Tuesday, March 12, 2013

I sit here at the computer, wrapped in a quilt and I am trying to think of how to get out of cleaning the bathrooms. Tuesday is bathroom cleaning day and since my nest emptied out in January, its up to me to clean BOTH of them. But surely a good blog post has as much merit as clean bathrooms, right?
Last week at dusk I was watching TV and suddenly the TV went off. My first impression was that we had flipped the breaker again. This is a common occurrence in our old house, and with four girls who were either doing their hair or trying to get warm in front of a space heater, and then add to that in late November I my award winning Christmas Light display (no, really I won an award this year. Apparently only 4 people entered). However, I was the only person in the house and I had been sitting there an hour (do I want to admit that?), and I now realized the electricity was out for the whole house.
I knew I had only about 20 minutes before it was completely dark outside so I set to work. I shot texts to a spattering of neighbors and found that the outage was fairly widespread. I suggested to one friend that we just head into the city and go see a movie. She said she had to help her daughter with a report on Lincoln due the next day, even if it was by candlelight. I suggested we could go see "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter", and call it good. She was not amused. Fine.
So I set about trying to find our camping lanterns. I found two, a little bitty one and a nice hefty one, but the hefty one was dead. So by the light of the little bitty, I scrambled thru the battery drawer to replace the dead batteries. Still no light. So out the batteries came, and I tested them, but they are good. Light fading faster. So I ran to the kitchen for my reading glasses to see if I put the batteries in wrong. Nope, lantern is dead. By now the light in the little bitty lantern is fading and I trade those batteries out for new. Phwewf. Just as the last of the sunlight disappeared. It was now very dark.
I needed more light. So I felt my way to the basement for my candle stash. I have four drawers down there filled with pillars, votives, scented, unscented, at least one of every style and color. So by the light of the little bitty I start digging. I reject candle after candle, thinking, "NO, I am going to wish I hadn't lit that one" over and over. First drawer, then the second drawer. I eliminated all the smelly candles, for if they were all burning at once the over all effect would be so confusing I would pass out. Third drawer, SCORE! I found a bag full of candles that I had lit decades ago and these I could stand to sacrifice for the occasion. Only trouble is, now what do I put them in? I go back through the drawers and find that there is nothing I want to put lit candles in because I am too lazy to scrape the wax off when the lights go back on. Remember, I am only writing this because I am too lazy to clean the bathrooms.
Finally the fact that the furnace has not been on for like an hour now forces me to get on with this and get curled up somewhere with a couple of quilts. I remember that there is a vase that is cracked in in my recycling pile so back up the stairs I head, find the vase in the dark and spend 20 minutes trying to get the candles to stand up. I rearrange them 100-150 times and at last get them all standing. I then manage to find my book, my reading glasses (abandoned by the battery drawer), 2 quilts and a lighter.
Lighter in hand it takes me another 15 minutes to decide which candles to light, for I realize that if I light them all it will be a melt down to rival the Great Mascara Meltdown just prior to Junior Prom of 2006. FINALLY the quilts are in place, glasses perched, and I take a deep breath and  think this is going to be kinda nice.
And the lights flickered.  Some well meaning and efficient power company employee had just robbed me of a romantic evening with a good book read by candlelight.
Oh well, the whole curl up and read a book by candle light thing wasn't quite perfect until I had warmed up some hot chocolate in the microwave to sip as I read.  I would love to tell you this is how I finished the evening anyway.  Nope.  As soon as I figured out where I had put the remote it was back to re-runs of Duck Dynasty.
AS for right now I guess I had better go clean the bathrooms just in case the lights DO stay on.


  1. I hope you placed some marshmallows in the hot chocolate too! Nicely told!

  2. Definitely better than cleaning the bathrooms.

  3. See? I'm about fabric EXZACLY how you are about candles. Not THAT one. Uh-uh, not that one either. And the same thing happened to us about - okay, 30 years ago when the whole neighborhood went out and it was dead dark, and we were all walking up and down the street with lanterns and it was SO COOL, and I hunkered down with a good fire in the fireplace, ready to have a romantic read - no noise or brash shadows, and the lights went up. Just like that. Totally harsh and rude with no transition. And the time when we got creamed by a super cell that knocked over power poles all over our end of the city. They said we wouldn't have power for a week, so I dashed to Sears (which was lit) and bought the last generator they had. Took it home, unloaded, hauled it around the side of the house, plugged the fridge and a few other primary services into the thing and fired it up. Then the lights went on. Same deal. Now you don't see it - now you DO. But that time, we had something we could loan to somebody else - somebody on 6th south where they really didn't have power for a week. That generator ran two houses on that street. Pretty dang good investment.

    P.S.: I never clean my bathrooms. I brought the kids up to do it. When they left, I had a housekeeper till it got weird and we got poor. Now Guy does it. And I will let him as long as it takes to pay me back for pregnancy.