Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Power Outages

A couple of weeks ago we had a pretty intense thunderstorm. It was 9 PM dark at 5 PM. The wind blew. The muddy ruts in the backyard filled with rain. I saw some neighborhood cats and dogs go two by two past the house. And then the lights flickered.

Immediately my mood lightened. I was giddy as I started lighting candles. A rainy day doesn't normally make me feel happy. (Cosy maybe, not happy). It wasn't the rain lifting my spirits... it was the potential power outage.

I adore losing electricity. I know it might be my hippy leanings... but it stems from my childhood. When the power went out, it meant candles and creative cooking. In the winter it meant we huddled up together in sleeping bags in the same room. I love the quiet, close bonding it brought about in our family. It meant we played board games. It meant no one had anything to do but BE together. (No surprise my love language is "quality time".)

Some of my favorite memories are about being without electricity. We lived in a campground in 1988 and housed a group of tent-camping boy scouts in our apartment. We ate instant pudding because we couldn't cook. And after my mother mother's cabin fever reached it's highest point we walked to the grocery store. That is something we would never have done had there not been 15 inches of snow on the ground. During the ice storm of 1993, my future husband drove about a 1/2 mile or so from my house and walked in to whisk me away for a hot burger and a nice shower at his family's house.

The other night though, we didn't lose power. But you better believe, we did play a good game of Sorry. I'm thinking I might have to schedule some power free evenings on purpose.

P.S. Please don't tell my husband. He works for TVA (The largest public power utility in North America.)


Carissa said...

That's awesome. I totally know your feeling and share similar memories. My parents have a fireplace, and we would gather in the den and hear Dad's stories by firelight and kerosense lantern.
oh, and the winter storm in the late 80's? We slept together as a family in the den for about 3 nights. And I colored in every coloring book I had. Twice.

MamaHolly said...

"Twice" LOL!

The storm in 93 had an exciting end to the power outage. Apparently we had flipped every switch in the house when the power went out. So when every light in the house came on in the middle of the night, my Dad jumped up screaming the house was on fire and for us all to get out. Turns out we had just reentered the twentieth century.... and the fire was still in the the fireplace. Good thing, because we were burning the last of the cardboard boxes from our move the Fall before that.

Carissa said...

And I can't believe that I forgot the BIGGEST memory of power outages, which is hearing one or both parents call out "DON'T FLUSH THE TOILET!!"
See, we had well water which used an electric pump. So when the power went out, so did the pump, which meant no water.
Inevitably, someone would ocassionally forget and flush the toilet. Then Dad would have to crawl under the house to press the "reset" button.
We got "city" water when I was in college. But it took another 10 years to overcome the urge to cry out "Don't flush the toilet" every time the lights flicker!