So I was one of the hundreds of thousands of people who lost power during the Toronto ice storm at the end of December. At the time, I thought our two days without power was pretty bad, but it turns out our house was one of the lucky ones. Some people I know went a week or more before they got connected back up.
We were also super-lucky in that we were able to stay in our house, and our pipes didn't freeze. It turns out that our gas fireplace must run on a battery or something, because when I came downstairs on Sunday morning (the power having been out for twelve hours already and the house being quite chilly by that point), I decided to flip on the fireplace switch just for lulz, and...foom! It worked! This kept the house from freezing, so we were able to stay there. We were even able, with some extra blankets piled on, to sleep in our own beds upstairs instead of having to curl up on the floor next to the fireplace, huddled together for warmth.
We put as many food staples into coolers as we could fit, put the coolers out on the porch, and lived off of fruit, cereal and cheese or peanut butter sandwiches for two days. It wasn't fun, and the kids got super-bored once the sun went down (which of course was very early in the day since this was right around the solstice), but we were okay. The power came back on after almost 48 hours, and we ended up being able to have our turkey dinner on Christmas Eve after all.
One of the most frustrating things about the whole experience was the serious suckage of the communication about what was going on from our power company. Their phone line was almost completely useless - there was absolutely no way to get in touch with an actual human being, and even the automated service gave out only vague information about what was going on, and sometimes even that went offline. It wasn't until I trekked down to work on the second powerless morning and finally got an Internet connection that I saw the power company's Tweets and website with a map of the outages (which didn't actually work anyway).
(Newsflash: If you are a company whose sole product is to provide electrical power...and you lose the ability to provide that product to someone...communicating to them about it via a system WHICH REQUIRES POWER TO ACCESS is NOT VERY FREAKIN' HELPFUL.)
But I digress.
The thing I absolutely can't complain about was the dedication of the hydro workers during all of this. They gave up their holiday time with their families and went out into the cold and generally nasty weather, working long, long hours, to try and get everybody connected back up. They are champs. I am so very, very grateful.
I decided to show my gratitude, as I so often end up doing, with handknits. So over the past month, I've knitted four pairs of socks, in various adult sizes (mostly big, because I figure most power workers aren't exactly my size), and will be getting them over to our local power company hopefully this week, with a request that they distribute them to whichever of their workers who were particularly dedicated during the storm recovery (and whom the socks fit, of course).
Pair #2, worked from some of the Regia Blitz Color that came in my 10-ball grab bag purchase from Little Knits last May:
I hope they'll keep some very deserving people very warm!
(And why yes, I am incredibly anal about making sure my self-striping socks are exactly the same as each other, thank you for noticing. :)