"We'll need a track machine. Don't know where we'll get one of those. So close but so far," a lineman told my husband.
On Friday, We went to my in-laws' house for dinner, thinking we would still be out of power. Beren, used to the routine of going nowhere, said, "Owse, owse." New word - 'house'. We did not want to go.
On our drive down the lane, we met with a dozen JBL trucks and more line workers.
We paused to greet another neighbor passing by in his truck.
"Any word?" my husband leaned out the car window.
"No, go ask them while they're here. Do it mountain style and they'll get it done," he laughed.
Eleven days without power meant these guys were working eleven days straight. I was prepared to be as gracious as possible. The daylight savings time change meant dinner preparations by flashlight. Jared was back to work. I took vacation time, but 'business as usual' with just a few hours of generator power per day was not easy.
We approached the cheerful foreman who said, "You should have power right now, well, by the time you get back down the lane. That pole's not textbook, but it's up."
We offered our thanks and continued driving. A couple minutes down the road, I asked my husband to turn back.
"We have to check," I said.
Back at the house, the refrigerator hummed and digital clocks blinked "00:00". I gave my husband a thumbs up at ran back to the car.
We passed the foreman and gave thanks again. I waved and smiled at the other linemen who sat in their trucks or hung on the rearview mirrors smoking cigarettes. None of them looked my way. They probably had their share of confrontations with angry residents and adopted the urban technique of no eye contact.
After a delicious meal at my in-laws, we readied Beren for the car. He wriggled, kicked, and screeched as Jared and I tried to put his socks on.
"The Terrible Twos," my mother-in-law said. "There is a reason they call it Terrible."
From bed, I listened to Jared and Beren repeating the previous night's disagreement about socks.
"You need socks and shoes on to go outside," Jared said. Their wrenching of socks inspired a wrenching in my stomach.
Defeated, I heard Jared close the front door, as I hung my chin over the toilet and dry heaved twice.
An unshorn Beren bounded to the bathroom and watched as something the color of burnt pine needles and cones poured from my mouth.
"AaaaCKKKK." Splatter. "AAACCCKK," I wretched.
Beren began imitating me, "Aaahhhcck. AKK."
He was good. His faced turned blotchy red. "AKK." He grabbed his birdie pull toy and wagged its leash at me. He pointed at the floor.
I leaned against the bathroom vanity, sweating. "Momma, doesn't feel good. Momma just threw up. That's called throwing up."
Beren held up his horse pull toy.