As you may recall if you live in the greater Hillmomba area, the TV meteorologists were calling for anywhere from 0 to 10 inches of snow on Wednesday morning. Since the overnight temperature was a factor they kept hedging on, Mrs. HM and The Pony did not hitch their hopes to a local star, but took their predictions with a grain of salt. Not good for Mrs. HM’s hypertension, but what are ya gonna do, take the word of those weathercasters at face value?
Imagine the surprise when the phone rang at 10:30 Tuesday night. In fact, it was a great surprise, what with Mrs. HM snoozing peacefully in her downstairs recliner in the glow of the big screen TV. Thinking it was the call station that reports work alarms to Farmer H, she lunged sideways to grab that phone before it woke up The Pony.
Well. It was the automated recording from Newmentia, reporting that school was called off for Wednesday. WHAT? There was nary a flake falling. The flakes were still a glimmer in those TV meteorologists’ eyes. The cell phone on Mrs. HM’s side table buzzed to life with the all-call text to faculty and staff. Then it rang, with the automated message for parents. Then it buzzed again with a text of the automated missed call. No such thing as notification overkill on a snow day.
While we’re on the topic of automated messages, let Mrs. Hillbilly Mom voice her opinion that a cutesy message from a third-grader, rhyming, perhaps…is not a welcome notification. Get to the point, people. Spit it and quit it.
Anyhoo…Mrs. HM resisted the urge to wake The Pony and tell him the good fortune. She did, however, delay her get-up time by 30 minutes Wednesday morning, sleeping in while Farmer H took his shower. Then she got up as he left, and woke The Pony to tell him he didn’t have to wake up at 6:00. From there, she proceeded to the La-Z-Boy to watch the news, and watch out the window for the hamster-sized flakes that had been promised. Once it got light, of course.
The wind was howling like an ex-mayor’s wife finding out that her sister has shorted her a penny on the 33-cent interest on an account inherited from their mom. No hamster flakes, though. Just tiny snowflakes, like confetti. Mrs. HM had planned to wash the sheets, work on taxes, and do some writing. First, though, her shower. In just a minute. No need to rush. The whole day lay ahead. Or did it?
THE POWER WENT OFF!
Wait! No. Wait! Back on. Nobody wants wet sheets in the washer all day with no power. Nobody wants to be in the shower when the power goes off. Nobody wants to have their computer on when the power goes off, even with a surge suppressor. In fact, the power went off no fewer than 7 times in 90 minutes! Which left Mrs. Hillbilly Mom leery of power outage #8, what with sitting inside an all-electric Mansion, with 50 mph winds roaring at her unbattened hatches, threatening her with no heat, no water, no toilet flushing, no shower, no light, no hot meals, no COMPUTER!
But WAIT! Shiba sat at the front window, with a full charge. No harm in using Shiba. So while still having heat and light, unconcerned about Shiba getting a power surge, Mrs. HM plopped her ample buttocks down on the coffee table and fired up her trusty laptop. It was all fun and games until she tried to do something. No internet connection. NO INTERNET CONNECTION! She tried. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom gave a valiant effort to troubleshoot the problem. She woke The Pony, who strung her along for 30 minutes saying he was getting up. Even The Pony could not figure out if the problem was a router error due to all 7 power outages, or simply the DISH internet not able to pierce through the snow.
A call was made to the #1 son, who talked Mrs. HM through several screens. It went a little something like this. “Go to your usage screen for DISH. Somewhere on the side it will have a tab to test your connection. Hit that. It’s going to show you a lot of stuff you don’t understand. Now read it to me. If it says 100% there, that means you have NO internet. Not slow internet. Nothing. So it’s probably the storm. What? No. I doubt that it’s because of snow on the satellite. They’re made for stuff like that. No. It’s absolutely nothing to do with the IP address. Nope. Nothing to do with the router or modem. Good luck. I hope it comes back later.”
So…you know what Mrs. Hillbilly Mom did?
“Pony! Come back up here. I need you to go out on the porch and find the DISH internet dish, and take the broom out and sweep the snow off.”
“Allll riiiight…” Out he went, in the 50 mph winds, in his boxers and t-shirt and Adidas slides, and did the deed. “Okay. I swept it off as good as I could. There wasn’t much on it.”
Mrs. HM tried again. IT WORKED! She had a full signal. Which was represented by 0. Go figure. Those computer guys only do that to confuse the normal people.
The time was now noon o’clock. Flushed with success, Mrs. HM took a chance on her shower, heated a mini sausage biscuit in the microwave (even set the clock!), threw caution to the howling winds, and headed down to her dark basement lair.
She did not, however, throw in that load of sheets.