We had, courtesy of Ike, a big wind on Sunday evening, which has left 25000 in our area without power. Monday school was closed (but not my work! alas), and Tuesday the school power was back, but at home we're not expecting power until Thursday night.
I'm mourning the loss of food in the fridge, and though we cooked over our copper fire pit (spaghetti and beans) on Monday night, it was a big hassle. Now, worse, we would either have to hand wash a whole lot of dishes - in a dark kitchen - or not use dishes, because we're out of knives, and almost out of spoons. I'm fantasizing about solar panels a lot these days, because if we had them, at *least* our fridge would work, even if we had to forgo evenings on the computer and electric lighting.
But there is something freeing about this, too. Not that I'm thinking of that freedom when I want my morning tea, or when I just want my kitchen sink cleared of the overflow of dishes. But the girls and I have spent our evenings all outside, for the first time in weeks. No movies, no begging for movies, no mommy catching up on work emails in the evening. When I come inside, the only thing to do is read by flashlight or pet Tiggy (who woke Emily up this morning by nuzzling her upper lip; Emily was absolutely charmed). For dinner, we biked to the corner store and ate our junk food outside in the garden in front of the library. Tonight we will order pizza, and picnic when it arrives.
Don't get me wrong: when the power goes back on, I will rejoice. But we will also, once again, have choices about our evenings and how to spend them. And I know that often enough, we make the wrong choice, by enjoying our coal-derived electricity, instead of enjoying what is free and beautiful outdoors. If only I could arrange for shorter, more frequent and conveniently timed power outages. In the meanwhile, I will put the contents of our fridge into the compost pile, and try, try to keep perspective.