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Katy England Katy England
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edge staff writer


Power plays

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Losing power used to be such a big deal. After they were born, we brought our triplets home from the NICU separately. The third bean came home during hurricane Irene and we promptly lost power for seven hours. Back then, we were feeding the kids every 3-4 hours, needing to thaw milk and warm bottles. No power it meant no hot water - which was problematic.

We ended up heating water on the propane grill outside during the storm. That year we seemed to lose power whenever someone looked at the power lines cross-eyed. That winter was fraught with the stress of not having heat, hot water and the possibility of losing light after dark. Having three infants at the same time was already intense; adding to that felt cruel.

A lot has changed since then. With the help of my aunt, we now have a generator, which takes the edge off losing power. It doesn't make everything in the house work, but big things like heat, fridge and hot water are covered. Some of the lights and outlets are also covered which means even when we lose power, we can still have internet, microwave, toaster oven, and, if we feel like playing roulette, watch a little TV. It was explained to us that you want to be careful what you use when you're running on generator power, because that power is 'dirty,' which means you can short things out. We hook up our old, tube TV, plugged into a surge protector and watch DVDs; if that TV gets fried we still have our nice one.

But there are still little things that get to us, filed under 'small potatoes.' The kids sleep with fans running. The fans create white noise, so when we finally get to watch grown-up TV they aren't bothered by it. But you know what does bother them? Not having their fans on. My poor dude gets distraught when his fan stops for no discernable reason.

But even that has gotten better, because we can explain what's happened. We explain that we've lost power, and that the fans don't work when we don't have power. And miracle of miracles they get it. Outside of some minor fussing, they chill out and go back to sleep or back to playing.

And so we still can cook normal food, we can heat up beans. And though you have to shower by candle light, we can still shower. And that makes a world of difference.

And now, when it snows they can also go outside and play in it. Progress is amazing.


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