The limited-time only box of Bojangles chicken and 4 biscuits special.

Topping off the tank in case I have to run the truck to recharge my lifeline to the world. I keep my conversations short: I have to keep my cell charged—no power at home.

The theory that ours will be worked on first. We’ll be a priority since 2,000 of the 3,000 in our county that don’t have power are, according to the energy company, experiencing outage because of the same fallen tree.

A fast-food but delicious dinner by candlelight in heavy coats. Flashlights in strategic places. A vitamin for dessert. A giant bottle of seltzer water for each. 3 filled buckets for flushing and washing up—I did do some preventive stuff!

A promise that she doesn’t have to do her homework unless the power is restored soon. We put on thermals and layers and pile blankets over us in my room. She brings about 15 Manga books and a battery-operated reading light, her cell for texting, and her iPod. Soon I hear the furnace go on and the alarm clock blinks 12:00.

Crap! and Thank God! we exclaim simultaneously.

She doesn’t want to do her homework and she says she’s cozy and warm. I’m enjoying the adventure but am the one responsible if the pipes freeze. Also, I haven’t researched or practiced using the kerosene heater enough to get that ready yet. That’s on my to-do list after addressing the more immediate have-to’s, although keeping warm seems pretty immediate right now. After less than a minute we’re back in the 2010 version of Powerlessness where iPod videos can send light flashes around the ceiling and text message alerts still sing.

After both of us get in a silly mood and do a lot of laughing, our general tiredness from a busy week-so-far kicks in and we both fall asleep. I wake up in a little under an hour, still cozy and warm with hopes that our being warm won’t change. After about 20 minutes, she sleeps through the furnace coming on and staying on. I stay in bed until the temperature has a chance to climb a little and let her sleep. I wake her up in an hour to make sure she wants to take her shower in the morning when the house will be warmer and have her brush her teeth and use the bathroom. She goes right back to the warm bed. I reset the clocks and the router and let the dog out for his final trip. Then we’re all back in the room and we sleep into the warm.

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