Wednesday evening, the first snow of the season came in with 50 mph winds, and a ton of snow. When the power went out at 7PM I figured it might be the middle of the night before it was restored. Next morning found us still without electricity, so looking out the window at the snow blocking the access road, I figured Danny's Birthday plans were going to be on hold, and around 9AM I served him his Birthday cake for breakfast (I didn't spend days getting the cake and decorated cookies together to lose it all to a power outage). By 4 PM the temperature was really dropping inside the old drafty farmhouse, so we packed up, brought what could be salvaged from the fridge for dinner with us, and checked into a hotel. The last time we stayed in a hotel was four years ago, after the tornado. We're disaster oriented hotel guests. Nothing against the Red Roof Inn, but this time Mr. ETB splashed out on a tony place to stay. I'm not sure how I feel about Danny telling people it was, "Nicer than our house", but he enjoyed his Birthday stay at Omaha's classiest joint, particularly when the nice woman at the front desk sent up a card for a complementary movie, and addressed it to him along with Birthday wishes.
Today, (Friday) our power was restored around 4 PM. Just about everything in the fridge and freezer were lost (a duck, lutefisk, Icelandic Haddock, homemade puff paste, dozens of homemade pierogi, pot stickers, frozen veg from last summer's garden, and on and on). All my Christmas planning? Shot to hell, pretty much. I'm not looking forward to re-stocking my fridge a couple days before Christmas (I don't like the supermarket on a normal weekend) but I'm going to deal with it because really, what else can I do? It was painful tossing out all my hard work (breads, pastry, etc.) that I carefully froze, because the last year has seen my arthritis really progressing, and the thought of doing it all again...I don't know, in some ways it feels crushing. I always try to make extra of whatever I'm doing, "For the freezer" as a hedge against those days when I feel too exhausted to get dinner together. Now...I have two empty freezers. I can replace a duck-homemade puff paste, and a few dozen ravioli are more difficult. OK, enough of that, they both know how to boil a pot of rice, and open a tin of beans-no one is going to starve. We all know I have enough sardines in the larder to survive the end of the world, which didn't happen tonight, so at least we won't need to re-stock those.
As far as Danny is concerned, this was his favourite Birthday (he's 8 now). A fancy hotel, a brand-new weather station that he can monitor remotely from inside (yeah, we skipped installing the wind thingy on the roof in a blizzard-we'll get to that part next week) some birding items, and he got to watch the Dark Shadows movie on a plush sofa at a posh hotel. Oh, and he ate Birthday cake for breakfast. Not bad, power outages aside.
The past couple weeks have been a slew of up-down-up-up-up, down...up? Normal stuff of life, just *all at once*. Anyway, when we returned home, and stopped to check the post there was a lovely, unexpected Christmas card waiting for me. Amazing what a few kind words in a pretty card can do to brighten a day.
I did manage a few Birthday photos (in the still somewhat dark house) Thursday morning, and I'll post them eventually. The Birthday cake(s) were a hotel and house from Monopoly. The cookies were decorated to look like the property title cards. The quilt is still about a week out from being finished, but Danny's been patient about that.
It was a really nice hotel. Could have been on Park Place.