The night the lights went out in La Costa

I suppose it could have been worse. It was already bedtime when the power went out in our entire neighborhood last week. Still, taking out your contact lenses by flashlight is tricky. So was putting on eye makeup the next morning. I feared I would look seriously lopsided.
As I fumbled around finding flashlights and lighting candles, I tried to look at the bright side of absolute darkness. I went outside just to look at the stars and they were a bit brighter. And it brought much of the neighborhood out in their jammies, which is always fun. We gathered to stare in the vicinity of the transmission box that allegedly “blew up.” I didn’t hear an explosion, but the box in question was surrounded by perplexed electric company workers, and a fire truck stood at the ready by the time I rolled by.
All the power company would say was that there was a problem with some underground wiring. I’m thinking trolls. You know how vindictive they are and it would actually go a long way toward explaining a lot of things in my life, from anything I can’t find to the reason my plants often take a sudden dive.
It’s not nearly as fun and whimsical, but we can’t discount those tiresome ground squirrels, who continue to flourish in these here parts. Whatever the culprit, something unpleasant to all things electrical clearly occurred and it/they did a really thorough job of frying things. As of 7 a.m. the next morning, what looked like the same crowd of repair people were still hovered around the transmission box, with counterparts up and down the street. (I am grateful to people who will stay up all night restoring my luxuries, even if the do get triple-overtime.) This led me to believe that whatever went awry had a scorching ripple affect. That’s never good. I haven’t discovered any electronic items parboiled by the surge, but it did have us racing around the house pulling out plugs.
I think it’s an English-major thing, but any time a power outage finds me wandering around the house, with candles flickering in every room, I find myself contemplating life in a time before electricity. I ponder what living every day with mood lighting would have been like. It lets you look simply fabulous, softening the appearance of wrinkles, but were it in times before corrective lenses, I could kiss off ever being able to see words on a page, one of my great joys.
My morning routine is much more liberated from electricity than it once was, in the day of blow dryers and curling irons, but I have replaced those with Internet hookups and my beloved microwave. If I had to start cooking up meals on a wood-burning stove, my poor family might have to learn to love oatmeal or a raw food diet.
I try to do my part for the environment, only using lights for the room I am in and of course, avoiding vacuuming and ironing as much as possible. Still, It only took a few electricity-free minutes to make me more aware of the sweet joy of just flipping a light switch.
Thanks again, Thomas.


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