I don't have the slightest idea of what we would have done with our time had we had electricity at my uncle's cabin. I'd like to think that we were more active with no TV, cell phones (mine was roaming, and since you couldn't charge them, they stayed off or inevitably died), but I don't think we would have spent much time with those mostly-beloved things anyway, and we managed to find ourselves pretty tired by days' end.
On Saturday (September 3rd) we woke up at 8:30 in the depths of the rainforest; or, at least, that's what it felt like. I had heard on numerous occasions from a variety of people that this was the more humid of summers for Wisconsin. Sweet. Well, yeah, we smelled pretty sweet, and our sweet clothes were getting dangerously close to being able to stand on their own. When we realized a truck-load of family we hadn't seen in a few years would be arriving the next day - and the flies swirling around gradually started to increase - we began to consider our shower options.
I've noticed that it takes a handful of adult people longer to get their stuff together and go somewhere than it does for Jacob, Zoey, and I. Relatively early in the morning, someone brought up the idea of renting a hotel room for the next 24 hours so people would be able to shower twice. Unfortunately, we weren't anywhere close to actually doing it until 1pm and Zoey had already had a very large morning nap. The bonus, though, was that Uncle Ken, Dad, and his friend, Brian brought back a generator and a truck-load of McDonald's breakfasts (it's a personal decision everyone must make for themselves, but if you chose to eat McGurggles, breakfast is the only way to go. The Maple Oatmeal is amazing.) The brown lining to this silver cloud, though, was that since the house was hard-wired, the water couldn't be hooked up to the generator, so we were still without water or a toilet. Someone very smart devised to pour a bucket of water into the tank so the toilet can be flushed. The only downside to this was that you were in full-view hauling water from the pond so everyone knew you had, or were about to, go number two. I sweet-talked my wonderful husband into doing if for me so, no, he really didn't have to poop that much.
We packed up our bathroom supplies and headed to the Knights Inn in Red Granite, Wisconsin. Due to the severity of the storm, we snatched up the last room, but it wouldn't be available until 3:30pm; and by available I mean NOT. UNTIL. 3:30. P. M. In the meantime, Uncle Ken, Dad, Aaron, and Brian wanted to go swimming at the quarry. That only took about 40 minutes so everyone went to the Stumble Inn for mini beers. The guys went to pick up a few things so Jacob, Mom, Zoey, and I went back to the hotel and tried the key. No dice. They weren't joking about the 3:30pm rule. So we sat in the car and vowed to never complain about air conditioning ever again.
By the time the key actually did work, we were running on stinky fumes, and living on borrowed time in terms of feeding Zoey. Stupid me hadn't packed any food, thinking this process wouldn't take as long as it did. She was a trooper, though, being more interested in her new surroundings than I anticipated, but MUCH appreciated.
After we experienced a small taste of civilization, everyone wanted to go out to dinner but we couldn't; Jacob and I needed to get back to feed Zoey and see about any sort of afternoon nap (the whole hotel revelation lasted until dinner time), so we were on to night number two of hangin' alone in the dark. I'm pretty sure the group went to the famed Home Bar so at least we got to try a little more of their menu since, for all we knew, it was just some dude killing and frying animals in his deep-woods shed. At any rate, the food was pretty good, we were just too tired to eat it (P.S. Sorry, Aunt Karen, for the fish frozen in your freezer!).
I had a monster headache and was pretty grumpy so I went to bed. No matter what time it was (before 10pm was the rumor), it was dark so everyone else went to bed as well. Nothing else to really do. Zoey was up later than usual in her crib but seemed to be ok; I was happy she was comfortable in the strange bed in a strange room. I'll admit, I went to bed a teensy bit irritated. It seemed like for all the good of this trip, there was something frustrating to match it. So, I suppose I could look on the bright side and declare I broke even. Well, hindsight is 20/20, but in the moment I was pissed we weren't just cut a break. And it wasn't anything major, it was usually just something small every few hours, or so. Like being lost in the cornfields while driving to and from the cabin, feeling hot, sticky, and gross, which is pretty much a given in humidity no matter your electrical circumstances, not being able to locate a vending machine that wasn't either $2.00 or actually had water, not remembering where something was last put down, in general, the things we deal with regularly just not within seconds of one another. But it brought us closer together and gave us a common enemy: the world.
We slept well and everyone woke early. It was 7:30 when I saw my brother walking up from my uncle's bunkhouse to the cabin. I said, "Why are you up so early?" The brother I knew was never coherent before 11am and a big bowl of sugar-covered Frosted Flakes (I mean, sugar sprinkled on top of Frosted Flakes). He chuckled and said, "I went to bed early, man." "Oh," I said. "Good point."