Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Last Night's Cold Adventure

Last night about nine thirty as I was letting the cats in for the last time, the house, in a split second, went totally dark. I could see nothing. Nothing at all! My cozy, familiar home instantly became a black and scary place. What was happening?

Feeling my way, I made it to the living room and looked out the front window at the neighbor’s house. Their usual display of Christmas lights was off; it looked as if nobody was home. In fact none of the nine houses in our cul-de-sac had any light. Aha…It was an electrical outage of some sort.

Thankfully I knew where the new flashlight was, so I groped along the walls and furniture until I found it. Then I located the Christmas candles that had been used for decoration, and I lit all six of them with the long matches. What a lovely warm light those candles made - actually enough to allow me to read. It is hard to place a value on the light of one little candle until you are in a pitch black place.

The house was not just dark but silent, too. The familiar hum of the refrigerator had stopped, and worse, there was no sound of warm air blowing in through the vents. It was getting colder by the minute. Yikes. What would we do!

But it wasn’t all bad. It gave me time to think and wonder how the many generations before us survived without electricity, and it allowed me to see a sky filled with stars that aren’t visible when manmade lights cover the surface of the Earth.

When the outage happened, we called Duke Power to report it. The message said it would be back on by one a.m. That seemed like a long time to wait, but we had no choice but to be patient. We eventually gave up and got in bed under many covers, but the strange, coldness made it hard to sleep. At one a.m. no electricity. At four a.m. no electricity. Finally at eight thirty this morning, a light popped on, as quickly as it had gone off. And I heard a wonderful small roar from the furnace.

I felt like a pioneer woman for a few hours.

No comments: