Yesterday I came to realize just how much I rely upon electricity. There was a loud boom nearby mid-afternoon, the power went out, then there were sirens. Soon, there was a fire truck at the intersection behind my house and three police cars with the cops directing traffic, since the signal lights were out. It was pretty localized, as the lights a block away were working. I'd been planning to wash dishes, but I didn't want to use up the hot water. I could use the laptop, but there was no Internet. I ended up collecting and taking out the trash, cutting up a pineapple, and then practicing some of my choir music because the keyboard is battery-operated. Fortunately, my house gets a lot of natural light, so the lack of lights was only an issue in the bathroom, which has no windows.
About 30-45 minutes later, the power was back on. It went off again soon after five, right when I was getting ready to make dinner. But with no electricity, there was no cooking. I'd just made a pot of tea, so I had some in the thermos, and it was still mostly daylight, but getting dark. I opened the blinds and lit some candles and did some knitting. About half an hour later, the power was back, and I was able to make dinner.
The power went out again soon after nine, and this time it was pitch black, since the streetlights were also out (though the traffic signals were working). Normally, I get enough light from streetlights that my house is never entirely dark at night. I can find my way around pretty well, but it was shocking just how dark it was. I was very lucky that I'd become paranoid after all the power failures and was carrying a flashlight with me from room to room. I was glad I'd bought a solar-powered lantern on clearance at Target, and it still had a good charge, so that got me some light. I lit the candles in the fireplace candelabra, which cast a good light on the whole living room. I also had a few flameless LED candles in the frosted glass globes I salvaged from my old ceiling fan, and a few other candles (I like candles, and people keep giving them to me as gifts). By the time I had everything lit, my house almost looked like I had a light on from outside, and it was the only light showing. My neighbors must think I either have a backup generator or a special deal with the power company. Still, though it was enough light to move around, it wasn't enough to do much of anything. I did some knitting on a simple project that doesn't require following a pattern and that uses fat enough yarn that I can feel each stitch. I did a little online browsing with my phone. When we were approaching ten, I decided I might as well go to bed. I could get some rest and stay warm.
And of course, right as I got in bed, the power came back on. I still went to bed early, since I was already there. But I can see where the early to bed, early to rise ethic came from. You may as well arrange your life around access to light.
I guess I could have done some writing, since the laptop was charged and doesn't require light, but I was pretty distracted by the "why don't I have power, will it come back, when will it come back?" issue. However, when I went to bed early, I dreamed the next scene to write, so I might get that done today.