OK, Your Survival Guy awoke with a start this morning as our bedroom fan stopped turning—the silence deafening—the normal steady cadence, like crashing waves, is usually the background noise dreams are made of. But when it stops, something’s wrong. “What was that droning sound?” I wondered. Military choppers doing a predawn exercise at First Beach? The Coast Guard performing a near-shore rescue? No, just the neighborhood generators. That could mean only one thing—no power. This is no way to start the day.
As Your Survival Guy was getting dressed in the dark, I thought this would be a good morning to do a dry run to see how life is without power. I was greeted by our dog Louis, doing a downward dog stretch that would make any yogi jealous—ready to go downstairs. Ahhhh, about those stairs. They’re wood. There’s no rug or runner, and not too long ago, Louis slipped and slid down them like a one dog luger going for gold. Now, Your Survival Guy carries him down the stairs every morning because he’s psyched himself out, or he simply likes the first-class service. The exception is when he’s upstairs, and UPS/FedEx/USPS arrives, then he’s down the stairs in double time. Who’s being played here?
Down the dark stair hall we go as Your Survival Guy thinks, “Self, why did you not think this was an important part of the house to have lit up in a power outage?” Sure I could use a flashlight, but good luck trying to find one. But, really, I never thought I’d be carrying a 35-pound labradoodle. Which brings me to another recent trend, Louis was wet, the result of a recently acquired habit of doing an entire days’ worth of drinking water after dinner and before bed. Hmmmm, take the water away? Sounds cruel. And the sound of him licking his chops all night from thirst is not tolerable for sleeping.
This morning was a dry run for surviving without power. And, I’ll admit another Survival Guy tick. When the generator’s roaring away, I don’t like using the lights. Call it karma. I feel like it’s time to use candles. I want to shine a spotlight on my deficiencies in case the natural gas kicks off on the coldest day of the year, and there’s no generator. Luckily my kitchen island looks like the candle display at a Christmas Tree Shop. Matches? Note to self: Put back my Scripto lighter near the fireplace that everyone knows not to touch or move. Ever.
Coffee? OK, it’s fun to play pretend, but that outlet’s on the genny, and the coffee’s almost ready. And yes, a couple of taps of my iPhone and the National Grid app shows about 2,000 other homes and businesses are out of power with an estimated restoration time of 7:30 am. And then, poof, power is restored ahead of schedule. Just another morning in the life of Your Survival Guy. And Louis? He’s bathed and ready for the day as if nothing happened.
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E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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