When I opened my eyes this morning there wasn’t a shred of light in the house. As a rule we leave several night lights on when turning in, as well as the assorted blinking lights from small appliances or clocks radiating most adjacent rooms. Nothing but black assaulted my vision as I felt my way along the side of the bed. Rick, usually happily breathing along with his low buzzing C-Pap was silent on his side, a small snore confirming something was amiss. Hmmmmm. I didn’t get my detective badge in the mail yet, but pretty sure we were experiencing a power outage. As my stepfather was wont to say, “No flies on me.”
Craving coffee, but pretty sure none was forthcoming from the totally dark kitchen, I located the flashlights and turned one to the on position. The cat, totally freaked out by all the stealthing about was standing on the kitchen counter in front of me lifting one paw in my direction. “What? I didn’t do this.” Talk about shooting the messenger. In the middle of it all she jumped down and went to stand at her bowl. Really? Apparently she follows my suit in an emergency. “If all else fails, eat.”
Looking out the window the entire neighborhood was draped in darkness. A light illuminated the house down the hill, then flickered. A candle no doubt. Once again it occurred to me to purchase several lanterns for just such occasions, a thought that will probably disappear from my mind again until another outage down the road. Sigh.
A full moon illuminated the back yard giving the trees a look as though covered with freshly fallen snow. As it was in the mid 60’s yesterday, I doubted this was a true depiction, but stayed to look at it for a while finding it somewhat ethereal and beautiful.
Deciding to call PG&E’s 24 hour hot line, I powered on my cell phone and dialed the number indicated on the bill. The recording said there would be an extended wait. A chirpy digitized voice suggested I go on-line and checkout their website. Well, I would do that chirpy digitized person, but my electricity is out. Hello? A real human voice showed up about 15 minutes into the recorded messages and advised me that 2,000 homes in our area were affected and the situation would be rectified shortly. A text message would be issued when the power was restored. Hmmmmm, again. Probably I would notice the lights being on in the house when such an event occurred, but thank you for the update helpful customer service person. I’m being serious here. They aren’t always pleasant and helpful. I’m quick to say so when they are not, so when they are, I want to be equally as enthusiastic about acknowledging my appreciation.
Rick showed up about the time I hung up. Seeing two lit flashlights on the counter and a candle burning he didn’t need a text update to comprehend the situation. Checking the time it was 4:30 a.m. Not much shaking at that time of night without light. One could attempt to read by flashlight but turning the pages might become a problem. Coffee out of the equation we went out front in our coats and sat in the lawn chairs on our deck. Don’t ask me why. We’re strange people I would suppose would be the only appropriate answer. Having spotted seven raccoons in our yard late at night not too long ago, I preferred to be close to the door lest we have to make a run for it. Raccoons are not known for their welcoming dispositions and I didn’t feel like arguing with one of them before my first cup of coffee.
We spoke quietly, as one might converse in church. Perhaps because it felt spiritual sitting there in the dead of night under the stars in hushed quiet. Teasing him I recalled when I first got up and needed to relieve myself. Unable to see in the bathroom I sat down only to discover someone had forgotten to put down the seat necessitating a quick and rather chilly shower in the dark. Hmmm, again I haven’t received my detective’s badge but I believe I’ve narrowed down the suspects to one. On the subject of toilets I told him I heard about a woman on the news who found the water level in her upstairs toilet high. Thinking it was clogged she plunged it only to be greeted by a 5 1/2 foot snake sticking it’s tongue out at her inside the bowl. According to the report she ran out, closed the door, and called animal control. Probably I could still be seen running had I uncovered a similar situation. Not a fan of snakes. Reportedly there are two in our yard the former owner called by name, “slither” and “slink”. I wear my boots while working in the taller brush. There isn’t a snake alive I need to be on a first name basis with.
One of my ex mother-in-laws found a baby possum in her toilet. She was seated on it at the time. The wee marsupial actually made contact with its nose on the exposed portions of her body to alert her it was there. That would be alarming, yes? They’re very myopic so the poor little creature was undoubtedly only searching for a means of escape. I thought that was a made up story at first, but it does happen as is evidenced by the pic on the left. Lizards and salamanders might be found under the lid as well. Might behoove us to take a quick look before picking up the newspaper and taking a seat.
As is obvious by this post our electricity has returned to normal. It’s funny how vulnerable you feel wandering around in dark. In the daylight everything seeming menacing or scary becomes benign and welcoming. Life would certainly be strange without power to sustain us. How spoiled we are with all the wonderful things in our lives making the task of living easier.
Anyhow, I’m off to enjoy a second cup of coffee and get about my day. Have a bright and happy one on your end. How would our life change should electricity suddenly not exist? A terrifying thought this early in the morning.
I saw something like this advertised on tv being offered by a fast food chain. Sounded pretty good so I tried a version of my own. A bit messy to prepare but soooo good.
For the burger
1 lb. ground chuck
2 Tbsp. green onion, chopped fine
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 Tbsp. Taco seasoning mix
Salt and pepper to taste
2 taco sized flour tortillas
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Using your fingertips mix all ingredients well. Line cookie sheet with tin foil. Spray with cooking spray. Create one flat burger equal to or close to the size of the tortilla. Place on top of foil. Cook until desired doneness. I recommend well cooked hamburger to avoid contacting any bacteria but I know people who eat their burgers nearly raw. Dab with paper towel if necessary handling gently to avoid breaking burger.
1/2 – 1 cup Mexican style cheese
Lettuce, chopped fine
Red onion, chopped fine
Tomatoes, diced fine
1/2 cup prepared Thousand Island Dressing
2 Tbsp. hot chunky salsa
Sriracha if desired
Spread butter on one side of each tortilla. Place one tortilla butter side down in large heavy frying pan. Spread with sauce. Top with 1/2 of the cheese, all the lettuce, red onion and tomatoes. Place burger on top. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Spread more sauce on inside of remaining tortilla. Place sauce side down on top of burger.
Cook over med-high heat until browned on one side. Flip over quickly to avoid loosing insides. Brown on second side. Ease onto plate. Slice in fourths and serve with remaining sauce.
Serves 4 (or 2 hungry people)