The power is on at my house!
Normally, this wouldn’t actually demand any sort of joyous announcement. But the other night, we had this windstorm.*
And then the block went dark.
And then I discovered that even though I’d grown up in a relatively rugged and weather-ready household, as an adult, I was ill-prepared for any sort of actual situation. As it turns out, there were many, many things pertaining to emergency preparedness that as a child, I had come to take for granted.
For instance, having matches in the house.
I grew up with a wood stove, which meant that no matter what, we always had a 250-count box of Diamond strike-anywhere matches.
The current match situation is limited to half a book of bar matches with a picture of 29th President Warren G. Harding on the flap.
We have a lot of batteries. So that’s good. But I couldn’t find the flashlight.
Because, as I eventually discovered once the power came back on, it was on the floor in the basement, behind the hot water heater. Which would have been nice to know when I was ransacking drawers and cupboards and closets by the light of a numeral-zero birthday candle.
(I did find half a tin of raspberry hard candies that I didn’t know I had. So.)
Then, since the power was still not back on yesterday, D and I packed up our laptops, put on our coats, and spent the morning wandering the neighborhood in search of outlets, wifi, and central heating.
We roamed past the dark Safeway, past the vacant Einstein Brothers and the deserted Walgreens and the downed branches and unresponsive traffic signals. It looked kind of like an apocalypse, except that you could imperfectly navigate toward sections of the neighborhood that still had power by looking for intersections with working stoplights.
Then we found an open coffee shop and it was warm. Then I finally got some work done, but not quite enough to catch up and do a high school post. Then I went home and eventually the power came back on.
Lessons to take from all this:
- It would be good to have some Diamond matches.
- And five gallons of emergency drinking water. I mean, we still totally had running water. But if we hadn’t, it would have been nice to have some emergency-backup water.
- It would be good to own more than one flashlight. Also, these hypothetical flashlights should probably live in some convenient, predetermined spot that is not the farthest corner of the basement, behind the hot water heater.
*Also, that article is highly and inaccurately optimistic, because we most certainly did NOT have power yesterday afternoon.