When we woke up Tuesday morning all any one wanted was a cup of caffeine. Luckily my mother has one of those French Press machines and we made our coffee, Dexter Style.
Once we were awake and functional, my son and I decided to take a ride, in our pajamas, in search of a WiFi connection. We also wanted survey the damage in our area, and we needed to charge our cell phones, just in case the service was magically restored.
Of course, most of the roads were closed and no traffic lights were operational, which made traveling not only difficult but also dangerous.
[*We quickly turned the car around and went back home.]
Later that afternoon, suffering from Internet withdrawl, and practically foaming at the mouth, my next-door neighbor, Ira, took pity on me. And y’all can thank him for providing his iPad and Audi WiFi access so that I could quickly update my Facebook status.
“Okay people – I’m alive. However, I’m posting this from my neighbors iPad, and from the parking lot of some abandoned building, inside my neighbors car, because this is the only available Internet access. New Jersey is a total disaster area. We have no power, no landlines, no cell phone service, no Internet, and we’re basically cut off from the outside world. I’m going to tough it out for one more night in NJ & then I’m going to try to get to PA tomorrow (if the roads are safe enough to travel) and hopefully I will be able to communicate with y’all sooner than later. I love & miss everyone so very much!”
On the way back home Ira asked, “Have you ever had a car with Internet access?”
I rolled my eyes and laughed, “Please. I’ve never even had a car with power windows.”
[*Like a crack head – hitting the pipe – desperate for that really good high.]
That evening, my parents managed to whip together one of the greatest meals, ever. Mostly because we had to cook whatever we had in the freezer and refrigerator before it spoiled, and also because we thought it would be fun to host a dinner party.
And we were right.
And even though my mom accidentally spilled an entire container of crushed red pepper into the sauté pan, we were able to skip right to the part where we started laughing instead of yelling.
And that’s when the real fun began.
[*My son JCH, Our Neighbors: Barbara & Ira, My Father & My Mother]
My mother and father lovingly prepared linguine pasta with sautéed shrimp, covered in a garlic, onion, artichoke, and Le Sueur pea, red sauce. While Barbara and Ira graced us with some hot sausage and fresh spinach leaves. We also had Italian bread with spiced Olive Oil. And everything was sprinkled with Parmesan-Reggiano grated cheese.
[*Who cares about food allergies, if I end up in the hospital at least we will have electricity and Internet.]
But you can’t serve that kind of meal without breaking out the really expensive wine.
And that’s just what my mother did, when she opened up three bottles of the 2001 Gold Medal Napa Red Zinfandel.
We shared funny stories.
And enjoyed drunken debauchery.
And a good time was had by all.
If you’re ever in a blackout, these are people to hang out with.
PS: Stay tuned for Part Three and the Final Conclusion.
I’m sure you’re all sick of my stories by now. It’s almost over. I promise.
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