I no longer have patience when there’s a power outage…

Sorry I didn’t write my usual Friday Pop Rock Nation post last week. I was in the midst of a 38 hour power outage here in North Carolina. It started Thursday night at about 5:30pm. I was on the phone with my husband, Bill, who was in Indianapolis on business. He asked me how the weather was and I said it was very hot, but otherwise not bad. Within a couple of minutes after we hung up, the power went out. There were high winds and we had some rain, but otherwise it wasn’t a particularly impressive storm. Something major must have happened, though, because we didn’t have power again until about 8:30am Saturday morning. Little did I know, I would be spending the next 38 hours realizing how hard it is to entertain myself without access to my gadgets.

The particular power outage was especially sucky for me because I was at home alone. I mean, I’ve spent plenty of nights alone and I wasn’t scared or anything; I think it just reminded me of how much I hate power outages. As a kid, I thought they were fun, but then I joined the Peace Corps and lived in Armenia for two years. In the mid 1990s, power outages were an every day occurrence for Armenians and Armenia Peace Corps Volunteers alike. I got used to reading by kerosene lamplight every night, but I can’t say I really enjoyed it. If there was one thing positive that came out of the lights being out this time, it’s that I had a Bose Sound Dock keeping me company.

My Bose SoundDock

My Bose SoundDock

Bill presented me with this awesome gadget for Christmas 2012. He bought it for me because I like to sit out on the deck and drink beer while I listen to music. It’s cordless and has a rechargeable battery, which makes it handy for outdoor use. I had never used it during a power outage before, but boy did it come in handy this time.

On Thursday night, I brought it into my office and popped in my iPod, which kept me entertained for a couple of hours while I hung out on Facebook on my phone. Some of the songs on my iPod are pretty funny. Despite the copious amount of white wine I drank last Thursday night while sitting alone in the dark, I distinctly recall getting excited when James Brown’s “I Got You (I Feel Good)” came on.

Hearing that song takes me back to the days when I was a disc jockey at WLCX, the radio station on my college campus. I used to play this song a lot… but it was also a time when I discovered a lot of great music from obscure bands.

I went to bed and woke up Friday morning. The weather was beautiful. The temperature had dropped. The power came on… and then three minutes later, it went out again. I spent most of the day trying to entertain myself without electricity, suddenly realizing how much I now depend on electronics to keep me happy. I actually cracked open a real book and read it in one sitting, not something I downloaded to my Kindle.

At around 4:00pm, I started getting distinctly crabby. My phone was dead and my iPad was dying. The electricity was still out and I watched helplessly as the refrigerator got warmer and warmer and food started to spoil. I couldn’t even get the garage door open so I could go somewhere else for awhile. But then, I had yet another brain storm. I remembered the Bose Sound Dock, whose power was not exhausted during my little Thursday night jam session. I unplugged it and put my completely dead phone on it. A few minutes later, I was delighted to see that my phone had come back to life and my husband had posted on Facebook and called me to see if I was alright. He correctly surmised my phone was dead. I managed to squeeze a little more time out of my phone before the sound dock’s battery was also exhausted.

By 9:00pm, Bill was home and we’d been powerless for well over 24 hours. Bill had come armed with pizza, but didn’t have his bag because it got left behind in transit from Charlotte, North Carolina. He was almost as cranky as I was, since he has a pretty low tolerance for being in the heat and the house had warmed up a bit. He started opening windows, which didn’t seem to help much. Then he pulled out a spare phone battery for me, telling me that it was an early birthday present (my birthday is Thursday). In a moment of sheer brilliance, he’d picked it up at a phone store at the Indianapolis airport. I can’t describe how delighted I was with this purchase, especially since I knew it would come in handy the next time we take a big trip somewhere. We went to bed early, still grumbling.

Saturday morning, Bill was boiling water on his gas grill so we could at least have some coffee. Suddenly, I looked up and noticed one of my lamps was working. The power was finally back!

It occurs to me after this experience that I’ve become really spoiled in my middle age. But with any luck, when we move to Texas at the end of next month, we’ll have better luck with electricity during storms. Either that, or we’ll finally invest in a generator.