Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The Glover-Mountjoy household goes dark

I mentioned recently that using a Palm Pilot as a word processor has difficulties, but that it has the advantage of extreme portability. I just learned of another advantage: it works even during a long power failure. We're going on two hours with no electricity so far, and I've done all the storm-damage abatement I can at the moment, so I'm taking a moment to sit down and write (I'm blogging to warm up my hands and brain).

It was a heck of a storm, too. It blew in quickly and dumped an inch and a half of rain in 90 minutes, accompanied by a zillion pretty lightning strikes, one of which apparently took out a substation somewhere. I can't see any lights on anywhere within five blocks of here, so it's got to be something big or important that got hit.

We've got water pouring in the basement, and while I was looking around down there by flashlight, I discovered a bit of leftover trauma from the last hard rainstorm: one of the buckets of paint I had stored on the floor rusted through. I've got almost a full gallon of Kilz white primer in a big pool on the concrete floor. I thought all the paint stored on the floor was in plastic cans, oops.

I'm also noticing an odd habit of mine. When I walk into a dark room, even though I know the power's out, even though I'm carrying a flashlight to see by, I still reflexively flip the light switch. Then nothing happens, of course, because the power's out. So I feel a little stupid. Then I walk into another room, and I hit the light switch, and once more nothing happens, and I feel a little more stupid. I do this every time. Unless I'm consciously aware of not flipping the switch, I make the futile gesture and feel progressively dumber each time.

One cool thing about a power failure: Laura does a really beautiful job of lighting the house with candles. We can see well enough to get around, and if we light the candelabra she set on the table, we could even read by candlelight. I'm using the flashlight for spot lighting only; I even showered and did dishes (not at the same time) by candlelight. And, while she lights candles on a regular basis, we've usually got electric lights on too. It's nice to see how the house looks when the only illumination comes from artfully-arranged, well-placed candles.

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