Sunday, December 16, 2007

A Shared Cup of Coffee

Whew! May I never take heat for granted. As each day passes, last week seems more and more like a bad dream, except that it's still a very bad dream for many people in Oklahoma. Last look OG&E System Watch still shows 83,000 people in the OKC metro still without power. Hats off (and a huge thank you) to Oklahoma utility crews and those from Texas, Arkansas, New Mexico, Louisiana, Mississippi and Indiana who restored power to 217,000 people since Tuesday afternoon.

We stayed at the house during the power outage which wasn't too bad those first 48 hours thanks to B's efforts over the last few years insulating the ceiling and walls and new windows. But by the 3rd night it was pretty brutal. The low temperature inside the house was 46 degrees. Closing off all the bedrooms helped preserve a little bit of heat. We moved our mattress into the front room and pulled out all blankets, afghans, and comforters. Although we tried to think of it as an adventure and cabin living, it became increasingly difficult. At least at the cabin we had a heat source.

Anyway, there were a few really sweet moments. One of my favorite was Monday morning. B and I woke of course to a very cold house. The shock of seeing treacherously bent and broken branches all over the neighborhood was a bit scary and unsettling. Sadly, four large branches from our maple tree were broken and many more hanging 3-4 feet lower than normal.

I called a work colleague who confirmed the office was closed due to the weather. B set out to make an alternative hot beverage. During the middle of the night when we lost power he realized we were SOL with our morning coffee. (We are avid morning coffee drinkers.) B manually lit the gas burner on the store, boiled up some water and made a couple of hot cups of tea.

About 30 minutes later, the phone rang (while we still had phone service) and it was our next door neighbor.

"Do you have coffee?"

"No. Unfortunately, we have the means but no grounds. Water and a gas stove, but can't grind the beans."

"Well come on over. We have plenty of grounds, so bring your means."

We boiled up another pot of hot water, primed the thermos, and filled it to the top with luscious hot water. Sharing a hot cup of coffee with our neighbors brought a strange comfort in the midst of the strange sights and sounds.

1 comment:

Nina said...

I love the way you wrote this. We were prepared to tough it out, too. By the end of Monday, all day without power--stove is electric, so no cooking--we decided to go to (ick) the mall for a hot meal. AND a hot drink.

We got there around 6:30, 7 pm and Starbuckets was closing! Oh, I was sad. But we ate, and after stopping to buy some Sterno so we could "cook" something, went home to find the power restored.

I was ready for it to go again, though, with branches still breaking all around. I know what you mean, not taking heat for granted. But with kids in the house, I was very glad to have the power on so soon. We would have been okay, and then there was the option of going to the Cox Center if no power, but I sure am glad we didn't have to.

And I think there are still folks without power!