Sunday, December 21, 2008

Putting the icing on a long week

A few stray thoughts about the ice storm, as I slowly die from shoveling the 22 inches of snow we received since Friday…

WTAG was absolutely awesome. The radio station was on the air nearly non-stop with constant updates from local town officials and messages from listeners. It would have been very easy for them to stick with their regular programming and just cover the storm during its local shows, but they have preempted their day time talkers to keep people informed. (OK, Jim Polito and George Brown could recite the Worcester phone book and be more informative than the Glenn Beck Show…but I digress.) And it’s not like WTAG was unaffected by the storm. For quite a while they were broadcasting with only a single cellphone as their means of receiving information—the shows those first couple of days consisted of the anchors reading text messages they were receiving since the station had no phone service. Even so, they kept at it and provided the only source of real time information to most of us in the affected area.


Karma really is a just never know when it’s going to present itself. After riding out the first strike of Hurricane Katrina while we were in Florida three years ago, Michelle and I watched landfall in New Orleans from an airport where we were waiting for a flight home. I remember remarking that we live in just about the perfect place: We’re far enough inland that we are spared the brunt of most hurricanes; we don’t live near a river, so we won’t be flooded out of our home; we almost never have tornadoes; we don’t have to worry about large brush and forest fires; we don’t live in the fear of earthquakes…the worst that ever happens is a huge blizzard, and even then we might lose power overnight. So much for that…


It’s really odd going to the gas station, pulling out the gas can so that you can fill up the generator, and seeing that every other car at the pumps is doing the same thing. No one is gassing up their car.


Ah yes, the generator…I finally decided Monday morning that I’d had enough of living like a refugee and that I was going to find some way to get power if it was the last thing I’d do. I got really lucky. I searched the online sites for stores throughout New England and finally found a Lowe’s in Newington, Conn. that showed the possibility of having some in stock. I called and was told that they were out—all of the generators in the area were being shipped to stores farther north. So on a whim I called Home Depot in Leominster and the woman who answered the phone told me to get in my car and get up there right away as a shipment of them was just pulling into the store.

It took most of the afternoon to set it up and I still wasn't particularly confident about it, so while Michelle and I spent the night at home, Jackson still stayed with my parents. Jackson slept in his own bed Tuesday night for the first time in five days and he was very happy about it. Watching him singing and dancing to a song on "Thomas the Tank Engine" with a huge smile on his face after being out of sorts for nearly a week was worth the $800 or so I paid for the generator.


Oh, and one more thing...anyone who says facing adversity and roughing it and all of that makes one tougher or builds character is full of baloney. It makes one cold and tired and frazzled. I fail to see the upside.

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