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

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

8 thoughts on “Blackout: sometimes in winter”

  1. Roger,

    We do not have an alternate heat source in the winters, so I’m thankful that we do not get many BLACKOUTS in our neck of the Tennessee Valley. I feel your pain of setting the clocks to only have the electricity flicker off again. That’s happened a gain of times to us, sometimes two or three times in the same evening. That drives me BONKERS! Over the years, we’ve acquired hand-cranked flashlights and radio for such emergencies but we have several BATTERY-operated flashlights on hand. When the kids were small we loved making shadow puppets on the wall. It was also great fun to break out the canned goods for a quick dinner of Vienna sausage and crackers or BEANIE Wienies. The kids loved this! Sitting in a house in near BLACKNESS does make one BUSHED and we usually turn in well BEFORE our BEDTIME during a power outage. I’m a bit fearful with the cold, wet forecast that we might find ourselves with a BLACKOUT due to ice BRINGING trees down on powerlines. I hope this isn’t the case! BRAVO on your B-post!

  2. I think I may have even had a flicker down my way, now that you mention it…I’m about an hour south of Albany, near Woodstock. we’re expecting some pretty severe weather this weekend – I’m going out to collect some wood in case the heat cuts out. luckily, I also have a woodstove, so we won’t completely freeze if it does!

  3. Winter storm blackouts were the only kind I remember as a kid. Out came the candles and the lone flashlight. Blackouts are like campfires in bringing out the togetherness among folks.

  4. Lovely post for B ~

    which is why I have a generator ~ especially good for when temps are at the extreme ~ living on a so called ‘island’ one can experience black outs rather often ~

    Happy Day to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  5. In Savannah, the lights go out when it rains hard, usually for just a few minutes. After Hurricane Matthew, we were powerless for a week. Everything you said — boring, frustrating, enraging — is true. Also, no way to cook.

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