Wednesday, October 15, 2014


Q: Where was Moses when the lights went out?

A: In the dark.

Yesterday my power was out for about four or five hours. I got home from work later than usual because I had stopped at the grocery store on the way. As I turned into my cul-de-sac, I was following a PSE truck. I went around it to pull into my driveway, where I halted and pushed the button on the automatic garage-door opener on my visor. No response. Push. No response. Hm. I knew the battery was okay because the light on the device went on with each push.

I got out of my car and saw that no lights were on in my house or any of my neighbors' houses. The PSE truck had disgorged a workman who was approaching some kind of utility box on my neighbor's property. "Is the power out?" I asked. He seemed to look at me cautiously. "Yes," he replied after a pause.

I went inside my home and found my way through the gloom to let my dog out of his box. He starts to bark as soon as I put my key in the door. My upstairs neighbors must always know when I get home. Barkity bark bark. Yappity yap yap. I was flipping switches everywhere I went so that when the power came on I would know.

As it turned out, I had a long time to wait. I lit a candle, pondering the saying, "It is better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness" in the context of this comic strip:

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Good old "Peanuts."

I opened up the computer I am now writing on, and the battery was fully charged. However, I could not get online because I could not connect to my wireless. The troubleshooter told me to turn my router on and off.

So I went on my cell phone. First I called my parents to chat about the situation. Then I went online, which always uses up the battery quickly. I made a post or two about the outage on Facebook and visited the PSE site, where I discovered it was a very tiny outage, affecting an estimated 7 customers. Soon my phone battery went dead, so I read materials already loaded onto my Kindle.

I made a couple trips down the hall to what my mother calls "that little room," but I did not flush the toilet. Because I am semi-below ground level, the downstairs where I live requires a pump to drain water. I don't know what might have happened had I flushed, but I imagine it would not have been pleasant.

Around 11:30, 11:35, the lights came on and the refrigerator started to hum. Just in time for me to turn the lights off and go to bed (after flushing the toilet).

This morning when I went outside to walk the dog, my sprinkler system was cycling through its business. I had turned the system off this spring, deciding to postpone learning how to operate it until next year. But I found the manual and it said that after a power outage it will default to a once-a-day schedule eight hours after power is restored. I think I will get a professional in to get it drained and shut down for winter so that if we have any power outages then I won't have complications involving frozen pipes. For the moment, I just turned it off again. I think. I'll know for sure tomorrow morning.

So that's just about the biggest adventure that's happened to me in a long time. Glad I made it through.

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