Power Outage

Blog No. 92

Before getting to the meat of this week’s post, I want to talk about the Zine again. This time it’s all good news. Not only has it been printed, but it is now available around Windsor. Christian put it best with his last post:  http://christianlaforet.com/2014/08/12/advenutre-worlds-zine-available-now/.          He even listed where you can go pick them up. So, go do that. Hopefully we can find a way to have the PDF available on all the blogs, so you can download a copy if you can’t pick one up. For now, just send me a message and I’ll send you the file.

The title for this week is completely literal. I thought about throwing in a metaphor (or at least a pun) but unless that just slips out somewhere in the post, I’m going to stick with reality. Last night there was a brief, but violent, storm. That’s not strange for this area, we get a share of storms, but not much else in the way of dangerous or destructive weather. Sadly, the specific place where I live, we also suffer from frequent power outages. It seems that almost anything can set it off – storms, rain, a light breeze, the warmth of a summer’s day. I’ve seen the power go out on the most beautiful, calm, 72˚ day. It can be a hassle some times, to the point where I don’t always trust my clock radio’s alarm to wake me up in the morning. (I do have a phone, but I like putting it away at night).

Other than the terror of waking up late for work, being without power really illustrates our reliance on modern convenience. Sure, I’ve always had a TV (and VCR) in the house, but I grew up without the internet. I even lived without a computer until I was eight (or so, I don’t recall the specifics). I know anyone older than myself reading this will scoff at that, but kids now have never been without computers (or even tablets and phones) so it’s something they may not even understand. I like to think that I can go without – that I can spend a night not using any power – reading by candlelight, sipping a cup of tea.

But it’s not that easy. I have spent plenty of nights reading, but reading by candle light sucks. The idea is romantic, but the light is small and wavers. It flickers across the page, and if you get too close, you’ve got a fire hazard on your hands. Plus, I don’t keep candles just lying around. I think I can dig a few up, but they won’t be bright enough (or practical enough) to read by. I could use a flashlight, but that’s a pain in itself. I used to do that as a child, under the covers like I saw in the movies. It’s a pain in the neck. Give me a chair and lamp any day. Then there’s the tea. I don’t have a fireplace, or wood burning stove. I could go out to the bbq, but that’s nuts. So I go without tea, no big deal. But now I’m fighting with a flashlight and I don’t have tea. I may as well just go to bed.

That’s what I do. Every time we have a power outage in the evening, I struggle with making dinner, finding a candle, getting out my flashlight, reading a bit (uncomfortably), then giving up and showering in the dark before climbing into bed. I know I could be more prepared. I could have the candles ready, knowing how to arrange them so that I can have a comfortable reading experience. I am happy to drink water too. I can make a sandwich by candlelight, have a simple dinner, drink a glass or water. Move the candles to a table next to a chair. Grab my book (or my e-reader which always has a charge) and read for hours. Just the thought makes me want to read right now.

It’s not going to be like that though. Even with several candles, reading will be a struggle. I’ll make the sandwich (which would be a fine dinner any other night) and it won’t be the meal I had planned when the power was on. Water (which quenches like no other and is my favorite liquid hands down) will be bland and disappointing. I probably won’t have even bought the candles. Once the lights come back on, the thought scurries to the corners, like the dark. It’ll never work. I have to accept the face that I’m a pampered wuss who crumbles when things aren’t exactly how I want them to be. Without power and an internet connection, I can’t even write. This blog would be empty. Thankfully it isn’t. The power comes back on sooner or later and I boot up my computer and look up things I already know, but forgot because the internet never forgets.

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