Blackout in Brentwood! Alert the Media!

So here’s the breaking news from the B’hood:

Tonight the lights went out for over an hour.

Yeah, I know that’s not exactly a big honkin’ crisis but hey, this is the ‘burbs– even our emergencies are laid back! The girls and I were minding our own business, all of us in different parts of the house when suddenly the lights flickered and we were plunged into darkness. Charlotte immediately started calling to me from the family room, “Hello! I hate this! Bring me a flashlight please!” Madi yelled down the stairs that she was heading into Charlotte’s room to wait it out because she wanted to have a view of the street to see how many houses were dark; turned out it was as far as the eye could see in every direction. Luckily, I was in my bedroom when it happened and I have this little handy dandy reading light on a cord in my nightstand, so I turned it on, hung it around my neck like one of those St. Bernard rescue dogs and took off up the stairs to find mah chillren. After I reassured them that this probably wouldn’t last long, I started digging out all of my candles and placing them everywhere. Ok, I have a lot of candles. By the time I fired all of those suckers up, we had lights all over the house, like about 30 of them. It was kind of cozy.

Charlotte was right behind me the whole time I was lighting candles, following me reeeeeeeally close, all up in my grill. Every time I stopped she practically rear-ended me! The child is not a big fan of blackouts. We even went out on the deck and lit a few candles out there, too, so that everywhere we walked inside and out we had at least a little bit of light. She was kind of nervous, which makes her kind of chatty (I have no idea where she gets that), so she kept up a running commentary everywhere we went. Eventually she relaxed a little and we actually really had fun. The flickering candles cast a soft light all over the house, and there were no electronic devices to distract us and interrupt the quiet– no computers, no television, no Wii. It was great! Char brought the dogs up into my bed, which is like Christmas for the little yappers and they were so excited they started going totally nuts, diving into the pillows and chasing each other everywhere. We were laughing so hard, and playing with them and talking and suddenly in the middle of all the canine hilarity, boom! The lights were back on! The three of us went around blowing out the candles and turning down the blaring TVs, which now sounded like they were turned up full blast. Eventually we each drifted off to our different rooms to continue doing whatever it was we had been doing when we lost power.

I’m thinking I might fake a blackout every once in a while, just so we can have some more evenings like this one. It was very Little House on the Prairie-ish, only with more dogs and less, uh, churning. I liked it.

15 Responses

  1. BrownEyedGirl

    Isn’t the family time great during a blackout?? We had one when Ike came through a few weeks ago. We only lost power for 12 hours but had no cable or computer for 5 days. You have to understand that in “Hooterville” we have no local tv stations = husband goes nuts , kids do great – go figure.
    The most fun was during the Blizzard a few years ago, We lived in our bedroom to contain body and candle heat. The rest of the house was 40 degrees. We have an electric stove, so I played pioneer woman, got creative, and learned that you can cook over tea lights. Same idea as the flames on a gas stove. I propped a cookie cooling rack on custard dishes with tea lights underneath and made refried beans. Then for Breakfast, I made steaming hot chicken noodle soup. ( Okay, heated up a family size can..regardless, they had steaming hot food)
    It was fun except for the cold showers..BRRR

  2. CarolynR

    You forget how “noisy” electricity is! We had a power “outage” last week (in the daytime) when a tree came down on the line in the field opposite. I drew up a chair and me and the cat sat and watched the fun as the SWAT team from the electricity board came charging in and frightened the sheep! It only lasted a couple of hours, but really noticed how the house seemed to come to rest. It was almost as if it was saying “at last, some peace”. The silence was deafening! Of course perversely I became full of angst at the thought of not being able to plug myself in to all those things one really can’t live without like internet, tv and the Bellini blender!!

  3. tori

    Brown-Eyed Girl– You totally MacGuyvered that tea light thing! Bravo!
    CarolynR– Mmmmmm, bellinis…

  4. Barbara M. Lloyd

    Oh Tori, I am in stitches….mentally picturing the Taff girls in the middle of a blackout…looking more like female Keystone cops than mere damsels in distress. Add to that those four legged moppets and we have all the makings of a perfect U-tube comedy.

  5. belinda

    This brings back memories of our ice storm December 2007. The first couple of days/nights were fun but after that we were ready for the electricity to come back on. After four days without, in freezing weather, I did a little shout, okay a LOUD shout when it came back on. We did not have that many candles so it was DARK! I am now better preparied because I have lanterns for more light if we EVER have another storm like that. The only thing that saved us was our gas logs in the fireplace. We had a mattress we pulled up in front of the firplace and slept all cozy. It could have been worse, a lot of people were without electricity for 2 weeks or more.

    One question, how many times did you just automatically flip the light switch to turn on the light even though you knew it was not going to come on? I would walk through the house flipping those light switches only to make a quick turn around and get a candle or flash light to go into those dark rooms. Makes you kind of feel silly.

  6. gracelynn

    Blackouts can be fun, granted you aren’t in a room that is packed to the ceiling with everything your parents cannot find room for in the rest of their abode. Somehow my toes always manage to find that perfect piece of equipment to hit as I grope helplessly in the black to find the flashlight. And naturally, once I find the flashlight, I learn that the batteries went dead 4 years ago and don’t work. So I have to depend on either my parents or brother to rescue me or somehow manage to find my way back to my bed and just lay there in total darkness until it passes. I wouldn’t dare try to find a candle and the lighter because I’d probably fall on a sharp object and end up killing myself or setting the house on fire in the process. And my dad is paranoid enough about fire as it is now. Since I don’t watch TV, it really doesn’t bother me in that regard. However, after 30 minutes to an hour, it would be nice to read a book LOL. And sometimes our blackouts can last that long, especially out here in the boondocks. LOL

    And Tori – I probably own at least 100 candles myself so you aren’t alone!

  7. gracelynn

    belinda – My dad put one of those lights in my room like he has here in his office and the bulbs are dead as a hammer. Yet I still flip the switch every time I enter, hoping that somehow a miracle has happened and it will actually come on. LOL So I’m guilty too.

  8. belinda

    gracelynn – glad I’m not the only one that does that. Makes me feel better :)

  9. tammy961

    oh WOW!! reminds me when hurricane IVAN barrelled thru Pensacola..NO power for over a week..I know exactly what you mean by quiet..I remember laying down each night hearing nothing but QUIET!! Windows thrown open and only the sound of those outside chirping nighttime critters…I can remember that due to total darkness we went to bed very early (9PM or so) since there was nothing else to are right, no electronics to distract us..afterwards everyone in Pensacola said it was a nice time of quiet and we also used it as an opportunity to get to know the neighbors…how strange–lived in the same place almost 10 years and barely know anyone…when you go to work,do the dinner/homework thing, and then go to bed only to begin all over again the next day, well, it leaves little time for visitin’…Yes, Tori, I agree–we all need a little blackout every now and then to have some good quality family time….or at least a pretend blackout…God Bless!!

  10. rockin robyn

    You all are too funny! Gracelynn you crack me up….

    Tori, I love how you speak so visual of Charlotte – I know you will miss those special moments in years to come, I hope not for awhile yet!

    Now you see I would need to know why the lights went out…

    Here in PA we can get some horrible ice storms (years past we only got major snow storms) but anymore we get ice storms and hardly any reportable amounts of snow. During these ice storms if you hear the most awful (explosion type) sound and the lights go out that means a transformer blew – most cases from tree limbs falling on them and shorting them out…

    During a power outage I don’t mind the lights out thing… living alone usually where I am there is “a” light on or candles (I always keep it cozy cause I don’t care for big gaudy lighting on all the time) but mostly the rest of the house is dark – but I sure hate in the winter when we lose power cause I hate being cold for long periods of time. Take my electric from me all you want in the summer but in the winter I need heat.

  11. LindaB

    OMG, I HATE it when the power goes out——’cause I’m a spoiled rotten material girl with a computer addiction who needs hot and cold running water! And I hate SILENCE! HATE IT, HATE IT, HATE IT! It makes me uneasy…….and bored. Although, I must say that I look better in candle light.

    AND, you can’t flush the toilet when there’s no power. Enough said.

    When the power goes out here, as it does during ice storms, I start calling around to see who in my family has power so I can go “visit” them! Honest. And I have the power company on speed dial so I can ask them every fifteen minutes, “Is it fixed yet? How long before it’s fixed? I hope you people are deducting this “lapse” of service from my bill!” They don’t like me.

    When the electriciy goes out, my husband goes to the fridge and TIES THE DOOR SHUT with rope because we all instinctively grope our way to the kitchen in the dark and open the fridge to get food! Then the warm air gets in and ruins everything. Yes, even in an ice storm and power outage, we think about EATING! And we can do that in the dark! We’re talented that way.

  12. belinda

    LindaB, why can you not flush the toilet when there is no power?

  13. LindaB

    Because we have a well and the pump is electrical. If you flush, the pump can’t fill the tank back up.

    That’s what my husband tells me. If he’s pulling a joke on me, I’ll kill him.

  14. gracelynn

    We have that same issue here Linda. So he’s not lying. Believe me, I know how you feel. Using a chamber pot isn’t fun. LOL

  15. belinda

    LOL Can you tell I’m a city girl with city water? I could not figure out why you could not flush your toilet if you did not have power. duh!!!! I would have NEVER made it 4 days/nights w/out power if we could not flush. Chamber pot? hmmmmmmmmmm

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