Monday, March 3, 2008

lights out

A typical winter Sunday night at the Pohl house-Mike was on his computer, I was organizing things upstairs, Charlie was playing with his DS. Suddenly, everything went black, and I heard a loud BANG! outside. No power!

In the summer, when a storm threatens, I get out the flashlights, and the kerosene lamps, and the matches and candles, and the radio. Just in case. We have never needed it.

You don't really expect it to happen in the middle of the winter. Luckily, I am a candle freak, so we had plenty of those. And enough fluid to burn two lamps. Mike and Charlie found their head lamps, but our emergency flash light was dead, owing to the fact that whoever used it last left it ON. And I don't normally have five fresh D size batteries lying around. As it was, I had to take the batteries out of my pepper mill to power up my book light, which chose last night to run out of juice. (yes, I have a battery operated pepper mill. I am a kitchen princess. More on my obsession with handy kitchen items in another post...)

Charlie wasn't quite sure what to do. We aren't big campers, so he hasn't had a lot of experience getting by without electricity. Mike and I were excited-the perfect excuse to sit and read! Charlie didn't think it sounded like fun. After sitting on the couch for a few minutes, staring at us, he realized there weren't a lot of other options.

What a setting. Soft candlelight, no noise except the ticking of our battery operated clocks. We were all snuggled on the couch with blankets, each of us with our own little light source, reading away. Luckily, we have a gas stove, so we were able to whip up thick mugs of cocoa and tea.

I was reminded of the "Little House" series, Laura, Mary, and Carrie bundled into their tiny beds, Ma sitting by the fire mending something (don't know how the heck she did that by lamplight, I guess they didn't know any different!) Pa enjoying his pipe.

Every few minutes, Charlie would heave a big sigh, and ask when the power would come back on. We told him it could be 10 minutes, or a day. No way to know. It did come back on, an hour and 30 minutes after it went out, and I was a little disappointed. I think maybe I will declare a lights out night, every so often, just to remind us to take a deep breath and listen to the clocks tick. I am sure Charlie will be thrilled.

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