I imagine myself in a situation not too dissimilar to the one faced by George Washington as he had to write by candlelight about the time he chopped down Abe Lincoln’s cherry tree. The power is out, has been for eighteen hours, and I am forced to write using the remaining power of my laptop’s battery.
The hurricane that wasn’t, or at least wasn’t as dire as had been foretold. It was sort of like the Y2K problem, more of myth than of merit.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds—at least for a few moments—until the lights went out. How they knew the power was out is beyond me since at least in theory, they were supposed to have been asleep. Over a period of several minutes, one by one they made their way into our room, joined by our two dogs. Thankfully, the hamster decided to tough out the storm in his cage.
The last tidbit of information we received prior to the blackout was that several tornados had been spotted in our area. Just prior to nodding off, this news made me think that at least things would be a little interesting. My wife was thinking the opposite as she nudged me awake. “You can’t sleep. What are you going to do?” Her reasoning was that if she was worried the least I could do was stay awake and pretend I was worried too.
“About what?” I asked groggily. This is the same woman who during Tuesday’s earthquake had looked askance at my suggestion that we leave the building.
“The tornados,” she replied with all seriousness.
Pretty soon our bed resembled a gathering of the Von Trapp family, along with seventeen pillows and three sleeping bags. “Maybe we should bring up some snacks,” piped our youngest son. Soon, not only was our bed overflowing with uninvited guests, we now had to deal with the fact that we would be sleeping on crumbs, crumbs we could not see in the blackout.
Morning came without much fanfare. Other than having to light the gas stove with a match to boil water for the coffee, all appeared normal.
The phones are out, as are the cable and the internet and the Wii. The microwave does not work, and we cannot open the refrigerator for fear of letting out all of the cold air. It is a lot like camping I explain to the children as they asked what they can do living in such primitive conditions.
“You have four hours of daylight to clean your rooms and get ready for the first day of school,” I replied as I thought about how quiet tomorrow would be.