CHARLESTON, W.Va. - You'd think a guy could go for years between writing about long-term, weather-induced power outages.
Well, after a summer with the derecho, I met Sandy.
I went to bed Monday before last, confident the ground was too warm for snow to accumulate from the so-called "Frankenstorm."
I awoke to about 10 inches of the stuff in the yard and a live power line across my wife Kris' car. (The line soon went dead when a pair of transformers blew.)
A few more blown transformers and a phone call later, and I was dropping off my family for a stay with the in-laws in Parkersburg.
My sister still had power, and she invited me to stay with her family. I told her I'd swing by after work and after packing a few things and feeding the cat.
The house was chilly and dark but not uninhabitable. I was tired after the long day and the idea of packing by flashlight, then schlepping over to my sister's was enough to make me pull on a knit cap, fleece pants and jacket and curl up under a down comforter.
With no kids to rouse me with a pre-dawn wakeup, I had probably the best sleep I'd had in months.
The next evening, I returned to a still-dark street. I lit a couple of candles, made a sandwich for supper and listened to sports radio.
It seemed rather spartan without Internet or light, but at least the house was dry and I didn't want for warm clothes. I had hot running water and a gas stove.
I imagined folks with much less means sleeping in abandoned buildings or under bushes for whom this kind of cold-weather living is a season-long dread. I was merely being inconvenienced.