My family enjoyed a staycation on Wednesday. But it came as a surprise.
A very hot surprise.
My wife and I have worked from home for the past two years. (I also spend time working for clients at jobs and on the road several dozen times each year — when we’re not enduring a pandemic). When stay-at-home orders were issued, we didn’t have to adjust our setups or adapt to working from home.
Except for one factor.
The significant change came when our three-year-old stopped going to pre-school in March. She’s been home with us every single day since then. Fellow parents with little ones at home know what a challenge this is.
We Had the Power
We in California have had all sorts of other “fun” during the past few weeks (in addition to the COVID pandemic).
An earthquake woke us up on July 30. (It was only a 4.2 — but waking up to your house shaking is somewhat disorienting. And kind of terrifying.)
The state’s on fire, as usual, this time of year. (My family is safe, thankfully.)
And it’s been rather toasty. My instant-read thermometer registered 117 in our backyard this past Saturday.
That’s probably child’s play for people in Phoenix, Las Vegas, or similar areas. But 117 is rather hot here.
And then on Wednesday morning, our power went off just before 7:00 AM. The outside temperature was forecasted to hit at least 100, more likely 105.
No Power, No Cell Service = Family Time!
Had we not been in the middle of a pandemic, this would’ve been an excellent opportunity to work from Starbucks and other restaurants with WiFi and power.
But going out isn’t very fun right now.
We love scrambled eggs — but have an electric stove. So I had to be creative on Wednesday.
Enter my gas grill.
We opened a minimal number of drapes and blinds to allow some sunlight in, hoping to retain as much of the cool air inside as possible.
Naturally, our Internet was out. And the LTE data service was ssslllowwww — I presume from everyone and their dog using their cell phones as hotspots or primary sources of online information. Website page loads timed out.
I did manage to learn our power was estimated to return at 3:30. So we only had to deal with the situation for eight hours. If the Department of Water and Power was correct.
So we made like Ferris Bueller and took the day off! But, wow, did the hours creep by early on.
Our daughter wasn’t able to get her Peppa Pig and Vampirina fixes, so she played the educational games we previously loaded onto her tablet. I read a book (Under the Neon Sky by Jay Rankin) on my Kindle. My wife took a well-deserved quick nap.
Around 10:00 AM, we did a little house cleaning — as much as we could with flashlights and limited natural light. 🙂 The temperature inside soon approached 80. We contemplated hopping in our air-conditioned car and going for a ride. But that could kill only so much time.
My father-in-law brought us some lunch, and we ate together as a family, which was nice. Mainly because none of us could effectively get distracted by our phones.
At that point, some people nearby had been without power for about 20 hours — after another outage took them dark on Tuesday evening. We hoped that wouldn’t be the case for us.
Also, I should add that our solar-powered battery chargers were especially great yesterday. Our chargers got their juice from the sun!
By about 12:30 PM, the temperature outside hit 102. Inside, we were at 82. My wife and I decided to jump in the pool. Our daughter pitched a fit about putting on sunscreen. So we dove in and let her watch us.
About two minutes later, guess who suddenly wanted to put on sunscreen and go swimming? 🙂
We spent time swimming, splashing, and enjoying our time as a family. I played waiter and bartender, delivering a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to my daughter poolside and cocktails for my wife and me.
Hanging out at the pool with our little family, PB & Js, and drinks are pretty much our summertime weekend MO. But something about spontaneously getting a Wednesday off and having that fun during a weekday afternoon made us enjoy it more. It’s like we played hooky.
(At its peak, the temperature hit 108.)
The power eventually came back on. But we decided to stay outside because we enjoyed our family time so much. (That and it would take the house a while to cool down anyway.)
So while our staycation wasn’t anything long or grand, it certainly was a happy day to remember. We’re grateful for the time we spent together. And our air conditioning and Internet.
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