Posted in A Moment in My Life

“I’m a Power Junkie”

A Moment in My Life – Monday, March 28, 2022

Jeannie Yee Davis

Let’s see some hands here. How many of you caught the Oscars last night? If you missed it, don’t feel bad. You weren’t alone. A funny thing happened to me on my way to the Oscars last evening. I don’t think it was in my cards to be there in any form or fashion. Granted, my ticket to the big event was via my Dish DVR, but even so, I wasn’t supposed to participate. It would’ve been my first. I’ve never been interested in award shows, but I was intrigued and excited this time and couldn’t wait for the day to come. I even set the timer to record the pre-show and the post-show, not just the award ceremony itself. I know what you’re thinking, and you’re right. I went a little overboard, but that’s kind of my personality—all or none. This time, I was all in. I wanted to be there to observe the cast and crew of CODA accept their numerous winnings. They got nominated in 23 categories. They’re the first primarily hearing-impaired cast, and that’s impressive. With so many people coming out, why not the hearing challenged? It’s about time. You go, people!

I wanted to earn my long TV viewing hours yesterday, so I busied myself after church with tasks that needed my attention, like laundry, watering the plants, doing the credit card recon, etc. I turned on the DVR half an hour after the recording started, just in time to catch a bubbly commercial. I ran off to take care of one more thing, but I stopped in my tracks to the deafening silence in the room that made me glance at the TV screen to see what was playing—nothing, just a big, black screen to match the silence. What? What’s going on? Instinctively, I glanced at the microwave where I expected to see the lit clock display, which was also black—power outage! Ugh! Seriously? On Oscars night? Man, this was not cool. I can see a slew of complaints heading PG&E’s way.

I texted my BFF, Lena, who lives nearby. Her neighborhood is a regular with power outages. Since a fire station is half a mile away from me, my community rarely gets an outage. If and when we do, it typically doesn’t last long. Surprisingly, the outage spared Lena’s area this time, but not mine. As we chatted, PG&E dropped me a text update. They have a power outage impacting 3,615 homes and may affect my home. No kidding. They expected restoration by 6 pm. At 6:03, PG&E updated me that an equipment problem caused the outage. They were working to restore power with an ETA of 1:00 am. Monday. Great! That’s it for me—no Oscars tonight or ever. Okay, maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but can you blame me?

It’s such a blessing to have loving people in your life. The sweetheart that she is, Lena, offered to pick up food for me. I declined. Then she invited me to hang out at her house until power returned. I declined. I didn’t want to bother with the garage door, so she offered to pick me up! What a sweetheart! I refused again because I didn’t know the outage impacted areas besides my community. I didn’t want us roaming the blackened streets, especially after she dropped me off. I sure didn’t want her driving home in the dark.

It had to be a brumous day for the power outage, and at 6:00, it was a bit too dark in my kitchen. I set up all the emergency candles from storage and decided to make dinner while I could still see. I am so blind in the dark. I could find a speck for you in the light, but I can’t see a large object in the night. Twilight is the worse. One October evening, my niece and I went out for our daily walk in San Diego, she pointed at a rabbit in the grass, but I couldn’t see a rabbit if my life depended on it. One early November evening at the tail end of twilight, I went to Iggy and Kevin’s. Kevin and Irwin greeted me from yards away in the parking lot. It amazed me they could see me. I couldn’t see their faces. So, as you can see, I needed to hustle and take care of dinner while there was some light from outside. For the fun part, what to do about dinner that didn’t require heat or cooking based upon what I had on hand?

I started with a salmon salad sandwich when I remembered a pot of black fungus tea simmered on my gas stove during the power outage, giving me false hope. I got all excited. I could have a shrimp ramen soup for dinner. Wrong! Once the gas burner was off, it wouldn’t ignite without power. So much for that idea. Back to plan A. Thank God for plan A.

This outage was the most prolonged power outage I remember experiencing, and it was a good idea to stay home and go with it, which gave me a first-hand experience of life without power. I empathized with those affected by the loss of power and water in Ukraine, but now I could sympathize with them better. I can’t imagine not having water, too. It was challenging enough without power for eleven hours. I am so incredibly spoiled by my freedom to have access to power whenever I want it. I pride myself not taking anything for granted, but yesterday, I realized I took power for granted every day. Each time I turn around to do something, it requires power, the internet, my Mac, iPad, phone, the microwave, the hot water dispenser, the fridge, the toaster, TV, garage door, stovetop, oven, and the dishwasher, and the garbage disposal, etc. I knew I couldn’t run the dishwasher, but I could prep it to run when the power came back. But I laugh at myself. I attempted to run the garbage disposal in my prep and had a rude awakening that the disposal also doesn’t perform without power. I knew that, but I momentarily forgot. The little things we overlook. Then, the most important thing of all—lights, without which we are in the dark, unable to do even the minor tasks.

Nothing like losing something you can’t live without to appreciate it more. I knew I couldn’t live without my Wi-Fi and my cyber world, but I took for granted my survival world until last night. That’s fine if I had to sacrifice the Oscars. I’ll catch the highlights that they’ll be talking about for weeks. Having lived through the outage, I am wiser today, which is more important. I know how to equip myself for future outages better. It was an eye-opening experience for anybody, particularly me, since I’m a power junkie.

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