My wife and I both grew up without running water in our country homes. There was always natural gas and electric in ours, though, despite our main heat being a wood stove. Her neighborhood, however, never got electric until she was about twelve years old, and didn’t get gas until she was in her late teens. City water didn’t come through until she returned to that property in the early 1970’s. You’d think, then, that she would handle power outages with patience and calmness. Not so. Apparently, she always slept in the dark until her first husband died. Afterward, she always had to have some lights on at night, and still does to this day. Interestingly enough, she’s unintentionally taught the Mighty Dachshund to be likewise.
And so, yesterday evening, when our power went out during a windstorm, she loudly said “Oh No!” and the dog started whining in the darkness. Reaching down beside me, I grasped my flashlight, turned it on and illuminated my wife’s side of the room until she got out one of her battery powered lanterns. She put another one in the bathroom and a third in the dining-room/ kitchen area, so the whole downstairs was lit to some degree. I guess her logic is why run down ONE set of batteries, when you can run down THREE sets.
After calling the power company and reporting the outage on their handy-dandy machine that had great difficulty differentiating between the word “yes” and the word “no,” I returned to the TV room, thinking we might just talk and pass the time until we either went to bed, or the power came back on. I could soon tell that idea wasn’t going to pan out. And so, despite having already taken her on a drive to combat cabin fever earlier in the day, I offered to take her and the pooch on another swing through the Great Gaudy Way (town). Both she and the pooch were ecstatic at the thought. We managed to kill a couple hours, but the house was still dark on our return, so we went back out the road to check on the downed lines (as we had when we first left) and they looked about back to normal. Only 15 minutes after we walked into the house, the lights came back on. Even today, though, I had to “get them out of the house” a while.
The missus took a little walk in the mall, so I managed to use some of the time to dig up three poke roots to put in my “garden.” I might have dug more, but “the rains came.” Next, the other half wanted to go to the big craft store a ways down the road, so I took her. I could have dug a few wild Jerusalem artichoke tubers for my garden there, but the rain remained heavier than I wanted to endure, so I settled for letting the pooch pee. After one more stop, we came home.