Pardon the Interruption

I’m back at home after the 24-hour power outage. The kids liked the adventure, but, in reality, it was a huge inconvenience. Oh well, what can you do? With the recent snowstorms and earthquakes happening in different corners of the world, I’m grateful the outage wasn’t that serious.

I started the following post on Friday and never got a chance to post it because wireless service was down in my area. Also, poetry-related activities have kept me busy: reading with Afaa Michael Weaver on Thursday, speaking with Salem State students on Friday, reading for Black History Month on Saturday—not to mention The Trashfinders Ball last night (not poetic but definitely fun). I have pictures from all the events I hope to post soon. But today, the priority is cleaning the basement.

Here’s Friday’s post.


I am writing this post from The Atomic Café. Why not Starbucks? Because the power is out at my Starbucks up the street. And the wireless network is down all over. I’m just asking myself what can go wrong next?

  • After my reading with Afaa, which was terrific, but after … that’s when the fun started …

  • It was a dark and stormy night. Wind gusts at 55 mph. Rain coming down sideways. On my ride home, I ran over a dead skunk.

  • Parked in car in the garage thinking, “What if a tree falls on the car?” Forgot that I ran over a skunk, The garage smells like skunk.

  • Had a momentary thought that the power might go out, and sure enough, it did. Power out at 10:42 p.m.

  • The house sits on a high water table (read: flooding). With no power, the sump pump did not run. The hole where the pump sits quickly fills with water.

  • I grab a bucket and a pitcher and start bailing out water from the hole where the sump pump sits. I am a human sump pump. I do this for 2.5 hours thinking the power will come back on soon. About 2 a.m., I realize my efforts are futile and go to bed.

  • Around 3 a.m., Ella wakes me up because she can’t sleep (Can’t wait until she has kids of her own). She keeps me awake until 4 p.m. I send Ella back to bed saying words to the effect, “I love you very much, Ella, but this isn’t working for me."

  • I wake up at 5:30 a.m. Power still off.

  • 6 a.m. Alex wakes up he’s excited about no power. Terrific. Basement has 1.5 inches of water. Not much water, but enough to make a grown woman cry alone in the bathroom while the kids getting dressed.

  • 8:15 a.m. Kids off to school. I have a full-on meltdown. Call parents for long-distance hug.

  • 9:30 a.m. No power. I talk to J.D. Scrimgeour about my appearance speaking to classes today at Salem State. We’re still a go. Will be the high point of my waterlogged day.

  • 10:45 a.m. Heading home now to put a cold compress on my eyes. Please, God, let the power be on and the smell of skunk gone from the house.

  • Noon, My wrist starts to swell from the repetitive motion of bailing out water.

  • Comments

    Kells said…

    I hear you. It sounds as if things are getting better now (yes?), Your power has returned and Starbucks wi-fi full again.

    I like long distance hugs. Or virtual hugs. Or whatever you can get! Here's one from the NW. <> Be well.
    January said…
    Yes, things are better. Thanks for the hug! Much appreciated.
    Susan Rich said…
    It sounds like quite a ride! When Seattle lost power -- or parts of Seattle lost power -- for a number of days, we were all coffee shop refugees. A huge strain -- and yet ...

    Glad you've returned home. It gets better now. Enjoy visiting Salem State. I'm from Brookline and would take the purple trains to Salem regularly.
    Jessie Carty said…
    ugh! what a nightmare! makes me really really glad i don't have a basement..then again..if it did flood it would be my
    mister jim said…
    Skunks, floods, outages..
    ugh, must come with the
    region. Too common here.
    Hope it all clears up soon.
    26 hrs out here. Better than
    my VP last year..2 weeks!
    Maya Ganesan said…
    Ouch. Looks like you had a pretty nightmarish day - hope things are much much better now.
    P. Sinclair said…
    Aw, man! Glad to hear you survived that one. Nothing like the lingering smell of skunk to make everything seem worse.

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