Sunday, December 18, 2005

Sometimes The Lights Just Come On...

Let A Candle Light My Way Posted by Picasa

I have a friend IRL who is having some serious financial problems, and I felt so bad for her. She didn't ask for anything, but I knew she was in some serious stuff, and with Christmas coming she didn't have anything to buy gifts and the basics for Christmas. A few of us friends chipped in a few bucks to help ease the load, and it felt good to do.

Just after I got back from that -- I was sitting at my computer when something in the house blew. My computer went black, the TV shut down and most of the lights went out.

Since we had heat, we didn't worry about it too much -- Brian went out to the circuit breaker box and started flipping switches -- but nothing happened. Uh oh.

Then, we were making do with what was left of our power, and I was thinking "Wow, what good timing. The last load in the dryer was done, the dishwasher was just finishing up, and well, at least the refrigerator's still running and the heat's on."

I had even started baking a double batch of chocolate chip cookies and the oven shut down just as a batch was ready to come out of the oven. My husband hustled to plug the fish tank in to one of the remaining outlets, and we thought we were at least just stuck with calling an electrician tomorrow.

But then, something else blew, and we sat in the dark. This was bad. It was 9* outside, and in serious danger of freezing our asses off overnight. I thought of the minimum $500 bill to get a new breaker box outside (we figured that's where the problem was since only half the power was out), and great. Just before Christmas.

We quickly talked over what to do. Brian said I had to prepare myself for a big die-off in the fish tank (I've never been around for one of those), and we decided we'd load the dog and cats and take them over to a friend's house and just stay there overnight if we had to.

About 20 minutes later, my husband was on the phone talking to our friend about that, and I was running around finding candles and lighting them. I walked out of the house and "BING!" It's back!

The weird thing is, I didn't panic about it. I thought about my friend who was struggling just to feed herself and her kids, and I thought that my problem was really temporary and minor -- expensive, sure -- but fixable.

Sometimes it takes a big power outage to make you count your blessings and realize that life is pretty good if you have gas and electricity. We are a simple people, really.

I have to go bake the rest of those cookies now.

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