Blackout: sometimes in winter

Sitting in the dark made me really tired.

blackoutOver the years, I’ve experienced many a blackout, usually in the summer, when too many air conditioners are overloading the electrical grid. The one I experienced on January 6 was a real epiphany.

It was a strange day in that it was quite mild in the morning, but got considerably colder in the afternoon, thanks to bitter winds from Canada. So even though the air temperature was above freezing, it felt 15-20 degrees Fahrenheit colder.

We were surprised, though, when the power went out about 4:13 p.m. It didn’t much faze us, and it came back on less than five minutes later. They were on long enough that I had started to reset the clocks in the kitchen when the power cut out again c 4:23.

Our daughter was doing her homework in her room, but that was no longer an option. She tried completing it on the front porch, but it was by then far too cold. She ended up working at the dining room table by candlelight. Oh, and an emergency flashlight that I’d purchased for Christmas 2017, plugged into the wall and forgotten about until I saw its illumination in the corner.

I inventoried what we had to eat that did not involve either using the stove or opening the refrigerator. There were saltine crackers, apple sauce… and COFFEE CAKE that my wife had baked that morning.

The elementary school across the street had power, and the traffic light a couple blocks away in the other direction was working, so I figured the outage was limited to a narrow band; not so. The local news reported that around 1,500 customers were in the dark in the city of Albany and nearly 3,000 in the adjacent town of Bethlehem for at least three hours.

we walked to the pizzeria a block away since we could see from our house that it was operational. After sandwiches were eaten and homework was completed, we played a game of SORRY. Near its completion, the blackout ended at about 7:20 p.m.

Sitting in the dark made me really tired. Yet I stayed up and watched the last nine minutes of the Eagles-Bears NFL playoff game; Philadelphia partially blocked the Chicago field goal at the end of the game and won 16-15.


For ABC Wednesday