Sunday, July 3, 2016

Thankful for Power Outages?!

Late yesterday afternoon around 6:22 p.m. to be exact, the power went out in our house in broad sunny daylight.  George sprang, and I mean sprang into action.  Within five minutes, he had the portable generator sitting on the back patio and was carrying the A/C window unit into our bedroom.  I assisted where I could, finding the proper extension cords, tools, etc.

And I thank him.

It is brutally hot in south Louisiana.

I tried to find a working flashlight and discovered most of them had dead batteries or no batteries at all.  Then I cursed myself for the times I found Mallory with a powered on flashlight not using it.  Allowing the sun in for light, meant you were allowing the sun in with HEAT.  And it's been in the 90's, feeling like at least one hundred degrees with humidity.

It was a good test for hurricane season.
I have started my list of things we need.
The window unit & Ralph Macchio on the computer screen.

I also felt justified for every time I have kept my devices charged to the max.  My family makes fun of me.  My phone was 33% charged.  My computer at 26%.  How will I get communication from Entergy or neighbors to stay in the know?

This is a nightmare.

Ok, it's not a nightmare at all but my first instincts says it is.  My mind and emotions go back to past episodes of tropical storms and/or hurricanes.  I will never forgot the time the power was out for a long while after Gustav in 2008 and my mother in law and my much younger daughters and I drove to the nearby Walmart plaza and it was crazy.  I was looking for ice.  We had no generator at that time and the parking lot was packed, hard to navigate and reeked of desperation.  I felt very alone and unsure of how to handle what was going on.  George was working and living at the hospital.   We were told the power would be out for a couple of weeks and after the Walmart experience, we fled to Atlanta to my sister in laws.  I had never driven that far by myself without another driver.   I have a bit of post traumatic stress (really bad memories of being completely unnerved by the situation) and other past experiences (being nine months pregnant when Hurricane Katrina and it's aftermath roared through for another)

I cringed a little on the inside with my uncharged devices and said out loud that I will never let the family make fun of me for charging again (in my best Scarlett O'Hara voice)  Being without power is an inconvenience and hot but it brings our family (and from what I hear the neighborhood) together.  This is what my new mindful brain tells me.  This is not what I did eight years ago.  Anxiety was my middle name.  I lived in discomfort the entire ordeal.

Thank you for the practice of mindfulness.

After we got the most important things connected to the generator:  my phone(!), A/C, a fan, the refrigerator, and freezer,  we settled down after George grilled hamburgers.  Mallory was away at a birthday party.  George, Riley and I piled in the king sized bed in the cooled bedroom with closed shutters, drapes and doors.  The two dogs and one of the cats was with us and we began watching "The Outsiders" on DVD on our old laptop with added special effect water speakers.  Portable air conditioners and fans make a lot of noise.  The teenager was forced to be with us, but secretly I think she liked it.

It was cozy and comfortable and familially unifying.  After a total of two hours, and a fourth of the way into our movie,  I was a little sad when the power came on.

Well, maybe for a nanosecond.

I love air conditioning.

Forced family togetherness on vacation and in power outages can be a hot beautiful thing.  



  1. When I lived in Alabama, subject to so many hurricanes, I saved my pennies and sprung for a very costly natural gas generator... with an automatic switch. My hubby and the 7 cats hardly noticed when the power went out. Just a half-second of lag-time before everything went back to normal.

    So everything was serene... for 2 storms.

    Then we got struck by lightening, which blew out the automatic switch! So then, I was out in the pouring rain whenever the power went off, starting the natural gas generator manually.

    I still giggle at memories of myself on the phone with Philip... in the pouring rain... getting step-by-step instructions on how to get the juice flowing again.


    1. It's funny how certain situations for whatever reason or emotion stay seared in the memory!