Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sitting in the Dark (A Little)

I hate the idea of saying that nothing of particular importance happened on a particular day. Of course, something must have happened. I couldn’t have sat in the house all day, alone and in the dark.

Oh wait, that was my morning.

This tricksy East Texas summer weather wrecked havoc on our electricity today. I was sitting in the office, drinking coffee and waking up after the husband and the kids had left for the day when I heard a pop. Now, we’ve been having a lot of rain, thunder and lightning lately, but this was definitely not a lightning-thunder-type pop. This was no boom followed by a larger, echoey boom. It was a single, loud boom. At the time, I thought to myself, ‘Transformer explosion—that doesn’t bode well. Electricity won’t be up for much longer.’

I fooled myself into thinking, though, that it must have been thunder because it didn’t go out immediately. I was continuing the coffee dance that I follow each morning when several minutes later the lights flickered on-off-on-off-onoff (really quickly that time!), and then settled at off for a while.

It’s funny, though, that with my iPhone and its almost constant connection to the rest of the world, I never really missed a beat. I turned off and unplugged my sewing machines and the computers—yeah, we have surge protectors, but I’m still paranoid. I text messaged Robert to let him know what was going on and then I got one of the eight dusty phone books from the end table in the living room and looked up SWEPCO’s phone number. I could have looked it up on my phone, but really, I just like the feel of a book in my hand when there is a problem to be solved.

Within an hour, really within about 30 minutes, they had the electricity up and running again. Several things of note with electrical outages:

  1. There are waaaaay too many clocks in the kitchen. I had to reset them and realized that, not counting the battery operated one hanging over the sink and the one by the back door that is connected to the thermometer outside, there are four clocks. Just in the kitchen! Crazy. When we replace our stove some day, I’m looking for one that doesn’t have a clock built into it. Do they even make those?
  2. With the sound of the computers’ whirring silenced, I realized that the battery operated clocks in the house (there are two more aside from the one in the kitchen that could  all be heard from the office in this absence of white noise) are reeeeealllly loud.

Moving on, Carle seems to have done fine in his little abode overnight. After all the thumping and watching I did last night, figuring that he’d die before the boy ever got him to school, there were about a dozen little pellets of poo on the floor of the bottle house. Honestly, I was pretty impressed—Carle was pretty prolific. They looked, for all the world, like someone had taken little bits of brown clay and put them through a tiny Playdough Fun Factory. I started to take a picture, but it’s poo. You don’t take pictures of poo, caterpillar or otherwise.

So anyway, Harrison took Carle to school and apparently he was a big success. They’re going to keep him (the caterpillar, not my son) in the classroom and watch as he cocoons himself to turn into a moth. It’s always cool to help facilitate learning—it’s one of my favorite things about being a teacher and definitely one of my favorite things about being a parent.

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