I was hanging wet socks and underwear on racks in the garage when I heard the dryer cut off. Moments later R. poked her head out the back door and said the electricity had gone off It was 4:30 p.m.
It had been a windy day, following last night's thunderstorm, and returning from a walk earlier, we had noticed R.s bedside clock "blinking twelve", so we'd already had a brief outage.
She had meant to cook picadillo for supper, and she forged ahead, (we have a gas range, which can be lit with matches when the power is out). She set up a directional flashlight on a tripod to help as the light waned, pressing me into service to chop shallots, garlic, poblano peppers, olives. Could I get the portable radio going with batteries? Alas, we were out of AA batteries. Surely, I thought, the power would be back on soon.
A trip to the drugstore for AA batteries began to seem like a good idea. Without electricity, I had to open the garage door manually, but it wouldn't stay open enough to take the car, so I took the Vespa. I saw that the power was out all along Magnolia Avenue, the local artery, and the traffic light at Circle & Magnolia was out as well.
We ate our supper by candle light, listening to Harp & Thistle on the radio. By now it was quite dark. We prayed the rosary, and then listened to more NPR: Fresh Air, The Splendid Table, Millennium of Music. We had looked forward to tonight's episode of Downton Abbey, but it was not to be. We'll have to watch the repeat on Saturday.
She thanked me for going to get batteries for the radio, and I agreed, it was a great comfort. I thought what the advent of the radio must have meant to people back in the 1920's and '30's.
R. went to bed. I read on my Sony Reader by candle light for an hour or so. At a quarter to twelve the lights came on. I reset her alarm clock without waking her, reset the garage door, started the dryer, put the leftovers in the refrigerator, prepared the coffee maker, hung the clothes in the dryer on hangers.