It’s kind of cozy, sitting here in the dark and writing by candlelight. The power went out. For the male sector of our household, this is cause for celebration.
My son was outside when a sound like a canon roared through our neighborhood. He charged through the door, not knowing that our power had gone off, and yelled, “Somebody just got shot!”
We had heard pronouncements of a similar nature before and tended to take such things with a grain of salt. The chances of someone getting shot and the power going off at the same time were pretty slim. Therefore, we concluded that a transformer must’ve bit the dust.
After some investigation, we determined that our house and our next door neighbor were the only houses with no power. My husband knew it was his lucky day. He found his magnesium flint stick and enthusiastically proceeded to try to light a candle with it. I whipped out my handy-dandy butane fire-lighting tool and took all the wind out of his sails. I apologized for being such a kill-joy.
He spent thirty minutes trying to coax the propane into our gas fireplace and was almost happy that he might have to build a fire in our wood-burning fireplace. Another chance to use the magnesium flint stick! By the time I had lit all the candles we own, the kids had dragged every blanket on their beds out to the living room. They prepared to spend the night telling ghost stories and scaring the bejesus out of each other with mini flashlights held under their chins.
In true outdoorsman style, my husband pulled out a battery-powered DVD player and put in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang for the kids to watch.
My son, still convinced that he heard a gunshot, thought that the movie was somewhat appropriately named, but he would have called it Chitty Chitty Boom Boom.
I was perfectly happy with my pen and paper and candlelight. It felt somehow familiar to me; like it was supposed to be done that way. The computer has always been both a blessing and a curse for me. I remember the last time we had a power outage. We used toothpicks to roast mini marshmallows over a candle. With Teddy Grahams and chocolate chips, they made excellent bite-sized S’mores.
That was also the night we taught our kids to play Pinochle. Those kinds of moments tend to get lost in the high-tech world of today.
When the lights came back on a few hours later, I heard a harmonized chorus of “Awwww!” from the living room. I have to admit that I was slightly disappointed as well.
The kids schlepped their blankets back to their bedrooms. My husband put away his magnesium flint stick because our youngest was eyeing it with way too much interest. Chitty Chitty Boom Boom was once again supplanted in favor of Legos and video games.
I sighed, blew out the candles and put them away… until the next power outage.