Saturday, November 22, 2008

Power to the People


We had a severe wind event last night and the power went out. Here is what I learned from that experience:

1. No matter how predictable an event, Husband and I will be unprepared for it. We have many candles, boxes of matches and flashlights scattered aournd our house. With the arrival of the wind we did nothing to prepare for it even though we knew a power outage was likely. This was the extent of our discussion on hearing the wind:

"Wow, that wind is strong"
"Yeah, that's amazing"

2. Our kids are well-suited to frontier life. When the power went out they had no fear. Since the sun starts to set around 4:30 these days and the power went out about 7:00 it was dark. Like really dark.

"Kids, stay where you are, Daddy and I will get flashlights. Don't be scared."

I needn't have wasted the perfectly good oxygen with the reassurance as they were running around saying "THE POWER IS OUT!!!" with about the same enthusiasm as we'll hear "SANTA CAME" in just over a month. They could hardly believe their good luck at the incredible gift of entertainment.

As Husband and I tried to converse over where flashlights might be and divided the house into zones (as in, you check the kitchen, I'll check the laundry room) the kids were running around and we were more fearful than them, but of injury to themselves, each other or us.

3. Dust is not flammable. All those decorator candles I have littering the house were gathered and congregated on our two fireplace mantles to provide a small amount of ambient light. Unbeknownst to me, dust collects on candles. It may in fact be attracted to candles as there was an inch of dust on them. Note to self: dust candles annually.

4. Our kids are well able to make do with no electricity. Despite not having the TV or computer, which are their frequent playmates, particularly on a Friday night when Husband and I are worn out from the week's events, they had no lack of things to do. Shining flashlights in each others eyes was high on the list. J Boy was fond of going outside to see if the wind would blow him off the stairs. Their primary enjoyment was running around the house holding hands and making up games that ended with their doing some version of ring around-the-rosie in the semi-darkened room.

5. Husband and I are too dependant on electricity. With the power out, we were at a loss for what to do. Computer and TV were out so we had to satisfy ourselves with holding our hands over the sharp corners of the furniture so the hyper active twins didn't have to make a trip to the ER running on a generator.

6. Let Husband do what Husband does best. The power came on after a couple hours. It flickered off again an hour later but by then I had obsessively checked my email and all the news sites to realize nothing important had happened in our hours off the grid. The power coming back on was a great source of amusement for the kids until they realized the cable was out on the TVs. But eventually we all settled into bed for night.

The activities of the week caught up with all of us as I awoke at 8:47. While I'm hardly one to complain about a decent weekend sleep-in, the kids had activities and we had to be out of the house in under 30 minutes. J Boy was just up and uncharacteristically already dressed. S was somewhat predictably still in bed. I brought the sleepy headed Girlie goo downstairs amazed that at almost 9 she should still be so tired. Husband made his way downstairs uncharacteristically last. I deposited the Girlie goo in his lap with her wardrobe and headed to the kitchen to get breakfast for the 3 of us. Husband threw me a familiar "why are you rushing?" look and I double checked my watch and saw that it was 8:01. Apparently, I should have left Husband to reset the time on the clock beside my bed.

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