Oct. 29th, 2011- worst day of my life? No, not the WORST day ever, but it certainly didn’t go well. Not sure if anyone heard, but the North East suffered its first winter storm of the Fall (yes, I said WINTER storm, in October. What’s up with that Mother Nature?). Everyone on the news kept saying how great it was that this storm happened over the weekend, it wouldn’t affect as many people. Um, excuse me but I had MAJOR plans for this weekend. First, there was a home Penn State football game and I am a season ticket holder who does NOT like to miss games. On top of that, this game was going to be a historic event; if Penn State won it would be Joe Paterno’s record breaking 409th win. Obviously, one of the biggest events of my life since Joe Pa is my pride & joy and former neighbor from college! Secondly, it was Halloween weekend and after much debate (there really wasn’t a debate- as soon as somebody called and asked me to go to a party with them I screamed “YES!") I decided to participate in Halloween this year with a legendary costume. I mean, this costume idea is EPIC. I’m pretty sure these party goers would have instantly invented a costume contest just to unanimously award me for this bangin’ costume (picture a banner saying “Mindy is #1 at Halloween-ing!"). On top of all this, I had plans to do a bunch of laundry (exciting!!!)and a few hours of work (necessary!!!). Well, apparently the universe wanted none of these things to happen because we got dumped on. I mean, we’re used to a lot of snow in Pennsylvania and I am by no means a baby about cold weather, but this storm just came out of no where and we were NOT prepared.
On Saturday morning I was out visiting one of my elderly clients & preparing to leave for State College, but by 9am my brother texted me saying we would have to cancel our plans for the football game- there was going to be too much snow. Ok, major bummer but we’d regroup with a viewing party at his house, maybe I’d wear some super comfy sweatpants (don’t judge- you know you love them too) and we’d probably all have some pizza. Fun times, right? Wrong. By the time I headed home around noon, the storm had gotten a bit out of control and it was clear I needed to get home, fast. Now, for those of you who don’t know, I live on top of a mountain. Not a huge, huge mountain, but the 3 miles or so I drive up the mountain to get to my house is enough to cause A LOT of problems when there is bad weather. Our township is usually like, “Sorry suckers- you live in the middle of no where so enjoy being a hermit until we dig you out”. Luckily, my mom has an SUV and was willing to come pick me up at the bottom of the mountain (goodbye little car- enjoy your night out in the snow!) and drive me up to the house. Yeah… that didn’t work either. We dodged falling trees the whole way up the mountain (for real, it like a game of Frogger), but about 1 mile from home the SUV got stuck as well. After swearing for a solid 10 minutes, I decided we’d just walk the rest of the way, hunker down for the night and watch the PSU game with a big cup of tea. Still a decent Saturday, right? Wrong, again. We walked the rest of the way home, up hill, in a snow storm, only to be greeted by a cozy home WITH NO POWER!!!
Usually, I don’t get too upset about having the electricity go out. Sometimes I fancy myself a Jane or Elizabeth Bennett and take to my bed for the night (Come find me Mr. Darcy). Also, it’s nice to be off the grid every now and then (I am like WAY too popular, won’t this phone ever stop ringing???). All of this would have been fine if I wasn’t now COMPLETELY missing PSU’s game, missing Joe Pa making history, missing my costume celebration (I’m telling you people- GREAT idea!!!) but now it was quickly becoming a frozen tundra in my bedroom. I will spare you all of the heartache (I’m not really sure how to type out that many tears), but just know that it was a loooooonnnnnnngggggggg, cold night. And then that night was repeated on Sunday… and Monday…and, as of posting this, Tuesday. We STILL don’t have power- grrrr!!!! I’ve resorted to camping out in the Barnes & Noble café to use their free wifi for a few hours each day to catch up on emails (and blog postings- you're welcome).
Incidentally, Penn State did win (barely) and Joe did get his record. Congrats to JoePa on his 409th win- proud to be part of the Penn State family.
As awful as these few days have been, I’m still counting my blessings. I’m really lucky that I have family whose willing to help me out, especially my poor mom who ended up getting her car stuck just trying to give me a lift (and I was in an awful mood too- sorry mom!). Major props to my brother and little nephew who came out early on Sunday morning to help me dig out my car, then stuck around to dig out our mom’s car too (aren’t big brothers the best???). Plus, he and my sister-in-law have allowed me access to a hot shower in their home during these powerless days. I have a new appreciation for anyone less fortunate than me who has the burden of sleeping out in the cold year round. Please make sure you donate any old coats, hats, gloves and scarves this fall so that other people can keep warm during the winter months. If you need information on where to donate, check here.
Here’s to hoping that I can cozy up in a WARM bed tonight, and that I never forget to be thankful for all the times I get to weather a storm from the safety of my home.
*post title from “Lua” by Bright Eyes