Perspective / by Erin Wade

It was a little while before I realized the power was out this morning.

It wasn't a surprise, really. The storm that was rolling through provided a convincing combination of wind and rain, which I'd chosen to ride out by reading portions of Sloane Crossley's I was Told There'd be Cake on my iPad. I suspect the noise level the rain and wind made against the ancient windows of my old house kept me from noticing that the window AC unit in my home office was no longer operating.

Power outages happen everywhere, but the effects are different depending upon the location. When you live in a town or city, as anywhere else, it means no television and only battery operated radios. And everywhere one should avoid opening the refrigerator unless absolutely necessary. Out here in the country it means all of those things, but it also means no water, as the well pump is operated electrically.

This requires a retardation of one's natural muscle operational patterns each time one uses the bathroom.

It's also fascinating - and a little silly - how one's mind can fail to fully grasp the reality of the situation. This morning I went for my second cup of coffee, thankful that the pot was still hot even though the coffee maker's hotplate was no longer functioning, and hopeful that it would still be warm for cup #3. If it wasn't, I reasoned, it was really no big deal - I'd just warm it up in the microwave...

I grew up out here - literally a mile across the field. When I was little a power outage meant that anything electric or electronic for entertainment was out (except for the aforementioned battery powered radios). Today I failed to initially register the outage because I was distracted by the book on my iPad, and now I'm writing this post on the same device. I'll post it after writing using the internet connection through my battery powered MiFi.

It does put things in perspective when the biggest concerns one faces following a storm are cold coffee and managing not to jiggle the flush handle on the toilet.