People in Southern California joke that our weather is 75 degrees and sunny year round, and for the most part that isn’t so far off. This last weekend, though,  some seriously crazy wind and rain hit us on Sunday afternoon as we drove to a birthday party. The wind was so strong that you couldn’t help but worry it might blow cars into each other, and the rain was coming down so hard that even on the highest setting the windshield wipers barely kept my view clear. Thankfully, we got to the party in one piece and had a great time.

After the party the rain had slowed down but the wind was still raging. Annabel and I had plans to meet my cousin and mom to do some maternity shopping, so we dropped Mike and James at home and went on our way. A few hours later I pulled back into our neighborhood and noticed something didn’t look right. it took me a second to realize what it was — the entire neighborhood was pitch black. As I continued home every light on every street I turned down was eerily off. That’s when my cell rang — it was Mike.

“Power out?” I asked.

“How did you know?”

“I’m driving down our street.”

Mike then told me he and James were sitting on the couch when everything went off, and because it was after sundown, it plunged the home into total darkness. Mike says that James didn’t like this one bit and clung to him like a koala bear.

This power outage — coming on the heels of the planned outage the week before — came at an especially bad time because I had a lot of work to do, the kids needed baths, and, okay, maybe I wanted to watch Grease Live, too. I told Mike to light some candles, then ran to the store to get some small lanterns. When Annabel and I got home the lanterns helped some:

lanterning
Rigby would like to tell you a scary story.

But, with the power off there was no way to get on the internet to do my work, no way to turn on the TV, and no way to run our heater. It started to get COLD (the outside temp dipped down to 36 degrees), so around 7:30 we made the game-time decision to nap in our master bed until the power came back on. We all piled under the covers (Rigby too) and set our alarm to go off every hour so we could check on the power. It turned out I didn’t need to set my alarm, though, because with the snoring (Mike, Rigby) flying elbows (Annabel, James), and coughing (Annabel for some reason — she was fine all day), I couldn’t sleep. We were warm, though. It’s amazing how much body heat four and a quarter bodies can create under the covers together.

Unfortunately, by two in the morning the power was STILL off and I was starting to give up on the idea of getting work done. That’s when things got creepy. Suddenly, a girl’s voice echoed faintly from what sounded like down the hall. “DID YOU HEAR THAT?” I whisper-screamed at Mike. He had. Which made it even creepier. “Do you want to look?” I asked. “In the pitch dark?” he said. “Not really! It was probably outside or something.” Even though it didn’t sound like it was outside — and I didn’t know why a girl would be wandering around in the pitch black, freezing neighborhood — I decided not to press it. Of course, that made falling asleep even harder.

Finally, at 3:30 in the morning the lights abruptly came on and “Bad Blood” by Taylor Swift started blasting throughout the house. The power coming back on had somehow turned on Annabel’s boom box. Not jarring or scary at all! Mike got up to turn off the stereo and turn on the heater, and when he came back he informed me that one of Annabel’s dolls was talking. So, THAT was where the little girl’s voice was coming from, which was a relief except for the fact one of her dolls was talking by itself and is clearly haunted and I need to eliminate this doll before it eliminates me.

Things were still cold here yesterday (and the power went out AGAIN, and then our tv/phone/internet were out for the rest of the day), but the wind and rain have died down, thankfully. I’m ready for it to be 75 and sunny again!