is my first full-on freakout during Nemo.  I was sitting in my car warming up and resting close to tears with no idea how to get my car out.  My thoughts went to wonderful mythical Manservant Toby.  Then, I got a text from my cousin saying they got their power on.  Ah ha!  She's young, healthy and strong with a boyfriend - my saviors.

I got back inside and popped some pain pills to recover while I lay under 5 blankets with Stella curled up under them next to me and Ras snoozing on my feet.  Cats are awesome in power outages - walking hot water bottles!  I got some sleep but I had opened the panicky freakout door in my mind so I started remembering parts of Little House on the Prairie where it was deadly to sleep in the cold, I also considered building a fire in my tub to warm up, I considered the possible heat all the candles I own could give off, and of course I imagined my cats eating my dead frozen corpse and staying warm in my entrails Tauntaun style.  It was 35 degrees in my apartment by 8:30 PM Saturday night.  Like the proud strong independent woman I am, I called my mother crying and unable to come up with options.  She knew my aunt had gotten power back that day so the plan became evacuate apartment.  I left some hand warmers for the kitties to snuggle.

My cousin lost power Saturday night so she wasn't able to help dig out my car since she was evacuating Sunday.  They still don't have power!  A night's sleep in heat and a hot breakfast was pure nirvana for me.  My aunt drove me home and got my car out.  I had shoveled enough but didn't know how to rock it out.  Are there classes for rocking cars out?  Plus, my apartment had power!  It had come on early enough for my DVR to record Saturday Night Live.  Of course I cranked up the heat, did laundry, and reveled in the dissipating stress.  It took 8 hours for my place to get close to 50 degrees.

That's when I heard this trickling sound.  I thought it was my washer or a faucet I hadn't shut off properly.  Nope.  It was two spots in my baseboard heating vents in my bedroom leaking rivulets of water.  I used up all available towels and it still kept coming. I called my landlord and turned off the heat.  This felt like the cherry on my blizzard freakout sundae.  I just wanted to feel safe and relaxed in my home! I am proud to say I cried in front of my landlord who told me to, "Grow up."

I have two burst pipes in my bedroom so heat and hot water have been shut off.  My landlord gave me a portable heater so I can sleep comfortably.  In theory, everything should be fixed tomorrow.  If there are only two burst pipes in my place.  They have to do a nitrogen test to look for leaks.

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