Monday, October 19, 2015

365 True Things: 203/Power (10/18/15)

It is 9:10 p.m., and we have been without power for over fourteen hours. Something about a tower falling down at Duke Energy and clobbering all the transformers. PG&E “promises” (okay, predicts) we’ll be back online by 11. We’ll see.

The entire neighborhood is dark: no streetlights; just a few house windows glowing with candles. And those little solar-powered walkway lights. If only it weren’t overcast: it would be a perfect evening to see stars.

Reading Sky & Telescope by candlelight
Inside, we’ve lit some candles. I’m enjoying the absence of electric hum. The cats are kicking a tin-foil ball around the living room; David is sitting in the recliner reading a magazine, so I hear the rub of leather as he shifts his position and, occasionally, the flip of pages. My own tapping at the keyboard. It’s very peaceful.

For the most part, a lack of electricity hasn’t been a problem today. Fortunately, we have a gas stove, so we could boil water for the all-important coffee—and our hi-tech drip coffeemaker is so decrepit that the filter holder, now fully detachable, works virtually like a low-tech Melitta filter, assuming you find just the right balance atop the vacuum coffeepot. And yes: vacuum, so the coffee stays hot without a heating element.

Ah, the simple pleasures.

I did have some work to finish, but my laptop was fully charged, and it’s still at 37% after my having finished said work. My cell phone was also fully charged, but since we have virtually no 3G connectivity at the house (and the wireless is down, obviously), I haven’t had much cause to use the cell today. And blessedly, the landline didn’t—couldn’t!—ring. Given that the only people who call the landline are solicitors.

The lack of modern conveniences encouraged us to take a longer-than-usual loop walk at Garland Park this afternoon with the goofy dog.

It also occurred to me late in the afternoon that we should mount a rescue mission on the ice cream before it melted completely. Fortunately, our stocks were low. The mission was easily accomplished.

Since the power is out all over the Peninsula, spottily, we decided to take ourselves out to dinner in the opposite direction: Salinas—which we never do. But our old favorite Thai restaurant in Marina moved to Salinas several months ago, and I’ve been wanting to try it. So that was easy! And delicious (Panang curry with the tenderest squid, plus a scrumptious duck dish).

Mostly today, I sat and read an old-fashioned book. Finished it too. Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being. Very satisfying! I’m already looking forward to the next book, though I haven’t decided just what that will be. Maybe I’ll start on it by headlamp in bed.

9:30 now; laptop: 32%. Shutting down, just in case that 11 o’clock projection was wildly optimistic.

[Postscript] 11:08: power is back! In the intervening time, we sat cozily by candlelight and chatted, and then I read the first section, “Courage,” of Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear—out loud. By headlamp (and ambient candlelight). It’s been a very pleasant evening.

I’m glad to have power again, I have to say. But it was also so fun to have a day somewhat outside the norm.

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