How long was your longest blackout? Fifteen minutes? An hour? Well, yesterday was probably the longest that I’ve ever experienced, and it was something that I’ll probably never forget.
The blackout happened sometime in the afternoon…I think it was about 3:00. It didn’t really effect me, then, the “brown out” (which is what my family calls black outs in the daytime), except to wonder why we didn’t have power when we were solar!
Later, we went out to get dinner. The restaurant doors were open, but all the lights were off. Someone’s iPhone was playing music in the background, and the employees were trying to sell all the food before it went bad. They said they wouldn’t fry anything, probably because the fryer was electric, but they would grill.
After we came home and ate, we collected all the flashlights and candles, also locating the lighters. We also needed to tie the house refrigerator door shut with a towel to deter any munchers, and literally chain the garage one shut with a chandelier chain. We also bought two bags of ice to help keep our food good.
When we located our “lights”, chained the fridges, and deposited the ice, we went out to hang out on the neighbor’s patio. The kids were mulling around, and as it got darker, they still hung about in the street without any lights. We came home, showered so that we wouldn’t have to when it was dark, and returned to the patio. It was nice when the candles were on, and our neighbors lent a couple of headlamps out to the kids, so that they could see while skateboarding. The street lights were out, and it was a beautiful darkness that you don’t usually get where I live. The stars were far above us, brighter than usual.
At last we came home, lit the candles, put a few bikes away, and were grateful for the fact that we didn’t leave the garage door open when the power went out. We lit up our flashlights, got out a glow-in-the-dark star puzzle, and worked on that, while chomping on graham crackers. When the puzzle was done, we held the flashlights over the puzzle, turned them out, and admired the glow. And of course, we put the flashlights directly on the puzzle, and the stars were super bright for several seconds.
Bedtime was interesting, too. A helicopter flew overhead several times, making it hard to sleep, but finally I got some rest…
…and at 11:03 PM, the lights came back on! My alarm-clock turned on, saying that it was 12:00 on December 31st, 2001. Oh, so the milk spoiled, but so what? It was a very small price to pay for a night of fun! It was almost like the Earth Hour in April, when we turn out all the lights in the house. You should try it sometime.