It had an inauspicious beginning, as days went. Alarm went off, I did my traditional 37 snoozes (greatest invention of the 20th century? Snooze alarm - for those of us who like to feel like we're stealing time), and jumped up to get in the shower.
I was rinsing the last of the conditioner out of my hair when I heard a pop, and the bathroom went dark and the bathroom fan went silent. The splash of water against the tile was magnified, and I quickly finished rinsing and stepped out to wrap up in a towel.
The kids had already eaten and were off to school. I made what I thought was a logical move, and flipped open the laptop; it hit me as the screen came on, dim from being on battery. No electricity, no internet. I grabbed my phone, to call the power company. And my cell phone didn't have signal. Hmmmm . . . Home phone. Then I remembered the home phone is through the cable - no cable, no internet, no phone. I had a moment of genius - I had an AT&T mobile card - I could get internet through the phone! But AT&T was apparently trying to demonstrate support for T-Mobile and wasn't giving me signal either.
I made the decision I was going to brave the humiliation of going to work with my hair wet, tucked behind my ears, so I jumped in the car. Fifteen minutes later (less than 1/2 a mile from my house) there was enough cell signal to receive text messages - one came from the office that said the power was out all over the building. At the rate traffic was going, I realized it would take me another 45 minutes to get to an office where I'd still be without technology.
I made a U-turn and went back home . . . found enough signal to text my assistant, my boss, and a couple others. I learned a small plane had crashed near our home, and taken out the entire city power grid. They were uncertain of when power would be returned, and our office was sending all home except people with time-sensitive roles, who were being herded to our offices in the South Bay.
I had that moment of frustration when you realize how much of your life these days is wrapped up in technology. I couldn't do my job, couldn't contact my office. I couldn't contact family or friends. I had that moment where I felt helpless - and then I stopped. Would it matter if I didn't work today?
I took a nap. A long nap. I did a sudoku puzzle. I sorted my bills (couldn't pay them on line, but I could sort them). I cleaned off the orphan counter top where all the junk mail goes. Ate a peanut butter sandwich. And when my kids got home from school, we walked to the park with a dog and a Frisbee in the 70 degree spring afternoon. It was the best "snow" day I'd had in a long time.
The power rejoined us at 6:30, just after the sun had set. We were sitting in the family room, the candles burning, my youngest sitting cross-legged practicing his "meditation". I knew I'd have a lot of catching up to do, so I plugged in the lap top and started catching up on the day's emails. But not before I loaded up the evidence of a day away, well-spent.