Last night that most universally failure-proof function failed. Right at dinner time the lights went out. When I called the power company to report the outage, I was greeted with an automated voice that crisply informed me that we were NOT in a known outage area and to check my bill to see if it had been paid, check the main breaker in the house, check, check, check. I got a little panicky until MM in looking outside could see that the neighbor's dusk-to-dawn monstrosity was also out, as was the next neighbor's down. In turning to the west, he could see nothing but blackness. Obviously, we weren't the only ones and I took refuge in the misery-loves-company mindset.
But we're rarely "miserable" when the lights go out JOTOLR. Our wood cookstove was purring nicely. We had, rather fortunately, planned to have the final turkey sandwiches of Thanksgiving 2010 for dinner. So, out came the oil lamps--we have two--along with the book lights which fasten on the top edge of the book and give great illumination.
I tried the power company a little while later and got the recording that indeed, this time, we WERE in a known "outage area" and that service would be restored by 8:30 p.m. So, without anxiety, we settled in for a two-hour wait.
If it's not too long a time, I love it when the power goes off. I guess it comes from when I was a little girl and my mother made it fun. The oil lamps then, as now, came out; we roasted weiners on the fire in the fireplace, and it seemed all so festive. Forgive me. I know all the downside effects of a powerless existence...but living as MM and I do, it's rarely a huge inconvenience providing it comes back in a reasonable time. If it endures, water becomes a little problematic, so I always fill several cannisters with new water before an anticipated outage. In fact, I keep a little on hand. It's back to the privvy (outdoor) facilities (should need arise). We don't open the fridge or freezers, but instead cover all freezers outside with a couple of extra blankets. Of course, when it's cold, that's not needed.
Without electric power, we are gently reminded for a moment how dependent we are upon it--and maybe, how not to be....(In the photo below, the regular reading lamp has gone dark, and the booklight flares against MM's glasses.)
Just as we had everything assembled for sandwich-making, the lights came back on. It seemed such a waste of effort and ambience...so we simply ignored the fact that power had been restored and enjoyed the light of the lanterns.