Adventures of Leonardo, the Traveling Bearded Dragon

Unless you live in a closet, you know that there was a huge ice storm that affected the northeast/mid-atlantic corridor (and more) Tuesday night into Wednesday (February 4-5, 2014). Many of us have lost power, and the hardworking folks at PECO (and presumably other power companies who serve affected areas) are working to restore power as fast as they can safely do so.

Current estimates are that we are likely to be without power through Sunday night (2/9/14) at 11 p.m. So, we’ve had to get creative. No power for us means no heat, no lights, and no running water as we are on a well, not public water. So, we can’t just prop up some heaters, tolerate some cold showers, and tough it out. NO FLUSHING TOILETS (without extreme measures to gather snow, melt it, and dump the water in the tanks). Grossness.

So, typical concerns: Warmth, plumbing, keeping food from spoiling (yes, I realize we can put it all in the snow or something but that seems like a lot of work and not entirely something I’m excited to take on), pets, kids, etc. But this is the first time we’ve had a major power outage where I’ve had to worry about a lizard. Yes, a lizard.

My son (Thing 2 of 2) has a bearded dragon who is maybe a year or two old, I can’t quite recall. Lizards, of course, are cold-blooded which means that they cannot produce their own body heat. Our lizard is named Leonardo. And this is his story.

Two days ago, the sun went out. I mean, completely out. One moment I was happily basking in the glow of the night-sun (it’s a reddish orange color) awaiting the arrival of the morning sun (which is much brighter and whiter). Every morning, my god (or I think he might be a god – he controls the sun, heat, water, and food, plus everything in my whole world) switches the sun from night to day and it seemed like it was about time for that when–POOF–darkness. And coldness. Looootttts of coldness.

Not long after this, my entire world turned upside-down. My god reached down from on high and removed me from my world. He put me into a much smaller world without all the fun trees, dirt, and plants I’m used to, and started carrying me around with him. First, he put me here:

Leo on table

I have to admit, the accommodations weren’t great, but it was a little warmer than my cold, dark home.

Then he started doing something weird. I have no idea what this is, but it seems like some sort of ritual. I wasn’t sure what to make of it.

Zach and Leo

Next thing I know, we’re on the move again. This time, the ritual objects came with us, but there was this weird new sun. It didn’t quite look like the night-sun or the day-sun, but it was definitely a nice change to a warmer environment, so I couldn’t complain.

Zach and Leo

We stayed like that for a bit, and THEN, there was some major crazy stuff going on. It got dark and cold again, and it felt like we were moving. There was some warmth, some weird “vroom” noise, lots of loud banging, and then more moving and bouncing around.

Then things settled down. It was acceptably warm, someone gave me water, and lots of god-like creatures looked in at me, reached in to pet me (love those warm god-hands), and generally speaking I was feeling pretty good.

Leo at Dtown bookshop

Leonardo takes shelter at the Doylestown Bookshop

The rest of the day was pretty much a blur. Moving, settling, touching, more moving, and then at last I was returned to my comfortable environment with the night-sun in full force. Ahhhhhhh. But then–THEN–it happened again! BOOM! The sun went out again! I didn’t think I could take any more. Again, my god retrieved me and placed me in the smaller world, but this time he had set it up with some dirt and even threw in some fresh crickets for me. We heard more “vroom” and banging sounds, and then I settled down on a nice warm spot AND suddenly the day-sun came out! It may not be home, but it feels like a slice of heaven. Warmth, crickets, soft dirt…OK so I can’t turn around without bumping into things, but I can’t complain.

Leo's temp digs

Leo at Grandma’s house

It does seem like my god is trying to take care of me. I hope I get to go home soon, but for now, all is well. Thank you for your concern.

A huge shout-out to the Doylestown Bookshop for hosting us and Leo yesterday. They even babysat for him so my kids and I could go get some lunch. I mean, if that’s not the best bookstore ever, I don’t know what is. (Oh, and we all bought some great books we’re enjoying while we weather the rest of this power outage, expected to last through the  weekend.) Seriously, if you live anywhere within driving or walking distance, I have no idea why you’d buy your books anywhere else.

And, of course, thank you to my in-laws for hosting us while we hang out to work and warm up today. We appreciate it and so does Leo!


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