Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Whiny Blog about Power Outage

Context -
I am not unaccustomed to living/staying for an extended period in places where municipal services are shut down for hours or days at a time.  When I was in Leningrad there wasn't any hot water for 48 hours (I have no idea - don't ask).  Since we have arrived in Belgium there has been one afternoon when our whole neighborhood didn't have electricity.

That said, when the power went out yesterday afternoon, I initially didn't think much of it.  I chalked it up to a scheduled outage that I was unaware of.  A bit of an inconvenience but we could do without power for a few hours, besides I was the only one home and would soon be leaving (or so I thought).

My car was in the garage.  No problem - pull the release and manually lift up the door.  The release was easy enough to find and pull.  Manually lifting the door was another issue.  There wasn't any handle on the interior of the garage.  OK, I'll just go outside.  There wasn't any handle on the exterior.  My finger tips are not that strong and I wasn't willing to crush them by reaching under the door.

I really needed to get out.  I had a meeting at the school with the guidance counselor.  I had been waiting five days for the meeting.  No electricity = no car = no meeting.  OK, I could reschedule, not ideal but could be done.

Next I needed to be out to go pick up Kyra from school and drop off dinner for Allen.  Power should be back on in time.  As the time drew closer but without power, I started trying to get ahold of Kyle, who always has his work cell phone with him.  Guess who wasn't answering.

Overall a very frustrating afternoon.  Insert more blah, blah, whine, whine here. Turns out it wasn't a scheduled outage.  The house circuit breaker flipped (not sure why, I was alone at home using far less power than when four of us are home).  How to turn everything back on was not immediately intuitive, Kyle got everything restored in time for me to miss all my meetings/pick-ups.

For the future, I now know how to turn the power back on and I have learned to leave my car out if I think we are likely to lose power.


  1. We are totally unaware of how much we depend on electricity until we lose it. There is never a convenient time.

  2. Have Kyle install a "lifting handle" on the inside of the garage door. Easy, if the door is wooden, harder if metal. Practice a couple of times to be sure you are well prepared to open and close it solo. You might need to keep a board nearby to push the door higher than you can reach. When you lose electricity, be sure to take a door key when you close the garage door and drive off. Otherwise you are, in effect, locked out of your own house.