And Now for a Break from the Usual

The power left. Not the Power of Attorney, not the Power of Ideas, not the Power of Suggestion, not Powerball, Powerpoint, Powerade…the power…small ‘p’…the juice. It just up and left…no stammer, no flicker, no psa saying, ‘we’re going for a bit to readjust our signal…be back soon’. Nope, just gone, like money at the track.

No power…who can’t survive that for a couple of days? Well, me. And I suspect you. I don’t mean survive, survive. We’re going to live thought it. It’s really saying ‘hello’ to the tenuous nature of our lives, how a little flipped switch in a Con Ed substation can put patience and humility back into our self-important lives; how thousands of snow-heavy branches can snap power lines and plunge a bright suburban street into the stygian darkness of a Halloween ‘funhouse’. Not to be a curmudgeon, but the one bright spot was having the blackout on Halloween. Not that I don’t like a tow-headed six-year-old in a skeleton costume as much as the next person, but my door chime (battery-powered) plays the first eight notes of Bethoven’s Fifth. And too much of a good thing is…well…agonizing.

Just to belabor the obvious, the first issue is heat. The furnace needs an electric spark…no heat. The telephone…land line…needs power, no house phone. Fortunately, there are cell phones, but that means driving around a couple of times a day to recharge them. The refrigerator…didn’t matter, the house was as cold as it was. The computer…no modem…no internet…no digital New York Times…no internet-based business without emergency power. And no power to the sump pump…just watching the melting snow swagger and flow, wherever it wanted to go. You get the idea.

Anyway, we’re back to fall. The trees still have leaves. My impatiens did not survive, but they didn’t owe me anything…they bloomed from June through October. There are tree limbs piled neatly on roadsides awaiting the Great Chipper to turn them into mulch.

And now it’s time to cozy up to a good read about solar panels.