The night the lights went out

Thursday afternoon we had rain at my place for the first time in a couple of weeks 1.8 inches fell in one storm and we had some wind damage.  I have a small bird house with an Auburn logo on it that one of the neighbors put up for me years ago that the wind tore off of the mounting pole.  I noticed it when I pulled in the driveway and picked it up when I walked to the mailbox. When two wasps came out of it I threw it several feet away and ran for the hills.  I still have a rash and a long red streak from the last encounter a few days ago. Later I went back armed with a wasp spray that shoots up to 27 feet.

It seemed strange not having to water everything.  I chased around some hummingbirds for a while trying to get pictures and then picked a gallon of figs and got them ready for drying.  I’ll cover the processing in another post. After getting the fuzz off of the figs and cutting them in half, I kept hearing a rumbling that sounded more like a rock concert going on at the Al Music Hall of Fame than a thunderstorm.  As it got closer the vivid lightening started.  I grabbed my flashlight and candle lighter and read the paper while I waited for it to hit, and boy did it hit.  I have never seen lightening like that. After about 15 minutes the power goes off and my weather radio starts blaring that we were under a severe thunderstorm warning. Yeah right, tell me something I don’t know. I turn on the flashlight and started getting my old oil lamp collection down off of the shelves and from a couple of the wall hangers which are nice to have.  I get a call on my cell phone from work. So I’m trying to hold the flashlight in one hand, cell on my ear and pulling the hurricane off of the lamp to light it with the other hand. Then the weather radio goes off again that we have a flash flood warning; okay I didn’t know that from the rain pounding and lightening flashes on the skylight.  One of the modern lamps had a bad wick and burner and wouldn’t stay lit. I also have a couple of those old fashion reproduction candle holders  with a handle on them that look like something out of a Charles Dickens novel and lit them.    I had found some lamp oil a few weeks back, but hadn’t gotten around to putting it in the empty lamps, so I tried that by candlelight. I finished cutting up the figs by oil lamp and got them on the dehydrator and pulled it in so that it would come on when the power did.  Why is it that you know your power is off, but every time you go in a room you switch the lights on?   I checked on the dogs and only Blackie and Levi were on the front porch and I asked them  if Patches was out or back in the barn.

After an hour without power I got to worrying about my orange sherbet vanilla ice cream swirl melting in the freezer and decided to save it from a sloppy fate and had a large bowl by one of the oil lamps. I don’t think my ancestors roughed it like this.  After the storm was over and it was getting late I decided to take a shower by candle light and I wondered if this was how my ancestors living on the same spot back in the 1800’s cleaned up?   My soap dispenser was out of body wash and I got a couple of bottles out of the cabinet trying to read the label by candle light and couldn’t.  How did Abe Lincoln study with a little dim light like this? Then I realized that I didn’t have my glasses on.

A little after 11PM, I decided to go to call work and ask them to call me at 5 AM in case the battery was gone on my alarm clock and go to bed. As I was finding the number in my cell phone, I heard a noise outside; it was the air conditioner coming on.

The next morning my question about Patches was answered; there she was leaned up against Mom’s garage door. She couldn’t get back in after the power came on.  I turned off the fence and walked down to the end of my drive to get the paper and kept calling her. I have them trained to come in the driveway if they have gotten out. She just laid there looking. I walked back to the garage to get a leash and when I walked back out, she decided to finally obey my command and come to the end of the driveway, only I had to walk back to the end of the driveway to get her in.  Who’s got who trained right?

One item I forgot to correct after the power outage was to reset the clock on my hot water heater.  I have it on a timer to save electricity and I thought about resetting it Friday but got sidetracked.  A 3 hr outage didn’t cause problems Friday, but on Saturday, it still wasn’t one when I decided to take a shower.

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3 Responses to The night the lights went out

  1. Jean Ross says:

    Mary, I love your posts! You describe things so vividly that I’m able to visualize them in my mind and feel like I was there, too!

  2. Thanks Jean, hope we get together next time you are up this way. Mary

  3. Jean Ross says:

    That would be great! Hope it works out.

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