What did we *do* before electricity???

Two nights ago, at 7:11 pm, my power went out.  Already finished dinner, I had just sat down with a book (yes, I finally started The Da Vinci Code) and started to read. The sun hadn’t quite set yet, so there was still some light coming in. I sat there for a few seconds, waiting for it to come right back on like it usually does. Nothing.  Uh oh.

I went back to reading my book, and 10 minutes later when I finished it, I sat there thinking, “Now what?” No tv, no computer, no radio, no book to read – what else is there to *do*? I thought about leaving the house for awhile, but I felt guilty leaving the cat home alone to deal with the heat. I was glad I’d already eaten, because no power meant no microwave and no oven – everything in my condo runs on electricity. Out of sheer boredom I decided to take a shower.  Even that had to be done fairly quickly – no power meant that no more hot water would be forthcoming once I used up what was in the tank.

After my shower, I spent the next couple of hours just wandering around. As it got darker, I lit candles (see, being a candle freak *does* occasionally pay off!). By the light of my kerosene lamp, I cleaned out the litter box. I found the mp3 player that my daughter had received as a gift but doesn’t use – it only holds about 20 songs and the sound quality leaves much to be desired – and wasted a little time lying in the middle of my bed listening to the mostly-Kelly Clarkson-filled playlist. I opened up the second sheer white scarf I had purchased to drape across the top of my canopy bed and tried to make it match the first. If I leave the lights off all the time, it looks ok.

It was one of those days when the heat index was somewhere in the high 800’s, so before too long it started to get uncomfortably hot in my top floor condo. It was also freakishly quiet, and the darker it got, the more it started to creep me out, so I went out to my balcony to eat an “italian ice”. (For anyone who might be doing a low carb diet and detests eating sugar-free jello as much as I do, here’s a trick: Take that cup of sugar-free, fat-free, carb-free jello and put it in the freezer. Once it’s frozen, you can eat it like an italian ice! Most italian ices that you buy in the grocery store have anywhere between 30 and 40 grams of carbs each…so this is a great alternative. ) It wasn’t any cooler out there, but at least there was sound. I sat out there for awhile, ate my snack, and just listened to the proof that I wasn’t the last living human being left on the planet.

Somewhere around 10:00, I gave up and decided to go to bed. Nice theory, but it’s hard to sleep when you’re lying in 85 degrees of stagnant air. It’s especially difficult if it’s too hot for a blanket, but you’re one of those weirdo people who can’t sleep if your feet aren’t covered. (You never know when that evil toe-monster is going to rear his ugly head!)  I tossed and turned for an hour or so, and miracle of miracles, the power came back on at 11:18. It still took another 2 or 3 hours for the condo to cool down, but at least I had my fan!

After this experience, I have decided that I need to prepare an emergency power-outage bag. Now most people would put in their bags things that would help them in the event of an emergency like fresh drinking water, a flashlight and batteries, a radio, food, blankets…but not me. My bag is going to contain the following:

  • A book that I have not yet read
  • One of those little book light thingies so that I can read should the power go off at night
  • A battery operated Sudoku game
  • A knitting project and all the necessary materials
  • An mp3 player loaded with something other than Kelly Clarkson songs
  • A box of twinkies  – they are the perfect food…they don’t require cooking and they will never spoil!
  • A deck of cards

What would you put in your bag?

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