Six years ago today, we had no idea what was coming.
I remember Oct. 13, 2006, pretty well. I was just home from work that evening, making a batch of soup for dinner, shaking my head as I looked out the window at the giant, wet snowflakes. (My toddler son was watching, too, but he thought they were neat.) My husband, arriving home from some errand or another, had to dodge a branch that was already down in our front yard.
Dinner was just starting to cook when the power went out. We called the electrical company, and were appalled to be told it would be hours until power was restored. I don’t remember what dinner alternative we came up with that day, but by the time we all huddled together for warmth that chilly evening, we were starting to realize that this was no mere power outage. The constant crackle of the frozen, laden-with-snow tree branches overhead saw to that.
My family was without power for eight days after the so-called October Surprise snowstorm. While I hope I never have to go through that again (it was tough enough with one fairly-laid-back small child), we did all right. We were warm, and fed, and safe.
In part, I have to admit, this was due to good fortune, pure and simple. The nights didn’t get cold enough that we had to run our sporadically working generator constantly. We were also blessed with the help of family, friends and neighbors. And, partly, we were prepared.
But, mostly, we were lucky.
It could happen again, of course. It could happen this Friday, when the low temperature (according to weather.com) could get down into the 30s. Like in 2006, most trees still have their leaves.
Or it could be another random gift from Mother Nature — a tornado, perhaps — or a manmade disaster, be it accidental or on purpose. A plane went down in Clarence in recent memory; it could happen in Tonawanda. And, unfortunately, we still don’t live in a terrorism-free world.