Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Camping At Home
The weather tonight is reminding me of the time in college when a storm knocked out our power and it wasn't back up for six days. My roommates and I rallied; it was like we were camping indoors in a big old house. Having the illusion of needing to band together to survive made for some awesome camaraderie. We sat on our hand-me-down sofas, plugging my friend Beth's Sony Watchman with batteries and watching episodes of "That '70s Show" (before network TV was digital). We pooled canned goods to make tuna noodle hotdish and store the leftovers in a cooler full of ice we'd run to the gas station for. I took baths at night, because the tub was near the bathroom window and not in the dark interior like the shower stall, and carried around an iron lantern I'd gotten from a neighbor's garage sale a decade before because blackout or no blackout, I was still a broke college student and didn't want to spend $6 on a flashlight. When we came home, we'd talk or read instead of heading to our separate rooms to hang out in front of our computers. We made good use of daylight. It was more satisfying than it was a hassle, though had the blackout lasted longer, I might have gone a little nutty. It made me feel connected to things I had only read about in Little House books. And it also got us six days of a subsequent Xcel bill prorated, which was pretty flipping sweet. And when our power was restored, it almost felt like too much choice for a day or two. Wait, I can have light when it's dark out? Hmm. I don't know. Maybe I'll just go to bed.