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Thursday, July 28, 2005

Blackout

Song playing in my head: Last Night, I Didn’t Get To Sleep At All. Actually, the last TWO nights.

Seems like only yesterday that I was in the dark in the sweltering heat without electricity. Wait, that WAS yesterday.

Let’s start with Monday night. It was warm and I had trouble sleeping. So I got up, posted my Tuesday blog, worked on a future piece, went downstairs to read or watch TV. I wondered what was the ugly thing Carol had attached to the curtain rod on the (partially glass) front door. Suddenly I realized it was a sleeping bat! Crap, I HATE bats. I paced around for about 10 minutes, then got a towel, grabbed the bat, opened the door and tossed bat (and towel) out the front door. I went upstairs and told Carol, and neither of us got any sleep the rest of the night.

Tuesday morning, the towel is still outside. Is the bat still in it? I put towel in a box. Carol took the box to a lab, where technician found no bat. In other words, I had put a towel in a box, and poked holes in it so it could breathe.

Tuesday noon, the Health Department didn’t believe we were exposed to rabies.

Tuesday night, Carol implemented some bat-proofing activities, which included putting down a towel (another towel, not the bat-towel) in the space under the door leading to the attic. This process also involved staring at the roofline at dusk to see if a bat might come in, so we could identify how the bat came in. This was a fruitless activity. We went to bed around 10:15 p.m.

At 10:30 p.m., the power went off, only for a few seconds, but long enough for the clocks to go to the flashing mode. Carol reset the clock, we went back to bed, and the power went out again, for 3 to 5 minutes. She reset the clocks AGAIN, and we returned to bed.

Daughter Lydia has a tendency to wake up during the night, but then she rolls over and goes back to sleep. But at 12:30 or so, she must have seen the netting Carol put over her crib as bat-proofing, and she started wailing uncontrollably. She stood up, which made her even more frantic. I went into her room and picked her up, expecting to rock her back to sleep in the guest room.

Then the power went off AGAIN. So I brought Lydia to our bed, because I figured it would be better to be on the prowl for bats together, and I got a flashlight. The power remained off. As the air outside became more still, the stickiness quotient increased. I looked for batteries for the portable radio to see if I could get some news. I found 4 new C batteries; unfortunately, the radio needed 6 D batteries.

I got dressed to go to the 24-hour grocery store a couple blocks away. While we had no power, the school across the street that’s being torn down must have a generator for their night work. A house a couple doors down must also have a backup system. The main street in the area, Madison Avenue, was fairly well lit. The library had an emergency light system, the police station, the TrustCo bank and the gas station (which was closed) all had some lights from generators.

Unfortunately, the Price Chopper on Madison was dark. Almost mockingly, the street east of Main Street, just a block away in that direction, was lit. As I peered south down West Lawrence, dark as far as I could see, I discovered a peculiar thing. Tree-lined streets are lovely in the day, and quaint at night with street lights. But these same trees block the limited illumination of a half moon already obscured by high clouds, making the trek down that street feel like a tunnel, with only a flashlight for guidance. It was strangely unsettling.

I went home, and the three of us slept, more off than on. (At 3 a.m., it was 79 degrees F, with a relative humidity of 66.9 at the Albany Airport, which is usually COOLER than it is in town - that reading meant hot and quite humid.) Finally, at 4:15 a.m. yesterday morning, power was finally restored.

The other tune running through my head is I'm So Tired.

3 comments:

Lefty said...

I'm with you there on the heat. Last night I woke up around 2:30 and our a/c kicked on it was 80 in the house. I am NOT looking forward to our electric bill this month.

Weary Hag said...

Kudos to you for posting when you're so tired. Good job! I'm also glad you poked holes in the box so that poor towel could breathe; so humane of you. *grin*

Thanks for the great read ... hopefully by now, your power is behaving itself and the bats are following suit.

Very nice blog! (thanks for stopping by and leaving your mark on my recent post)

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