18 Hour Power Outage

At 7.22pm last night just as I finished cooking but before I turned off the oven, the world turned black--we had a power outage.

I have one telephone that doesn't require electricity, but everything and mean everything in this house is power-dependent--the oil burner, the water heater, the oven, the everything.

All year I've had plenty of candles, and flashlights strategically placed around the house so I could see well enough. I went down to the cellar to see if it was just a question of a switch when the one working telephone rang. "Yes, we have a neighbourhood-wide power outage," my neighbour said. "Are you all right?"

I felt fine, that is until around 8am this morning when the house started to get cold. By noon I was considering going over to J's house in Sullivan County to sleep or go down the road to Liz' to sleep on the floor--they have a terrific wood burning stove.

Just as I was putting on another pair of socks, I saw something flicker. A light? Yes, a light, then more lights, and then clarity of what was on when the power went out--the oven for one.

Eighteen hours without power is a mighty good lesson on how dependent we are on the unnatural. Now what to do about it?

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