A friend was wondering if it was windy at my place.
She lives across the river from me and her lights were flickering.
I looked out the window, and the tiny slice of sky that I could see from my bed looked to be grey. And the hydrangea plant (or what I could see of it) was dancing frantically in the wind.
So I got out of bed to see what all the fuss was about.
Yup. Those were some dark clouds.
Jenn and I were using up the final minutes of charged phones to chat about our anticipated day’s activities. Expecting it to be a wet day, (OH MY GOODNESS – THE RAIN WARNINGS. HAHA. TOP NEWS STORY ALL DAY LONG) I had planned on doing many things; all that required power. (Like doing my laundry, vacuuming up spiders and their webs and their dead fly carcasses, sorting through boxes in the garage, washing my hair in anticipation of going to a clinic (again, with the tongue), getting my eyebrows threaded… )
INSTEAD, the power went out.
So I took pictures of the trees being blown about. Did some colouring. Ate a hotdog. And sat on the deck while the wind whipped around me and read about Jamie and Claire in the late 1700’s having the exact same challenges regarding lack of electricity. (Except Claire was trying to deliver a breach baby in the midst of her day-without-power.) (So she wins the whole “I wish I had power” competition.)
Jenn, on the other hand, had wanted to do her taxes today. But she has a ten year old son, who is not a fan of flickering/not functioning lights. And he needed her to sit beside him; RIGHTbesidehim. So that’s what her afternoon was looking like.
And that reminded me of the summer of 2005. Drew and I had taken Clint up to Stillwood Camp for an evening of staff training. We were going to spend a few hours at the cabin while we waited for him. But minutes after we arrived, the power went out. It was June, and the natural light lasts a long time at that time of year, so it wasn’t spooky or scarey, but it was a ‘thing’. A ‘thing’ that Drew didn’t like. He was ten, and he needed to sit very close to me. We lit every candle in the cabin and played board games. Twas memorable.
Coincidentally, it happened again that August, on the last day of camp. Drew and I were waiting at the cabin til Clint was ready for us to pick him up. The power went out again. So we lit candles and played board games again.
And I loved those evenings. As far as I can recall, those were the last times that Drew needed me when the power went out. Oh, sure, he was never relaxed when we were without electricity, but that summer was the last time he wanted me to sit right beside him and give him my undivided attention.
In this case, I totally remember, 'the last time', But so often we don't. Like, do you remember/did you celebrate when you changed your youngest child's diaper for the last time? Or do you recall the last time you heated up a bottle in the middle of the night? Did you realize at the time that it was the last time? Or when was the last time you had a child cry for you in the middle of the night because of a scary dream? Or the last time you read to them at night? Or helped them with their bath?
We tend to celebrate FIRSTS. First steps. First day of school. First time driving a car. First shave.
And last times? They are sometimes sad. Like, I remember the last time my dad drove. It was in November 2007. His brain had broke, my mom's bowel had burst, my Max was struggling with a few things, our church had just closed down that weekend, and I was in charge of my dad. I hid his keys but he was insistent/difficult/scaring me - so I gave in and prayed that someone stronger than me would have to deal with it next time. I also prayed that God would protect all other drivers on the road. And then called family members to follow him in their cars. Twas a nightmare - his last time behind the wheel.
I remember the last time I was needed to drive my kids anywhere. I knew, while I was doing it, 'this'll be the last time I drive these kids to Seymour for snowboarding. Next season, they'll have licenses." I took alot of photos.
I remember the last time we were together at the Murrayville House. I took alot of pics then too.
ANYWAY, I told Jenn, to cherish the afternoon with her boy - this may be the last time he needs her to sit with him.
the afternoon wore on, and no power came on.
I sat in my truck, charged my phone and checked to see which movies were playing, but it turned out that the theatre was powerless as well. So. My plans to hang out with a friend at Colossus got nixed too.
I ate the last bit of melting icecream, along with a salad and some more hotdogs and called it dinner.
Then started gathering candles, just in case we were not going to have electricity all evening.
At 10 pm, Drew and Danica came by.
The three of us sat at the kitchen table and talked til 1 am.
And it just felt right.
My first time with a power outage in this house, with my youngest who never liked power outages.
Sunday turned out to be another day without electricity.
And because I don't own a butane curling iron, my clean hair was straight and limp and my bangs were halfway down my nose and I felt ugly and insecure so I never left the house even to buy a butane curling iron which would have made all the difference in the world.
The sun was burning through the clouds and the air was hot, so I got very undressed and was sitting on the driveway, next to my truck which was charging my phone, when Drew and Danica pulled up.
They'd been to church. And to the mall. And where coming over for the ham and scalloped potato dinner I said I'd prepare.
But, of course.
So we played games while we waited for pizza to be delivered.
The power came back on at her parent's place, so they headed over there to watch the Music Awards.
I went for a walk.
And when I got home, my truck was dead. So I called BCAA who jump started me then apologized, but said, I'd have to keep it running for 45 minutes.
So Jamie, Claire and I cuddled up in my front seat:
And then we moved to my bedroom:
And sometime, during the middle of the night, 35 hours after it went out - our power was restored.
THIS was probably THE big news story of the summer. Well, other than the never ending news about the Summer of No Rain.
Three things I'm thankful for:
1. We were not terribly inconvenienced by the lack of electricity. How fortunate are we?
2. Butane curling irons have been invented. I just need to buy one.
3. Gas stoves. Pizza delivery. City water. Game-playing kids.