Power to the People

We had a huge windstorm a week ago. As soon as the power went out I started a transition to freakout mode. My no-electricity panic stems from an ice storm twenty-five years ago. It was nearly Thanksgiving and it was cold. We had a wood stove as alternate heat in that house so you’d think I’d have been able to cope better than I did but it wasn’t so. The first day was kind of fun in a back-woodsy romantic sort of way, sitting next to the radiant heat and reading. I felt kind of like a modern-day Abraham Lincoln, though I’m pretty sure he didn’t have a Coleman camping lantern. It got less nostalgic as time went on. The food in the refrigerator and the freestanding freezer spoiled. I was able to go to the gym for showers but pretty quickly got cranky without hot water at home. And didn’t my gym presence mean I should at least pretend to do some sort of exercise while I was there? I started to feel scared. I pictured different scenarios. What if the power never came back? Would we starve? ¬†Would it come to eating our pets? The dog looked at me ominously. It only took a day or two for the Bible to declare “Then there was light” but we waited six full days. The house where I live now is next to a huge wooded reserve and during wind events, it’s common to have one of the big Douglas Firs go down across a line, causing the power to flicker and go out. So far it has never turned into more than several hours but I briefly panic every time. This most recent time, our son was on his way over to install new smoke alarms for us and by the time he got here, it was too dark to see to do that. Our nine-year-old granddaughter was with him. She was unfazed by the lack of light and the increasing cold. While I was envisioning Armageddon, she dug out some flashlights. We put on our puffy jackets and worked on a puzzle together until the lights came back.

 

Photo courtesy ColiN00B at Pixabay.com

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