Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Depending on Electricity

Big storm blows through. Lights go out. What now?

I could clean, right? Nope. The vacuum won't run without electricity. I can't fill a bucket of water to mop unless I have electricity to run the pump on the well.

I could sit down with Maggie and watch our TV show. Oops. No television or computer without electricity.

I could call Mom and see if she's available for a nice long chat. Oh, wait. No power means no telephone.

How about taking a long soak in a bubble bath, and doing a sudoku or reading a chapter of a book? Oops. There's that water snafu again.

Well, I have the strawberries and the sugar, and I can use a match to light the stovetop. I could make the jam. Wait -- do I want to start jam when I have no water to wash up the stickiness? Oh, and then there's sterilizing the jars. Not gonna work.

I could go weed the garden. With all the rain, the weeds should pull nicely. Oh, wait. Think how long it takes me to wash the mud off myself when I come in normally. With this amount of mud, I wouldn't even be able to open the door myself. Sure ain't gonna muddify myself when there's no water to wash my hands.

Shall I start supper? We could grill the chicken instead of roasting it. Hmm. Raw chicken. No water to rinse the meat or to wash my hands and the cutting board. Not a good plan. I'm feeling very much in need of water....

NO! Do NOT open the refrigerator and let the cold out, you kids!
NO! Do NOT flush the toilet! We have only one flush left until the electricity comes back on.

Look at those squirrels out there, running around in the wet grass, playing in the recently returned sunshine. Look at the birds out there, nabbing worms, not at all confounded by the lack of electricity.

Hey, I need to change a load of laundry. As I head toward the steps, I remember that my washer and dryer run on electricity.

Maybe I should call the power company's automated line and see if they've figured out how long this outage is expected to last. As I pick up the phone and find a dead line, I remember that I have to haul out the tracfone and use a couple of expensive precious minutes. And ... I discover they have no clue how long it will be until the power is restored.

Maybe we should head to town, making use of the plumbing and computers at the library, and then eat at Tony's. We head to the car, reach for the garage-door opener, and then remember. I guess we'll drive the van that's sitting in the driveway.

It was always easier to get through a power outage when I was growing up. At least we still had phones and water.


  1. Wow. I hope your power is back on soon. I just went shopping and had to go to three stores because the first two (Jewel and Target, which are right next to each other) were experiencing a power outage that resulted in the stores blocking off the entire cool/frozen section. Actually, Target blocked off those sections. Jewel was completely closed. So it was across the street to Meijer. Counting my blessings that I have so many stores to choose from so close together. Again, hope that power is back on SOON!

  2. I don't know why their power was out, btw. We haven't had storms here today . . . yet.

  3. How I wish this generator was out of my garage and hooked to your well pump!!!

  4. Cheryl, ours was out for 3.25 hours. Philip's was still out when I talked to him around sunset.

    Mom, I was trying to figure out a time to squeeze in a visit between my work-days. Since I'm no longer needed for the dog-sitting jobs I had promised to do, there are a lot more possibilities on the calendar. I hadn't thought of the generator; maybe I'll have to drive down in the van instead of the comfy-car.

  5. Now I think I need an old-fashioned phone that doesn't require AC. Well, I usually keep my cellphone charged, I suppose.

    You could listen to the radio.

    I just set up our Internet hardware on a battery back-up, so if the laptop is charged, we should be able to surf for over an hour during a power failure. Woo hoo!

  6. Robert, we have a small hand-crank recharger for the cell phones. I bought it to match our hand-crank flashlights.

    Maggie suggested getting out batteries for the radio. We didn't, though. If we were terribly desperate for news of what was going on in the outside world, I think we'd break out the batteries. But not just to pass the time.

  7. My family still has a landline and we make sure we have one of those 'old' phones that just plugs into the wall with no frills for times like this. In fact, I think the *only* time it has been used in years is to call the power company about an outage!