Tuesday, September 16, 2008

No Power, the True Black Hole

That first night the power went off wasn't so bad. Tucker pulled his acoustic guitar from its case and played songs while we sang along. When he grew tired, Grace practiced the piano as the light waned. I set a candle on top of the piano, but she said she was only playing from memory so she didn't need the light. We sat on the front porch, legs propped on each other's laps and laughed about childhood memories.Then we went inside and played Apples to Apples while Spencer tried to read The Hobbit and shushed us for breaking his concentration.
The whole situation was a little pioneerish. Music and stories and family games. The boys bunked down in the living room and I blew out the candles before going to bed.
The next day I only needed to light a match to the gas stove to heat water for tea. We put the two gallons of milk in a cooler with bags of ice and we salvaged the ham and turkey lunch meat, along with the block of mozzarella and goat cheese. Sandwiches for lunch. The bread was thawing anyway. Hash browns with bacon thrown in for dinner because they had also thawed. As the light began to fail on the second day, Tucker approached me.
"How much longer? I can't go without power. Can't we go to the Knotty Pine to watch football?"
One of his friends has power. "Go to Matthew's house and watch TV," I suggested.
"It's not the same, I can't flip through the channels. I need power."
He lay his head on the table.
I tried to reassure him. "We're safe. We'll be okay."
Apparently safety is not uppermost in the 12-year-old's mind. "I need power. I can't go for six more days."
Well, I don't know if I can either. But I have hot water. I can take a shower. My hair is curly rather than straight, but really, we're fine.
Spencer has almost read all of The Hobbit and Grace sat on a trampoline with friends late into the night before walking home and finding her way to bed by flashlight.
Our radio/boombox has batteries, so I let Tucker put a CD in and he set it beside his pillow, listening to We The Kings "Check Yes, Juliet" as he fell asleep. Any kind of electronic device is better than nothing when you're desperate for civilization.
School was canceled again today and people are lined up out the door at Panera where the lights and power, along with the coffee and bagels are going full strength. So, Panera doesn't exactly make it pioneerish, but a little roughing it won't kill us

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