So, was going to post a Thankful Thursday post today... Looks like it might have to be a Forget Friday post instead...
So, had I remembered it was Friday and therefore realised it was Thursday yesterday, I would have been thankful for the following:
Deciding to get a new phone on a plan last weekend!
Here's why: Yesterday morning, the Grumpy Old Man left Melbourne, bound for Adelaide and a week spent with my parents driving around in their car in preparation for his driving test.
Me being at home by myself with all the kids for a week is a first!
I've gone away with all the kids before and left the Grumpy Old Man alone at home. I've also travelled away with just some of the kids. I've been away on my own without any of the kids as well, so the Grumpy Old Man has been at home with all the kids on his own before (though no for a whole week).
I'm well aware that solo parenting four children does not make me like a single parent. I don't claim to be 'doing the single parent thing' at all. Primarily because, while I'm on my own, I know it's very temporary.
It's still a big deal for me. A very big deal. I mean, it's not just that I'm on my own with four children, but I'm doing it with low vision and ADHD - that's no small challenge. The pressure is great!
Also, not being able to drive means I can't just bundle the kids into the car and do a drive through dinner. Nor can I bundle them in the car and go anywhere in an emergency.
An emergency, ha! What could really happen in a week? Right?
So, yesterday was my first day on my own. I had also organised a playdate at our house for Bryn, so on my first day on my own, I actually had five kids after school. That wasn't a problem at all and at 5-ish the other little boy's mum came to pick him up.
We were all pottering around and I was about to get dinner started. There was a storm outside, the change had finally arrived and we were lightning and thunder watching. Then there was a small surge and the lights blinked out. The computer was just restarting itself and then everything went black again. This time it stayed black.
I put some candles on and got the boys to check the other houses in the street. They reported back that while they didn't see lights in other houses (it was still light outside, though the house was very dark), the street lights were working.
I picked up the phone to call the electricity company to check for faults, but of course a cordless phone means no electricity, no phone!
I had a look on the iPad for information (also thankful I have 3G on my iPad!) and found a number I could sms my area code to, to see if it was in an affected area. It wasn't, so I was asked if I wanted to report a fault. I rang the company on my mobile and had the following conversation with operator there...
Me: We've just had an electricity outage here [provide address]
Op: Did you check the circuit board?
Me: I'm legally blind so I can read the board.
Op: What does legally blind mean?
Me: What it sounds like, I can't see well enough to read the board.
Op: Well, then you could just say you're blind, you know!
No, seriously, that's what she said.
Anyway, she said she'd send someone around to check and it could take up to four hours. By this stage, that would be about 10.30pm.
I rang the Grumpy Old Man to let him know what was happening because he was expecting a call from me later. The boys said goodnight to their dad (with me hurry them up so I didn't lose too much charge on my mobile).
At 7pm, I got Bryn off to bed, and then a guy turned up. I was so thankful he arrived so quickly!
He reported that my circuit had, indeed, not flipped - I was sure it hadn't because I didn't hear a big bang when the lights went out.
He said the issue was with the cable from the street to the house, that it was an old cable and had finally given out - after 80 years, on the very first night that I was alone at home with all the kids for a week. Murphy strikes again...
So, our outage was just for our house! How lucky are we?
We would have looked like this...
I'm very thankful I decided to go and get that phone last weekend and commit to a plan contract after years and years of being on prepaid.
In the end we were without electricity for three hours and we were fine.
Funny story. After I got the other boys to bed and had transferred Ari to his own bed, I remembered that I needed to take the bins out. It was pitch black outside by this stage, but as I know where the bins are kept (no, it's not usually my job), that didn't worry me too much. So I went around the side of the house and towards the bins and walked into a bush. The thing is, I could have sworn the bush wasn't there before. It was like it had sprung out of the ground in the past couple of weeks without me noticing it. I had to go back to house to get my phone to try and make my way around this bush to the bins...
This morning when I took the bins back in, I realised - it wasn't a bush at all!
Last night when the guys were attaching the new cable they decided to cut back an overhanging tree and they'd just left the branches on the lawn right in front of our bins... Ha!