A Day in My Life, March 24, 2024 — Power to the People

Mar 24, 2024 | Day in the Life, Life Experiences, Memoirs, Uncategorized | 14 comments

We lost power to our home–and many others in the neighborhood–yesterday at about 4:30 pm.

I was driving home from the radio station at about midnight. The roads on the fifteen-mile drive weren’t in good shape. The temperature was at about the freezing mark, and the snow was rutted and rough.

It was eerie, seeing places that normally have lights shining, totally dark. Churches, restaurants, apartment complexes–all on my normal route–no illumination at all. A few had some lights, but I assumed they were the ones in the tiny minority who have generators.

We don’t have a generator. We had been considering a Power Wall, which would interface with our solar panels. It would store power for when we needed it. Two weeks ago, my husband decided that it was too expensive “at our age,” and, besides, he added, “We don’t lose power very often.” He was right. Normally, if we lose power, it’s due to an accident on the road, and everything is restored quickly.

This time, however, it took almost nine hours. We loaded blankets on the bed, pulled out an emergency little lantern I bought at a store that sells those “As Seen on TV” things (it works well). The temperature went down to 50.

The big issue was that I couldn’t get into the house last night when I got home from the radio station. I pulled in right after the plow guy came, He had plowed snow so that it blocked my way to the front door, as well as the deck. My husband had let his cell phone run out of power. I couldn’t call him. He was supposed to be watching for me, but, since the plow guy made so much noise and blocked the entrances to the front door and the deck, I couldn’t even make it to one of those. I waited in my car, which was still warm, hoping he’d see me. (I had stopped the engine, though.)

After about twenty minutesI started to think I would be in the driveway all night long. I have blankets and extra clothing in the car. I pulled them out and posted something on Facebook. Immediately, some of the people who listen to my radio show called the radio station and asked the guy who’s there all the time to call me. He did, telling me to come back and at least stay at the station.

Just then, I saw my husband, carrying that as-seen-on-TV lantern as if he were a train conductor, opening the garage door (normally operated by electricity). I told the guy at the station I was OK, then posted again on Facebook that I was in the house.

Somehow, that Power Wall doesn’t look all that expensive!

If we hadn’t had the power restored by dinner time today, I was going to check into a hotel. I have to sing at an event tomorrow evening, and I must be able to take a shower before that happens. Now I don’t have to worry about that!

trees filled with snow during daytime

Trees in my backyard today.

One other thing I would like to add: Today would have been my late mother-in-law’s 105th birthday. I never got along with that woman. In fact, she hated me. I always thought that if I tried hard enough, I could get along with anyone. Guess that theory’s been blown.

If you read my novel A Few Bumps, she is the model for the nasty mother. When my sister-in-law read the novel, she picked up on that. My response was that I made the character much more offensive than her own mother had been to me. She said, “Oh, no, you didn’t go far enough. I observed the way you were treated first-hand, and you should have been much worse in depicting the character.” My sister-in-law has a doctorate in English literature from Syracuse University. I guess she has some behind-the-scenes insight that I don’t. I also discovered. that the main reason my MIL didn’t like me was because I was fat. If she could see me now–I have lost more than eighty (80!) pounds over the last eight years. It’s been easier to work on my weight since I retired from my “day” job. Maybe she’d give me a chance now…


  1. Mrs Joy Gerken

    Gosh reading this I’m so impressed that you are able to drive at that time of night and in such conditions. I had to give up my book club because I found night driving so hard. My eyesight is not that great being the reason.
    Such a shame your MIL did not see the true you, not your size. Most of us have a family member that we are not partial too. I’d love to hear your voice,singing Wanda !

    • Wanda Fischer

      Hi Joy–Once I had my cataracts removed, I have no problem driving at night. My husband can’t drive long distances because he has a tremor. He can drive to church or the grocery store and to many of his doctor’s appointments, but not long distance.

      My mother-in-law was, as my children said, a piece of work! I survived, though. Without me, her son would never have gotten into medical school!!!

  2. Pat Garcia

    Hi, Wanda,
    I am so glad your hubby recognized that you were outside sitting in your car and couldn’t get into your home. GET THAT POWERWALL!!! With the changing climate, you never know when you will need it.

    You have some good fans. It was so nice of them to contact your radio station to tell them of your predicament. That was kind and shows how well your fans think of you.

    Wishing you a great performance tonight.
    Take care.
    Shalom shalom

    • Wanda Fischer

      Hi Pat–Good advice.

      I just found out the the two guys who were supposed to play guitar for me in six hours CAN’T. I guess it will be an a cappella performance.

  3. Karl Morgan

    Yikes, Wanda,
    That had to be a very traumatic few minutes waiting for your husband to find you. Power outages are terrible. I lost power twice yesterday. Oddly, both outages were less than 10 minutes. Being in Southern California, there was no risk of freezing to death. I can still recall an outage years ago, when a transformer station in Arizona failed. That outage lasted 15 hours or more.

    Good luck with you singing performance today!

  4. john

    Wanda, I did try to forewarn you yesterday about the storm. Seems your weather people also missed the boat. Losing power in the winter is the worst because of losing the furnace. I can handle the loss during the summer months. Great that some of your listeners got involved! Good luck singing tonight!

    • Wanda Fischer

      The singing went well–despite the fact that I had to find new accompaniment at the last minute!

      Have you seen how bright the full moon has been over the last couple of months? As long as it’s not cloudy, the moon’s been magnificent.

    • Wanda Fischer

      Yes, you did! My daughter did, too. I had no idea of how much snow there would be. It’s mostly gone now. Now we’re getting lots of rain!

  5. Patty Perrin

    Hi, Wanda,

    It was brave of you to drive at night through neighborhoods without power on snowy streets. Thank the Lord your hubby was home and did, eventually, come to your rescue. I know how much of a relief it is when the power comes back on. We get power outages following hurricanes, but we aren’t in danger of freezing.

    The snowy trees in your backyard are beautiful! A photo is as close as I want to get to snow. We’ve had plenty of it in the past, and it’s one thing I never had a problem saying goodbye to.


    • Wanda Fischer

      Hi Patty–I’ve lived through many hurricanes when I was younger. I lived along the Massachusetts coast. I think it’s time to get that power wall! I’m trying to twist my husband’s arm of this one…

      I love the way the trees look. Already the snow is melting. That’s about the way things happen with March snowstorms.

    • Wanda Fischer

      Hi Patty–The snow is almost gone by now. I didn’t even have to wear my boots today, and it’s only been three days. The elderly dachshund even went out today. We’re expecting rain tomorrow. The grandkids are supposed to come for Easter this coming weekend. They always want to have an egg hunt in the yard. I hope it’s not too muddy for that.

  6. Karen Black

    My goodness, Wanda! What a way not to spend the night. I’m glad it worked out but I’m sure you had more than a few tense moments.

    I read “A Few Bumps” and the personality of the character in your novel was quite well done. You left no doubt about the kind of woman she was.

    Have a good time singing tonight. I’ve always been a fan of a cappella. Who needs a guitar?

  7. Shirley Harris-Slaughter

    Wanda, reading about your power outage took me back to 2003 in Michigan. We had a severe outage that spread across the northeast and parts of Canada. It was that bad. I told my husband I wanted to move as we had been having more outages since moving there than I could count and I was fed up. He bought me a generator that has stood the test of time to this day. No more outages for us.

    I thank you for sharing your story and I’m glad you turned out okay. That could have been a disaster.

    • Wanda Fischer

      I remember that one. We had it bad then too. I remember my niece, who was living with us, always wanted to watch TV. She was flabbergasted when there was no TV. She actually went out on the back deck, while we still had light, and READ A BOOK!


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