Johan and Angela Bahlmann emerged from hibernation Saturday. The couple had done little more than stew pork and beans over a Coleman camp stove the past four days and write a few premature Christmas cards.
“We’ve been home since Tuesday,” Angela said, strolling through the parking lot of the Manito Shopping Center.”We needed to get out for a little fresh air.”
“And stock up on a few supplies,” Johan added.
Their power came on for 10 minutes Friday and then disappeared like a false spring.
The Bahlmanns had their fill of home, havoc and dashed hopes.
Most of the cleanup they could accomplish had been attended to during the week.
So, like many Spokane residents, the Bahlmanns hit the shopping centers in search of supplies or simply to escape.
Especially popular were the grocery and hardware stores that advertised new stocks of candles, batteries or flashlights.
Susan Schenk vowed never to be caught off guard again, even though her power came back on Thursday.
Its return didn’t dissuade her from seeking supplies. “I bought batteries, candles,” she said, ticking off the day’s shopping.
“But I’m still looking for a fire extinguisher.”
Even those blessed with power took to the shopping centers or coffeehouses where the talk focused around movie showtimes.
Jeanette and Terry Ryan sipped coffee at the Lincoln Heights Starbucks.
The couple had spent part of the morning reassuring their house guest that she was welcome to stay with them as long as she needed.
The Ryans’ hospitality and unfailing heat supply proved so popular that they said three more people were moving in with them that afternoon.
But for Deloris Binn, who lives without power on 12th Avenue and Monroe, Saturday brought little relief from the week’s routine.
Her daily schedule hasn’t varied since the storm hit.
Twice a day she drives two blocks to Rosauers Supermarket on 14th Avenue and requests a Thermos full of coffee and a Thermos full of hot water - plain.
The hot water isn’t for tea or washing dishes: peanut butter and jelly sandwiches don’t require a plate, she said.
“I use the hot water for a sponge bath,” she whispered.
Harmony and Jason Frederick weren’t about to be stopped by cold, snow or a downed power line at the end of their block.
As Harmony pointed out, agreements must be honored, no matter what the conditions.
And so they were moving out of their small apartment near 10th Avenue and Jefferson to a spacious house near Manito Park.
“We have to be out,” Harmony said, as she tipped another cardboard box into the trunk of the car.
But in moving out of their apartment, they are leaving behind a precious commodity.
The apartment they are deserting has electricity; their destination, the new house, does not.
“We’re moving from a place with heat to a place with no heat and no phone,” Jason said, as he loaded a camp stove into the car.
“We have to prepare ourselves for the long haul.”
And Jason may be in the know.
“I work for Washington Water Power,” he said.
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: 4 Photos (2 Color)