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Finding Power Without Power
I was lying on the pullout couch in my basement under a pile of blankets. Outside, the sky was pitch black. The wind was howling, winds up to 70 miles per hour from a Gulf hurricane that hit all the way in Ohio. The whole house shook with each clap of thunder. It seemed like the storm would go on forever. Then, right before I fell asleep, there was a clap of the loudest thunder you could ever hear, and the lights all went out. I could see nothing.
We still didn’t have power in the morning. Because my parents work at high schools, the sun isn’t raised yet when we get up in the morning. I remember very well how hard it was getting dressed with a flashlight. I couldn’t really see whet I was doing, so I was lucky that I put my pants on the right way that morning. As I got dressed, I wondered if we would go to Sixth Grade Camp. Of course we’ll go, I thought to my self. No camp has ever been canceled before.
The babysitter that my little brother, Kent, and I go to before and after school each day, Janie, didn’t have power either. During the forty- five minutes I had there in the morning, we spent most of it guessing when the power would come back on and what we would do without it. I forget what Janie and Kent said, but I remember that I said today or the day after. I didn’t know how wrong I was.
As I walked into homeroom, I heard kids talking about the power outage and the one question I wanted answered most: Were we going to camp? Mr. Heidy started taking attendance. After he called the last name in the class, he exclaimed.“ Ok everyone, we just have to wait for the announcement that will tell us to get on the bus, so sit tight.” Everyone iimmediately went back to talking.
“I hope we’ll leave soon.”
“Did your power go off last night?”
“ What do you think we’ll do once we get to camp?” were just a few things that rang in my ears.
The one that rang loudest of all was, “Do you think they’ll cancel camp?” That was the question no one could answer.
We waited and waited and waited and WAITED, but the announcement telling us to get on the bus never came. At first, when we heard the beeeeeep of the loud speaker, we all got excited. Then, a familiar voice started to speak, but it was not what we wanted to hear. “Sixth Grade Camp is canceled and will be rescheduled,” the voice crackled. My hopes were crushed.
Everyone had to call home to make sure someone would be there when we got off the bus in the afternoon. That took most of the morning, so for the rest of the day we just watched a movie to pass the time. It was the most depressing day of sixth grade.
There wasn’t any power when I got back to my house. We had enough hot water to get a shower at home that night. Our next-door neighbors came over for a shower, too. We always help each other’s families when they need it. I really didn’t mind the neighbors coming over because Hannah, a fifth grader at the time, was one of my best friends. We had fun playing together while the rest of her family got showers. It took not having power off our minds.
Tuesday, the second full day without power, was much like the first; besides the fact Mom and I went to Mrs. Alderson’s, a family friend, house for a shower, while Dad and Kent went to the high school, where Dad works, for their shower.
Since Mrs. Alderson’s house is pretty old, Mom and I had trouble working the showerhead. It felt weird not being in my own house to take a shower on a school day. It was nice to be in a lit home, but stranger than ever knowing I would return to a dark one.
It was Wednesday when there was something even stranger than not having power going on at my house. For one, there was an unknown truck in the driveway. For two, there was a mysteries machine right next to our house. And for three, the mystery machine was making a noise that sounded like a hundred motorcycles all turned on at the same time. Once we got away from the noise, Mom explained to us that the machine was a generator, and it would give us power of a few things. The generator belonged to Mr. Dinko, who was letting us borrow it till the power came back on.
After the generator was hooked up, we had a working refrigerator, a few working lights and running water. Extension cords ran all over our house, so you had to watch your step. It was loud, but the noise was worth the power.
As Thursday came and went, I was starting to wonder if the power would ever come back on. It was almost a relief to go to school because the lights would be on without the annoying generator sound in the back round. If the school didn’t have power, I wouldn’t have known what to do to fill my stressful day.
Friday afternoon, I came home, flipped off my shoes, and tried to turn on a light on just like I did everyday that week. But today, the light actually turned on! I had to check just to make sure I wasn’t imagining things. Yes! The light turned on again! “ We have power!” I said as loud as I could. Kent ran to the TV to turn it on. Then he did the same thing with the lamp by the couch and the lamp by the chair. Then he turned them off.
I never was so thankful for power. It’s something we all take for granted. Not having power made me realize how hard the lives of people who don’t have power are. Not having power makes me do everything I can to save power now. Not having power makes everyone, friends, family, some person you work with, everyone, find power without power.