I'm sure everyone knows that old saying…When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.
That's what Myladylove and I have been doing the past three days. No, not making lemonade, but making the best of an unexpected situation. Making actual lemonade would have been impossible because we didn't have ice—and we didn't have ice because we've been without electric power.
Monday evening, after a day when the heat index soared to 120˚F, a thunderstorm came rumbling and flashing in from the southwest. Frankly, we welcomed the prospects of a dose of cooling rain. Earlier that afternoon, beaten by the sweltering heat, I'd temporarily given up on my chaise lounge building project and sent Myladlove a rare text: I'm drowning in sweat!
Now, our light dinner meal over and sweet relief on the way, we sat on the deck in the gathering twilight and watched the front appear over the hill. Thunder boomed and lightening flashed. The wind picked up, tossing and shaking the tops of the big sycamores. A kingfisher hurtled downriver, giving us a sharp squawk as it passed. The air cooled considerably and felt suddenly damp.
When the first fat raindrops began pelting the water, we retreated inside. The rain became a downpour, falling so fast and furious that sometimes you could barely make out the island across from the cottage. The thunder and lightening were almost continuous. Then the power went—ker-poof!. Lights, fans, refrigerator, water pump, computer. "Uh-oh," I said, somehow pessimistically knowing this would prove more than a brief service interruption. "We're going to be camping tonight—maybe longer."
There are times I'd rather be wrong than right. As it turned out, the storm put over 60,000 area homes in the dark, not to mention the toppled trees and roofs that went sailing away. As of this Wednesday noontime, 10,000 or so houses were still without electricity and the power company was handing out free ice so that folks might not lose all their cold-storage foods.
Mylady and I have both spent much of our lives living out of tents and wilderness cabins where amenities are few and rustic. I broke out the necessary camping gear. We cooked on the portable propane stove, used flashlights, candles, oil lamps and a lantern for light. We always keep plenty of bottled water on hand, including a dozen gallon jugs. (The nearby river would furnish the water to solve such matters as flushing the toilet.) Luckily, I didn't have a column or article deadline looming. Myladylove used the outage (no blow dryer) as an excuse for a hot-weather haircut. I read a couple of good mysteries. And so, for us, these few days without electricity have been little more than an inconvenience, maybe even one of those impromptu little adventures that, in retrospect, we've rather enjoyed
Of course, Moon-the-Dog, who missed sleeping in front of the floor fan, probably would not agree.
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FYI: The tiger lilies, which I photographed yesterday, are in one of the beds. Myladylove is rather proud of them—her mother gave her the plants, which she carted home following her last visit to east-Tennessee; this is the first time they've bloomed.