On June 29, life as I so desperately needed it to be ceased to exist. Our power went out due to the horrible storm that left so much damage in its path.
I am a dementia patient, and most of us in this exclusive club are creatures of habit. I decided to put the tea kettle on and have a pity party for Patty. Oops, I have an electric stove; not going to happen.
My day is very structured. I get up and have oatmeal and yogurt, sit myself down and get lost in old movies. Didn’t happen. Lunchtime is a salad, but that couldn’t happen because my husband Jim, said, “DO NOT OPEN THE FRIDGE FOR ANYTHING!”
I am a retired florist and have come out of retirement to do my niece Dani’s wedding. My afternoons are spent using a glue gun to assemble bouquets. Glue guns need electricity.
At 4 p.m., on the dot, I started supper. Jim works third shift and likes his supper early. Besides that, we are old, and most old people eat supper at 4:30 in the afternoon, I have found.
It was so hot and miserable Jim didn’t feel like standing over a hot grill, so each day we would buy just enough food to make a sandwich. We could not store anything because EVERYONE was out of ice. My great idea was to get ice out of our refrigerator, but guess what? You need electricity.
At 7 p.m. I shower and do laundry. I could shower, but the laundry continued to mount.
I do my devotions at night, so that could happen, but at 10:50 p.m. my television is tuned to Alfred Hitchcock and then I change the channel at midnight and watch him again.
My family was frustrated with me, and I could not be consoled. My life was, as I saw it, over. My sister, Peggy did what she could to help. We went to her house a few hours each day to charge our cell phones and the laptop computer.
Jamie, my daughter, came up with a brilliant idea; we watched “The Dick Van Dyke Show” on the blessed laptop at night. This helped a bit.
As my pity party continued with just me as the guest, I looked around me as I listened. People were talking about their crushed cars, downed trees, roofs blown away and the horror of driving in that storm and having a tree fall two feet from their car. The local delivery man told us how the power line came down by Wendy’s on Broadway and brushed his truck. He said that he had never been so frightened in his life.
Patty’s pity party ended. I could struggle through a few more days. We decided as a family to deliver cookies and water to every power company vehicle we could find. The thank-yous we received were so overwhelming. They were thanking us, and they were the people who were working in unbearable conditions and trying to be patient with all the questions people were asking.
On the fourth day, we decided to use my friend Katy’s apartment. Our youngest daughter has cerebral palsy and needs special equipment each day. We loaded up two vehicles anticipating being at Katy’s until Saturday, the estimated time our power would be restored.
Just as we were leaving and getting ready to lock the door, the porch light came on and we heard the wonderful sound of our central air conditioner.
We did not mind unloading.