What luck I have in the middle of the night.
Along with various furry animals making their way into my home and deciding to play games at all hours of the night, I have also had the fortune of having storms knock out my power several times this summer.
The most recent and memorable time was last Wednesday. Not so memorable for the storm or my lack of electricity, but for the pain I inflicted upon myself when the lights went out.
About 11 p.m. -- well into my waking hours -- I began to hear the rumble of the storm. Lightning flashed brightly, though not too close to the house.
Soon the lights began to flicker. I knew the drill -- my power was about to go out.
I had prepared earlier in the night for just such an event, when I first noticed the storm, by setting a battery-powered alarm clock out to wake me up. That, of course, was all I did.
Out went the lights, the television, the ceiling fan and any other electronic sounds from my house that usually accompany me to sleep.
Outside, the electric line that ran from my house and through the woods was buzzing against the trees and dropping sparks onto the ground. I looked for Roy Hobbs rounding the bases, but didn't see him outside.
I grabbed my cell phone and used it as a light to find some candles. While trekking into my dark living room, I tripped over a well placed shoe and about snapped my neck on my front door. Angry at my shoe for having the audacity to trip me, I kicked it into the kitchen. In retaliation, it threw sand all over the floor.
I should have known that wouldn't be the last of my injuries.
After a few choice words denigrating the brown loafer, I got a candle. Apparently the only candles I have are the kind that emit a fragrance. I guess just because I didn't have electricity, it didn't mean I was going to have to live like an animal, without the smell of lilacs around me.
With my odoriferous candle lit and in hand I went in search of a phone book. Normally I have about 10 phone books, from 2000 to the present, but I didn't realize that when the lights went out they ran under the furniture, much like reverse mice.
I found one wedged under my couch and called Brainerd Public Utilities. Then I searched for more candles, and found a tall, slim, non-smelly candle in a closet. An emergency candle.
I lit it and sat in my bedroom, listening to the radio.
About a half-hour later, the utility crew arrived to fix my problem.
I went to answer their knock at my door with the emergency candle in my hand. It obviously didn't hold wax as well as the smell-producing candles, and I proceeded to dump a good deal of it onto my toes and fingers. To answer your question, yes, it burned quite a bit of hair off my toe knuckles.
I showed the utility guys where I saw the sparks and went back inside. I set all my candles down and went to a window to see how the workers were faring. I guess I don't know my way around in the dark as well as I thought, though, as I jammed four of my five little piggies on my right foot into the molding on the bathroom door.
I let out a grunt of pain, bit my bottom lip and shook my fist in anger at the bathroom door. I figured I'd exact my revenge on the molding later. I limped on.
After an hour or so, the crew was back at my door. They couldn't find the problem in the dark and would have to wait until morning in order to see the electric line in the woods.
They did find the lake, however, as one of the linemen put his foot into it while walking and looking up at the electricity line.
It was 1 a.m. The crew left, and I limped off to bed, tripping over the other shoe in the middle of my floor.
In the morning I got up and, with three of the stink candles to light my way, decided to get ready for work. I turned on the sink and began to lather up with shaving cream. Then my water stopped. Despite turning the knob on every faucet in my house once or twice, no water was coming. The water pump also was out.
I contemplated using the water in my holding tank in my toilet to wash my face off, but wasn't yet that desperate. I wiped off my face, got dressed and left.
I left for places with a shower and warm water, where the holding tank on the toilet is at least the third or fourth option for daily cleansing.
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