Thursday, November 27, 2014

Because -- Turkey!

I have many things to be thankful for: my family, friends, and good health being the most important.  Today I am also thankful for random acts of kindness and electricity.  That may seem a bit odd, but let me explain.

I woke up this morning fully prepared to have to do battle with the heavy,wet snow we got yesterday.  I hate shoveling, so I had parked my car at the bottom of my driveway with every intention of doing the bare minimum to shovel out around it and clear the front steps and sidewalk.  I got bundled up and went outside and discovered that some kind soul had already done my entire driveway and the front walk!  It's a Thanksgiving miracle!  I know it wasn't the neighbor who shares my driveway, as her half had been left untouched.  I think it was my other neighbor, and he is awesome.  I will have to buy him some Heineken as a gift (that's his beverage of choice),

Feeling pretty good about the day, I went back inside to call my parents and tell them of my good luck, and to see what time I should venture on over.  My mother was cooking Thanksgiving dinner, and in return I was going to play tech support for all things computer related.  It was at this same time that I noticed a lot of people on Facebook were mentioning they did not have power.  I was very grateful that I still had mine, as did my parents.

About half an hour later my phone rang.  It was my mother, and they had just lost power.  Not the whole street, just them and their next-door neighbors.  Apparently the neighbor had come over to tell them he had seen what happened, and had already called Central Hudson.  No estimate given for restoration, and they suggested he make alternate plans for Thanksgiving, and it might be the entire weekend before the power was back.  My mother was calling to tell me that she was giving it half an hour, and then she would let me know if the power was back on or whether Thanksgiving was now going to be at my house.  Thank goodness someone had cleared my entire driveway for me!

As I ran around like crazy, trying to clean and straighten as much as possible for the unexpected company, it struck me that this really shouldn't be a surprise.  Every time my mother cooks a turkey there is a pretty good chance that the power will go out.

Yeah.  You read that correctly.  Mom cooking turkey = high chance of a power outage.

This is definitely not the first time the power has gone out when she was trying to cook a turkey.  It happens with unusual regularity.  I distinctly remember one time -- it wasn't even a holiday -- when she had to finish cooking a turkey on the wood stove in the living room.  My grandparents even showed up, as they had been driving home from a deep-sea fishing trip and decided the weather was too bad to drive all the way home.  They mistakenly thought we would have power.  I remember we did eventually have the turkey, but we also got to drink the liquefied ice cream that my grandparents had thought they were going to put in our freezer. That part was pretty cool when you're a kid -- it was like getting milkshakes!

For today's mobile cooking extravaganza, my mother brought basically everything in the universe that she might need for Thanksgiving, because apparently she thinks I own nothing related to the culinary arts.  Most of it was pans and dishes she had already prepped things in that just needed to go in a functional oven.  There were a few odd things though:

--poultry seasoning
--potato masher
--a corkscrew

Seriously, Mom?  You honestly thought I would not have a corkscrew?  Do you think I just break the neck off my wine bottles?  I have all my bases covered for alcohol consumption, thanks.  The only thing on that list I did not have was the poultry seasoning.  I have spices, we could have created something.  Also, who had the turkey baster?  Yeah, that was me.  She did not remember to bring one.

The one thing I was sadly lacking was a meat thermometer.  I have never had the need to use one, and she did not bring hers.  It would have been helpful, as our turkey had a pop-up button thingy on it that never popped.  I'm sure it was done though.  No one has gotten sick so far.

The biggest problem is going to be the fact that my parents still don't have power, and as of now Central Hudson still has no restoration estimate for them.  They have ventured back home, although I told them they should stay here.  They have the fireplace, and little heaters, and swear they will be fine.  Plus, the cats need them to be home to run those heat sources.  Central Hudson has warming centers open, and crews coming from as far away as Canada to help.  Also, we apparently sent several crews to help in Buffalo last week, and they are on the way back now.

I'd like to thank the Canadians for always being there to help.  Why the Canadians, specifically, you might be wondering?  A few years ago this same situation played out during a big storm, when only my parents and their immediate neighbors lost power.  It took 4 days, in freezing weather, before they could get their power restored.  The crew that eventually showed up was Canadian -- I know because I spoke to them.  It literally took them about half an hour to fix the problem.  The guy in charge said they pretty much just had to flip a switch on the pole, and apologized for the delay.

I really hope my parents get their power back soon, although that is not looking likely. At least I still have power, and they know that they are always welcome.  Hopefully the Canadians get here quickly, as it might be up to them to bring back the power once again!

I wonder if it would it help if my mother swears she will never cook a turkey ever again?  This is like the fourth or fifth time (that I can remember) when the power has gone out while she was trying to cook one.  She might be jinxed.

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