Wednesday, February 17, 2010

No lights

This morning, as I lay snoozing, the power went out.

That meant that the air purifier, which we run at night to cleanse the air and to make a nice humming noise so things like the refrigerator turning on won't wake me, turned off.

I struggled awake.

My husband was in the shower. I learned this when I heard him curse. Groggily I reached beside me for the flashlight that I always keep on my bedside table. I flipped it on and hurried in to him. I placed the light on the counter so he could see to get the lather off and climb out of the tub.

I was still half asleep as I moved through darkness and went for the other flashlights in the living room.

I am not much of a morning person.

The minutes ticked by. I thought the power would return any moment, but after about five minutes I realized it would be out a while.

My husband dressed. He had to go to Lynchburg to a class today and needed to leave. His father uses an oxygen machine and so he hurried over there (they live across the street) to make sure that his dad could get the generator hooked up.

Then he came back and quickly started our generator. He showed me how to turn it off and on ("Come on, wake up!" he barked at me at one point as I tried to focus) and then he left.

With the generator running, I was able to plug in the electric tea kettle and boil water. We also could hook up the water pump so that we had cold water for drinking and flushing the toilets. What we didn't have was hot water for long showers or the ability to wash clothes or heat the house unless I built a fire in the fireplace.

Because we still had a little water in the hot water tank, I hurried through a lukewarm shower and dressed. I had my morning tea and then instead of my usual egg I had instant oatmeal for breakfast.

Then I realized that one of the toilets had stopped up. I unstopped that with a plunger and flushed a few times to make sure it would work.

I waited a few minutes for the water tank to fill back up. In the meantime, I managed to get the garage door up and back the car out (the garage door uses electricity and I wanted it free in case of an emergency with my in-laws). Then I flipped the switch on the generator to the "off" position to save gasoline.

The dead silence of a house without power was incredible. Total stillness. No furnace ran, no dishwasher hummed, no electrical outlets buzzed. The only sound I heard was the wind roaring around the corners of the house.

I put on a sweater, picked up the newspaper and began to read. And then just like that, the house roared back to life.

The power was out for about two hours. It's amazing how dependent upon electricity we all are.

Just listen to it hum.

2 comments:

  1. We really are dependent on it aren't we, and the rates for it keep going up, up, up. Greedy so and so's that they are.

    Di

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  2. I think I get more for my money with my electric bill than I do with any other bill. We don't have a generator, so when the electricity goes off we don't have lights, heat, water, or the use of any elctric devices. Since my hubby works for the electric company, when the lights go out I don't have him around to help.

    Glad you didn't have to go too long without.

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