It all began quietly enough about a week ago Sunday. After cleaning house in case my mother decided to show off my house in my absence while dropping someone off at the airport, I set off to lock up my house before spending four days with the family. You know that can't go smoothly in my life. True to form, I discovered that two of my new windows wouldn't lock, and after an annoyed discussion with my dad on the telephone ( in which he implied that I must be doing something wrong, which I naturally resented being a surprisingly handy single girl when it comes to repairs of that nature, because of which I threw a few testy retorts his way while I tried to wrestle said windows shut), I secured the windows by other means and hit the road with Sassy, hoping I'd remembered everything.
Naturally, that night: no toothbrush. Argh. Strike one.
Tuesday morning, Mom asked us to go home a couple days early, citing the need for Dad to come fix my windows. Well, as it turns out, they'd merely come open a little at the top but were too stubborn to go up without a fight (even from my dad). That problem solved, Dad sent home after a romp with the dog, I noticed it felt warm. Too warm for 72 degrees, which is my preferred daytime AC temp (yes, I'm a wimp... sue me). Sure enough, once again, the coolant had quit cooling in my AC. Confident that it was merely a matter of letting it rest, like before, I turned off the AC for the night, turned it back on toward morning (wrinkling my nose at my sweaty bed linens), and hoped for the best. For now, it was working again. However, later Thursday afternoon, it got warm in the house again. This time, it wouldn't need rest. It was done for. One month left of a summer of record-breaking heat, and my 30-year-old AC gave up the ghost. Hoping the fans would get me through until I left to visit my best friend Andrea on Friday morning (a visit to which I was really looking forward), I blocked off all thermal leaks as best I could and hunkered down under the ceiling fan.
That night, as I was winding down and clearing out my DVR as much as I could, a bright flash of light startled me, and a roll of thunder confused me. A storm? Really? It'd been awhile! As I tuned in to Ky3 Weather 24/7, after having to retune my antenna due to having tinkered with a couple new electronic connections, just as the pixellation started to form a picture, my world went black. 1:30 in the morning, 90 degrees outside, 100% humidity, the house still 80 degrees from the AC going out, and now, no fans, no electricity, and no deep sleep before a 3.5 hour drive and Sassy's first road trip.
As I looked outside, I could tell the outage was only my house or my side of the street, as all the lights were still on at Boys and Girls Town across the street. So, I called the utility company's automatic outage reporting number, expecting my lights to come back on within half an hour to an hour of the storm's end.
No luck. The storm tapered off around 3:30 in the morning, but by 5:30, the lights were still out. My cell phone was down to half a battery as it rang--City Utilities calling to see if they'd succeeded in restoring my power. Press 1 to confirm, or press 2 if the power is still out. The number 2 button lit up on my phone as I poked it. Forty-five minutes later, cell phone down to 1/3 of a battery, rinse and repeat. Finally, 6:45, a cool breeze filled the room, and my phone beeped a warning just in time to charge up. I danced for joy (a little off-balance for the whole two hours of sleep I'd gotten) and sent Andrea a text message to let her know I'd be delayed, having not had a chance to finish packing beginning at six as I'd intended.
Finally, at nearly 10:00 a.m., half an hour later than the one hour goal range I'd planned for leaving thanks to another sudden and severe thunderstorm, I loaded the car with the bags and the dog, locked up the house as tight as possible, notified everyone who was going to track and pray for our drive, backed out the driveway, and headed north, just as the rain picked back up. Sassy squealed excitedly from the back seat, taking advantage of the packed floor to attempt to crawl in the front seat. That cemented my plan to stop on the way to buy her a seat harness. Though the rain poured like crazy as we ran into Pet Warehouse, by the time we came out, the rain had cleared back out.
However, not two miles down the road, Sassy's excited squeals turned panicked, and a glance in the mirror told me she'd managed to get ridiculously tangled in her new harness and the seatbelt. As soon as I could, I pulled over and set to work resetting Sassy's seating arrangements as she, in her panic, shut down and refused to move her 55-pound butt so I could get her untangled very easily. Finally, as I sat back down, pulled out, and listened to Sassy resume her excited whimpers, I knew it was going to be a long three or four hours...
To be continued tomorrow.