The Night the Lights Went Out

Saturday night, we went to bed, only to be awakened at about 4:30 in the morning with the lights in the house flickering off and on. Of course, my first thought was, “My computer!”

So rushed into the front room to turn it off, just in time for the lights to flicker out completely.

About two minutes later, the flights flickered back on and then went back off again, and then – complete darkness.

First thing I thought was that the circuit breaker blew, so grabbing the flashlight, I was going to step outside to go around the corner of the house, in the darkness, and check it. Well, that worked right up until I opened the front door and a wave of panic washed over me. “What if someone is out there and they turned my lights off?”

So you know that pretty much froze me in my tracks. I closed the front door and moved to the couch and sat there for a moment.

Do you know how dark it is when the electricity is off?

But what I noticed more than that was the silence. There was an eerie silence.

There was no television, no buzz or hum of the computer, the ceiling fan wasn’t making that little clink, clink, clink that I don’t even notice anymore, the air conditioner wasn’t blowing, the fridge wasn’t clicking on and off – nothing. Complete, dead silence.

I realized in that moment that there is comfort in the familiar sounds around me in my home. One of the reasons many people have trouble sleeping in new places is because they are not used to the strange sounds around them.

I love the way the floor creaks slightly when Ryan walks up behind me at my desk. I love the sound of the thumps on the wood floor when my son is doing gymnastics in the living room, again (rme). I love the sound of the creaking metal bunk beds when my children move around in the night. I love the way the front screen door creaks and then slams when my son is going in and out for the 400th time that day, I love the way my house, my home, hums….it just has a vibrational hum to it that suits me.

When that hum was removed, it was disconcerting, unsettling – suddenly, my house didn’t feel like home anymore, and it made me nervous.

So I called in reinforcements… I woke everyone in the house up at about 4:45 in the morning.

I’m glad they all love me so much.

So then begins the hunt for the corded phone, since the cordless ones don’t work without electricity, but corded ones do – once found, we call to report the outage, and they tell us they have a crew working on it.

We step outside, since I’m not alone now, I’m not scared, and the neighbors across the street are also awake and outside, asking us if our lights are out too. Then we look down the street and notice that, even though the street light that is basically in my neighbor’s yard is working, the traffic lights at the end of the street or dark… and so are the street lights all the way down as far as I can see – yet, just once block down the other direction, there were porch lights on at houses.

We decided to go to breakfast and see if maybe the lights would come on by the time we came home. I, however, being the curious person I was, wanted to see just how far down the electric outage was first.

So we all pile into the vehicle, drive down the street, and come to an intersection with traffic lights, but no lights flashing on them.

Do YOU guys know what you should do?

The law says you treat malfunctioning traffic lights like a four way stop sign.

Tell that to the people blowing through it at 5 Saturday morning.

We drove down about 20 blocks to a street in town called Andrews Highway – it’s one of the major roads running through the city… and there was a 12 block section of this major road, usually busy intersection that was completely pitch dark.

Now, if you thought being in a home with no electricity was spooky, let me tell you how scary it was to drive down a major road in your town, with no street lights, no traffic lights, the businesses on the street completely darkened.

Driving around some, there was a a very large section of the town that had no electricity for about two hours that morning.

It was downright frightening…

Anyway, we ended up going to breakfast, then a quick run to Starbucks (because no day is complete without Starbucks!) and then by that time the sun was up some and we drove back home to find our electricity had been restored.

We still don’t know what took out the electricity, but it ended up being a fun morning regardless.

Side note: Tea lights put out a whole lot of light when they are not competing with electrically induced light.

On another note, I received a call today from the National Republican Congressional Committee or some such nonsense, asking me to join them as a member of the Republican Advisory Panel in Midland (our sister city, only 20 minutes from me).

I told them the truth – I’m not Republican.

So they asked me if I belonged to any democratic committees.

I told them the truth – I’m not Democrat.

The lady asked me, “Well, what are you then?”

I had to laugh. I’ve never once defined myself by my political affiliation or lack thereof.

However, if you want a good laugh, you can read my humor piece about exactly what political party I affiliate with. Hope you enjoy it. (link opens in a new window). If you are a-political, don’t understand politics, or find them distasteful, you’ll probably laugh pretty hard at this article.

If, however, you are a hard core political nut – you’ll likely be offended!

Either way, hope you enjoy the humor.

Love and stuff,