Sunday, March 21, 2021

Things That Happened When the Power Went Out Last Night (Day 80)

Last night, I was in a very, very blissful state after a Happiness meditation. 

Then the power went out. 

And I continued in my blissful state for a brief time (11 minutes), during which time I wrote an uplifting and extremely positive blog about the things that give me joy and happiness.  Then, at the 12 minutes without power mark, well, I discovered what really, truly makes me happy:

ELECTRICITY. 

So, tonight, this blog is a bit of a confession. Yes, the sweet ring of my husbands laughter and the quaint simplicity of card games by lantern light do indeed make me happy*. But, when it comes down to it, neither of these things make me as happy as electricity. 

I think everything that happened points to the power of meditation, as well as its limitation. Like I could stay happy in the midst of the apocalyptic black out for 11 minutes; but then, well, the following things happened when the power went out last night:

1. Minutes 1-11: As mentioned, as a result of being hypnotized   relaxed by the meditation I was NOT in a state of full awareness of the ramifications of the blackout. I was able to extricate Lily and her charge from their dark home, navigate the walk across the street and calmly provide the children with giant UNO to play by the light of solar lanterns. 

2. Minutes 12-22: At this point, Mike announced that Nicholas had taken our "good" bright lantern. It is a lantern one uses when searching in a deep, deep wood for the way to the road or when investigating a crime scene in a warehouse without electricity at 3:45am. Mike handled everything. I began internally panicking. WHAT IF THEY NEVER FOUND THE LANTERN? HOW WOULD WE MAKE IT? HOW LONG DO SOLAR LANTERNS WORK?

3. Minutes 22-23: There was a rattling at the door and I assumed the looting was about to begin. Also, the lantern was found but it was hard to celebrate when I was trying to remember what you are supposed to do on the Walking Dead when the door rattles. 

4. Minutes 23-30: One of the children bravely went to the rattling sound. It was Lily's charge's Dad! He had made it and was just knocking/opening the door into to get his child. I forgot everything here rattles because it is 100 years old. 

5. Minutes 30-33: Apparently, I had not paid the electric bill in a while. So I did that, because I wanted to be on the priority list. There is always a priority list, so don't try to convince me otherwise. 

6. Minutes 33-37: I had to download an app to report the outage. After panicking because it seemed my phone would not recognize my face and stubbornly refusing to enter my passcode, FINALLY my phone accepted that it was my face and not some looter who stole my phone and allowed me to download the PSEG app. I reported the outage and then, the app said we would not have power until the next day, at 5:45am. 

7. Minutes 38-41: I silently hyperventilated while the children asked me endless questions: Mommy, how long do solar lanterns work? Mom, How do I get water when the automatic faucet isn't working? Mom, you look funny and it is freaking me out, can I go to bed? 

8. Minute 41-42: Realizing that we'd never have power again and this our new normal, I showed Chloe how to use the bathroom sink to get water. (Internally gagging at our new life of bathroom faucet water). I allowed Lily to go to bed. I turned to my phone to google "HOW LONG DO SOLAR LANTERNS WORK?" (It varies, apparently, and each individual product is lab tested, supposedly.). 

9. Minutes 42-49: While I was reading up on solar lanterns, received a text that said we'd have power by 12:45am. I immediately went to the PSEG tracker app and saw it said 5:45am. SO WHO IS TELLING THE TRUTH?

10. Minutes 49-57:  I decided that unlike my rustic children I could not drink bathroom sink water and made one of them trek out to the garage with me for a seltzer and beer for Mike (who was watching YouTube videos and completely mentally detached from our dire circumstances. Poor man! He was even laughing out loud. God bless him.). 

11: Minutes 57-62: I realized I needed to get the soccer and lacrosse socks/uniforms from the jaws of the Samsung front loading washing machine. I made Chloe come downstairs with me to the dark basement. The washing machine door was locked. I kicked it four times. And googled what to do. Chloe asked if she could now go to bed to get away from me. 

12: Minutes 62-68: Nicholas decided he should sleep on the living room because the upstairs was deemed unsafe. I don't know why. BUT HOW COULD I DISAGREE, after all, the solar lanterns had started to flicker. 

13: Minutes 68-79: During this time, I went downstairs to bravely drain the washing machine into my good salad bowl from Crate and Barrel (it's war time! You use what you have!) I needed those soccer socks! Then I realized I had not seen my husband since I got him a beer. WHERE WAS HE? 

14. Minutes 79-87: Instead of calling out for Mike or texting him, I texted two friends in Pennsylvania. One suggested that Mike had left the house to help people in need. WHAT PEOPLE? WHAT ABOUT ME? I immediately became very angry with my husband who was helping others while our precious children's socks were trapped in the washing machine. 

15. Minutes 88-89: I texted my husband. He was in the living room. 

16: Minutes 89-91: My husband announced: "OKAY IT IS JUST ME I AM WALKING DOWN THE STAIRS NOW," as he walked down the basement stairs. It is as if he thinks that I am some kind of lunatic. Anyway, I put down the mason jar of pickles I had been holding to defend myself from looters and return to draining the washing machine. 

17: Minutes 91-98: Mike helps with the draining. He says many times that this will not work and says we will just figure out when we have to. He is very patient. I think about eating a pickle. 

18. Minutes 98-102: Draining the washing machine does not unlock the door. So we go back upstairs. I manage to find the cork screw and bottle of wine in the dim solar light. At least my instincts are still intact. I drink wine. I debate whether it is better be sober during the Zombie Apocalypse or not. I settle on not. 

19. Minutes 102-104: I refresh my PSEG app again and join in on the hysteria on the neighborhood Facebook group. I wonder, how long will we still have Facebook? I put my phone in low power mode and think about eating a pickle, again. 

20. Minutes 104-109: Another friend and loyal Yoke reader texts me because she's heard about my plight!  She offers me her children's uniforms and allows us to take her surname. We are now the Henry's of Eldridge! 

21. Minutes 109-115: My husband is still dealing with power outage by watching YouTube videos. Every has their own coping mechanisms. I realize I have to be strong for the both of us. I briefly worry the candle in the kitchen caught the tulips on fire. Then I worry if solar lanterns can catch on fire. I think about googling this and also consider blowing out the candle but get distracted by refreshing my PSEG app. 

22. Minutes 115-120: The house is very quiet, except for whatever Mike is watching on his phone. I cannot process what it is and must keep refreshing my app. I start feeling thankful we have so much pickle relish and applesauce in the basement; because we can eat that for days and uses the jars to catch rain water!  I start shivering. I think, what should I burn first to keep us warm? I decide on the Samsung front loading washing machine. 

23. Minute 120: THE POWER COMES BACK ON! And I realized my deepest, most honest truth: Electricity makes me the happiest. 


*If you are confused and need a point of reference, check out Day 79's Yoke

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