It's cool to be American


5:45 pm

After a day spent in and out of the backyard pool, with an outdoor temperature approaching 100 degrees, the boys were contentedly settling into a quiet hour of computer games and TV, when, as unceremoniously as ever, the power went off. The oldest son had the hare-brained idea to ride his bike. The younger ones went scurrying for toys forgotten in the excitement of water play.

Now, five minutes on, the boy on the bike has wised up to the fact that a day when the electric company is overtaxed by societal need for cooler air is no day to be on a bicycle, and the youngest boy is groaning at the idea of board games, which middle boy has eagerly retrieved from a past life of cooler days and nights.

It's so happily quiet without the buzzing of aquarium filters, cable box, and all the other little attendant noises of electricity. I could be cheerfully reading a book, but the joy of knowing I can still type on a keyboard even while disconnected from the grid draws me to the screen, at least for a few minutes. I kind of wish I could use the phone, though. The outage must be fairly widespread, as there is no cellular signal, and the house phone is connected to the cable system so that's out of the picture as well.

This both amuses and frustrates me. We're a bit isolated here, and a couple of family members are in other places. I have no idea if they have power where they are, or when they'll turn up. Otherwise, I'm good with this, for awhile at least. It's not House night, after all.

7:38 pm

It's getting hot in here. No, I am not going to take my clothes off. I've been to the store. The nearest one was closed up and dark. I went on down the road a piece to another; it was hectic in there. That store is always a bit hectic, so I only use it for emergencies or if I happen to be coming home from out west somewhere. I had a dim moment when my shopper card for the other store wouldn't scan properly. But that passed quickly enough.

I brought home sandwich ingredients, frozen fruit bars, and puzzle books. We have another hour of good light, so I guess I'll get right on the Bowl-a-Scores before it gets dark in here. According to an outside source, this was the hardest hit area of New Jersey with as many as 10,000 houses without power. I think that's probably half the houses in town, but it's hard to say.

9:33 pm

Middle boy and I just stared at the "sun candle" and asked some spirits to bless us with restoration of the magical power grid. And the power came back on right after that. Hee. I don't know what got into him, but the timing was spectacular. Now hopefully the fish will recover quickly.