Tuesday, August 19, 2008


It was a sunny, calm, clear morning when the electrical power went out shortly before noon. I continued to work at my lap top until the battery ran out, then I ate lunch. We still had phone service (on a simple phone that didn't need electricity) and I learned from the electric company that the power would be restored between 12:30 and 2:30 pm. I took a nap.

The electric company reported that power would be restored between 2:30 and 4:30 pm. I made several long phone calls, catching up with family news.

The power company reported that power would be restored between 4:30 and 6:30 pm. I read. Then my husband and I ate an early supper. He had a movie date with a couple of friends. I read some more until the daylight faded.

The electric company reported that the power would be restored between 6:30 and 8:30 pm. I went to bed, listening for awhile to my battery-powered radio. The neighbors across the street had a very noisy generator running. If I had been quite tired, I probably would have slept in spite of the noise, but since it was earlier than my usual bed-time and I was restless, the noise was annoying. Why couldn't they graciously accept the situation and go to bed like most of the rest of the people in the neighborhood?

The electric company reported that the power would be restored between 8:30 and 10:30 pm. It finally came back about 10:00. There was another glitch sometime in the night, but this morning everything seems back to normal.

We're so dependant on electricity for every activity, it's hard to think of activities that don't rely on it. Here's a list of things to do when the electricity goes out:

write (letters, for example)
sketch little things from around the house
reorganize drawers and cupboards
clean and re-pot house plants
weed the garden
mend: buttons, ripped seams, loose hems
polish shoes
sew, knit, crochet, embroider
take a walk

Of course, all these depend on having light. When the sun goes down, go to bed. When the sun comes up, get up.

There was one positive, unintended consequence of this experience: When I opened a seldom-used drawer to retrieve a long-disused simple phone, I found a stash of items I've been looking for for several weeks. I still haven't figured out why in the world I put them there in the first place.


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