Day Four: The Exiles Return

Look! I made toast!

Day Four: Tuesday, around 10:00 am, after Liam thoroughly trounced me at Pokemon, we headed home. Traffic was light. The sky was pinkish-copper and my throat and nostrils itched with the smoke as soon as I went outside. We drove home carefully.

The stoplights were out, and our neighborhood was still without power. We had gas, though, so we could cook on the stove and take hot showers. The first thing we did was make a pot of coffee. The second thing we did was pour it into a thermos and take it across the street to our neighbor, who’d gotten home about an hour before.

The house was 54 degrees. It was in the seventies outside, so we opened the sliding doors and all the windows.

Two doors down, they were running a generator. They said they offered this as partial apology for the racket.

Pro-Tip: When your spouse gives you a battery-operated headlamp as a gift years previously, and you put it in your Emergency/Travel drawer, do not put it near the bottom of the drawer. Let it sit near the top so you can find it in the pitch-black when you need to. Now, with our house filled with daylight, the ratchet of generators and the cawing of the local crows, I found it easily.

I’m either a techno-hippie or someone who found their headlamp.

Go into a room, turn on the light switch. Remember, and turn it off. Go into another room, turn on the light switch. Remember, and turn it off. Go back into the first room…

I went into western Santa Rosa, because I heard they had power, and I thought the libraries might be open. I have a Verizon wireless modem, called a “jetpack,” that I had been counting on, but it malfunctioned, and on Tuesday afternoon and evening I could not get to the internet via my phone, due to the rate of demand.

Driving in, I came to a four-way stop with a glowing green light hanging over it. Cars were driving right through, not following the four-way-stop rule! I thought, “What’s wrong with these people? Don’t they know that… Oh. The power’s on.”

The power was on in some spots, just not the library. I made other plans and went to a friend’s house. He opened the door and said quietly, “Um, we’re not supposed to be here.”

I gasped. “You scofflaws! You mean they haven’t downgraded your status get and you came back?”

He nodded. He didn’t look very embarrassed.

And they had power and internet.

Battery-operated lights you were going to use for a festive upcoming holiday can make you look shockingly prepared.
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