Thursday, November 6, 2008

A Pile Of Battery Corpses

I finally made it back up to Vermont yesterday evening.

Last night as I was wrapping things up to head up to bed the power went out. Fishing a Maglite out of the junk drawer I thought, "huh, the weather's fine. Did the out of control wisteria finally yank the power line down?"

I twisted the Maglite on and the light showed pathetically pale and orange. New battery time. It worked well enough to get me to the other room to find the bag of knitting where I keep my Pak-Lite*. That lit up nice and strong.

I went and looked out the front door and saw nothing but blackness everywhere (except for the tiny salamander crawling around our entryway floor - I hope it's not living in one of Pete's boots) My neighbors' lights were out too. In the back of my mind a faint vision stirred of a little yellow postcard from the power company. Scheduled maintenance? I should have read that more carefully.

Flash lights work great (if the batteries are fresh) but for some things, like carrying your dog up to bed, you need hands. I went to the next room to look for candles. No luck there - all burnt to stubs. Add candles to the shopping list. We keep a couple of head lamps in the junk drawer so that was my next stop. Headlamp number one: another dying battery. Headlamp number two: success!

Next hurdle: is there enough water in the pipes for me to be able to brush my teeth? The answer is yes.

Finally I climbed into bed with my headlamp on and read a little of "Washoku: Recipes From The Japanese Home Kitchen," by Elizabeth Andoh. It's a very comprehensive study of traditional Japanese cuisine beautifully presented in an almost coffee table book style. Who would think that reading about desiccated fish could feel so luxurious?

When I woke up this morning at 6:30 the power was still off. I took Fay out, then fed her. Just as I was reaching for the french press to make my coffee the lights (and the heat) came back on. Thanks CVPS!

Now I know we're not really prepared for winter snowstorms. Gotta re-stock the alternative light sources.

*A Pak-Lite is just a nine volt battery that has a little plastic cap fitted with two very bright LED bulbs on it. It's tiny but bright. It fits easily in a jeans pocket. You should get one. Or get one for the dude in your life. Or get more than one. Pete gave me (and my brother and father) the Super Glow Gift Pack for Christmas a couple of years ago. My dad liked it so much I think he bought himself a carton of them.

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