Ellen Kern — My sister and resident of the 1,100 square-foot house off Wendover Avenue in Greensboro. After the ice storm took out power for some 150,000 residents of Guilford County, necessitating the declaration of a state of emergency, she was the only one in the family with electricity.
Brian Clarey — That’s me. When I realized my power was out on Friday morning and understood the amount of things I had to do, I knew I had to go somewhere I could get some work done.
Jill Clarey — No way was my wife going to stay home with the kids in a house without electricity.
Our 13-year-old son — Honestly, he might have slept through the whole thing. But if he woke up with a dead phone I do believe he’d absolutely freak out.
Our 11-year-old son — His entire life revolves around television and Minecraft. Would rather sleep in a dog bed than go without.
Our 9-year-old daughter — Cannot legally stay in a house without electricity by herself.
Robert Clarey — My father, who grew up in Albany, NY, drove clear across town on the ice rather than face the possibility of half a day without television.
Barbara Clarey — My mother loves stuff like this.
Summer — The senior dog of the house, who sometimes sleeps in the busy hallway.
Rusty Noodle — The beta dog, a golden retriever desperately trying to maintain his position in the pecking order.
Tiger — A young upstart pit bull. He steals food.
Nomi — A black moor goldfish that feeds at the bottom of the tank. Named for the lead character in the 1995 film Showgirls.
Cedric — A smaller black moor that feeds near the water’s surface.
Greta — A spotted, orange fancy goldfish with a completely different set of behaviors. “I’ve created what appears to be a complementary environment,” my sister says. “I Googled ‘goldfish happiness.’”