This post is part of #the100dayproject that encourages creatives to do an action every day for 100 days. I've chosen to write an article or blog post every day. Previous posts for this project can be found here.
Nothing like a power outage to give ya a little reality check. West Texas is definitely one of those things in my life that tests me on a regularly basis.
We always say living here is so much different than visiting here. Sure, it's easy to fall in love with this place after you spend a weekend here. But living here is another story that I have such a love/hate relationship to this place. Obviously it's more love than hate, because I'm still here after five years.
Today we had a power outage. I knew one was coming. It's been too hot for this time of year, which means this summer is gonna suck. There were days last year when we reached triple digits and that was too much for me. Yes, I grew up with no AC in the Austin heat, but it's been years since I had to experience that. West Texas' cool, dry summer days are a nice change from that humid heat. And I am not alone. With the majority of the town not used to temps reaching that high, the ACs have been on. It's normal to experience brownouts.
So when the power went out this afternoon, I initially thought it was a brownout. It wasn't until I received a message from a co-worker at the sister location in Alpine that I learned it wasn't just in Marfa. It hit the tri-county area and then some. Even Presidio, which is an hour away, didn't have power. This was a big deal.
I've gone through a power outage before. It was during an ice storm in November 2013 during my sixth month of living here. That outage lasted for a little over 24 hours and it was cold, so I was ready to handle this, but this time I have a dog. And it's hot. He was panting through most of the outage,s which made me nervous. I called my bidad to give him a heads up in case we lose cell service, but he already knew what was happening from the news. He gave me tips on how to keep Mr. C cool which helped, but I was still nervous. What if it lasted all night?
I was not prepared. I learned my flashlight didn't have working batteries. I couldn't buy any as the stores were all closed. My phone wasn't charged when the power went out so I had to drive around to charge what I could, which eventually became useless when we lost cell phone reception. My portable phone chargers weren't charged at all. It was amateur hour over here.
I drove over to work to see how they were doing and of course my boss was there installing a generator. I shouldn't have expected any less. When I went outside to get in my car to grab some stuff from my house, my phone beeped. It was a notification. I had service again. I was a little confused because did that mean we had power again? I couldn't tell with the generator. I had a text that the power was back on. What a relief. All this happened before the sun set.
The power flickered every now and then afterwards, but looks like we're ok for now.
My dad gave me good advice to get my stuff in order in case I have to evacuate at any moment. We've had too many emergencies occur in the area recently – wildfire, hail, gas shortage and now a power outage – that I really need to have my shit together.