{Urban Camping} When The Lights Go Out

Urban CampingI try to look for the positive in every situation. On June 21st, the metro area was pelted with strong storms. In its wake the storm left flooded streets, thousands of downed trees, and over 500,000 people were left in the dark. At first Excel energy said our power would be restored by midnight. I didn’t think twice about it. So I dug around in the closet for my power outage supplies and waited.

The wait would be longer than two hours, that time had now been pushed out to midnight Sunday June 23rd. I went to sleep on Friday hoping that my lights would be on in the morning. Hope proved fruitless, on Saturday the muppet and I awoke to the sounds of helicopters and chain saws. Our lights didn’t work. Fearing my own safety I decided it was best to not shower in the dark and headed to my sister’s house, she had power. The uptown that I knew and loved, was dead in the water. Stores, gas stations, and cafes were closed. Heck, the stop lights we folded onto themselves and I dodged fallen trees with the Prius.

Saturday was spent far away from the mess that was my city. Stillwater had sunshine and power. Power had become a very beautiful thing. I listened to Sophia’s laughter as we dined on the patio of Leo’s. In her little world power didn’t matter, she just wants to explore and have fun. Ah, to be that age again. Sophia was cradled safely in my arm as we strolled down main street to Tremblies Candies, this was the day she had candy for the very first time. No amount of destruction or an outage could take the joy of being an aunt away from me.

All to soon it was time for me to head back to uptown to asses the situation. Everyone around me had their power restored, yet my street and a few blocks below me were still dark. I could have stayed at my parents or even my sisters for that matter. Instead I chose to tough it out with the rest of the hippsters. I dubbed it “urban camping,” my fridge had become two coolers, my lights were candles, and I was doing all right with the muppet by my side. Again I went to sleep with the hope that the lights would be on in the morning. I was so hopeful that I left my hallway light switch in the on position.

Sunday morning came without power. This led the muppet and I on a search for ice. Ice was becoming scarce along with batteries and flashlights. Ice was found and sandwich supplies were bought. I placed another call to Xcel, this time the automated message said Wednesday June 26th, I about died when I heard that. I had to call back three more times to make sure it was real. The lack of power was starting to ware and urban camping was beginning to lose its luster. I read 50 shades of gray (I still don’t get what all of the hype is about) and HGTV magazine, boredom was starting to creep in. I was doing my best at keeping the muppet cool, he is not a fan of ice cubes in his water bowl, oh well I tried.

The evening was upon me and I was starting to plot my Monday morning plan. Since I couldn’t see, makeup would be out of the question, if I lit enough candles showering in the dark would be a bit less dangerous, and hey as long as I wear deodorant my coworkers won’t care. Then, just like that the lights came on! Cullen barked his bark and ran in circles at the sound of the AC unit cranking on. Showering by candle light was no longer an option and I was pretty darn happy about that. Our two day urban camping adventure had come to a close and I will never take having electricity for granted again.

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