by Jerry Vovcsko
Went to bed last Friday with high winds from winter storm Nemo rattling tree limbs against the house. Woke up Saturday morning with no power, two and a half feet of snow on the driveway and spent the next forty-eight hours lighting candles, replacing flashlight and radio batteries, shoveling out the cars and wondering why National Grid electric company kept running that silly radio commercial telling us they were "with us and for us."
Saturday night the wife and I dug out all the spare blankets we could find, added them on top of the down comforter and topped it all off with two sleeping bags unzipped and piled over the bedding. I slipped under the covers wearing all my clothes, wool socks, a hunting cap and gloves. About the time I had settled in for the night, my kidneys informed me that it was time to make a bathroom call…of course.
By dawn the temperature inside the house was down to thirty-eight degrees and I was thinking about a visit to the local Big Box store (if I could find one open) to check out the generator situation. At least we still had running water and the kitchen stovetop worked just fine thanks to the folks who sent an uninterrupted supply of natural gas our way. We spent the day listening to the radio (battery operated, naturally) telling us about the three hundred and seventy five thousand others around the state who shared no-electricity status with us.
By midday Sunday the temperature outside actually felt warmer than in the house so we added another layer of clothing, finished shoveling out the cars and headed off for brunch at a diner a couple of towns over from us that still had power. National Grid's commercial continued to remind us that they were "with us and for us" and if we remained patient power would soon be returned to our homes. The car was a lot warmer than our house so we drove around Sunday afternoon tabulating the numbers of utility repair trucks that had been brought in from out of state to deal with Nemo's aftermath: forty seven by the time we quit counting.
Going back to a cold, dark house and opening cans of something or other for supper seemed out of the question so we decided to celebrate Chinese New Year at a Chinese restaurant in Bridgewater where we took on board hot food along with body&spirit-warming wet goods. Resigning ourselves to another cold night under stacks of makeshift covers we headed home. Our street remained dark and our neighbors houses shone nary a light.
We sat the dinner leftovers on the dining room table figuring there was no point in making room in the fridge as it was just as cold in the house. I poured us each a dollop of Harvey's Bristol Cream and as we lifted our glasses…the lights came on, the furnace made start-up noises and, to my wife's delight, we were back in business moments before the latest episode of "Downton Abbey" aired.
For us, winter storm Nemo moved into the memory banks and we slipped back into taking such essentials as heat, light and comfort for granted again.The late night news showed film of the storm's damage throughout the New England area and, oh, by the way, the weatherman told us…looks like another major storm coming our way next weekend. Guess we'll be eating Chinese again.
Cape Cod got slammed by Nemo with snowfall records shattering left and right. But in the midst of it all, one adventurous gent down on the Cape decided to try a little ice fishing and managed to snag himself a nine pound salmon on a shiner even as Nemo's winds were generating thirty-foot waves out on George's Bank. I call that dedication.