It’s been really hot down here in NC for the past week or so. I mean really sweltering. We’ve been lucky to be at the beach but it was steaming down there too and so I was really ready to get home and have some “electric” air-conditioning instead of humid  breezes.

It was great for about 24 hours – managed to get a ton of laundry done and some p2P work finished too. Ahh – cool air. But all of a sudden – the computer gave out a honk and the lights flickered about 8 o’clock at night. What??? There was no storm, no breeze, no rain which we’d all be hoping for to pull down the awful heat. Were we having one of those “brown-outs” that the big cities have up north? Too many people using their air-conditioners at the same time?

Amazing how quiet everything was – inside and out. We wandered outside to actually talk to the neighbors instead of just waving. All of a sudden the firetruck raced by and then another. And the police were hot on their heels. Uh oh – hoping that there wasn’t a wreck but fearful when we saw lots of flashing lights down the block.

We decided to walk down the street along with about 25 other people.  Thankfully, no one was hurt but a HUGE tree had fallen across a main road and smashed across the hood of a passing car. They were trapped but not a scratch on them. Very grateful for that. But that old tree had looked perfectly healthy – not a brown leaf in sight. But a large gash now showed on the trunk where that branch had been just minutes before. Out of the blue – things happen.

The branch had taken out 3 electric poles, so along with electricity, there was no internet and for the looks of it, we were all in for a hot night.  People were standing around watching the power guys hard at work and while we were watching, we were talking – actually talking to people we hadn’t seen in weeks except to wave. Folks were taking pictures of the big branch and of each other. We all had something to commiserate about – the heat, the fact that there would be no relief and no TV that night! But the talk was also about how thrilled we were that the couple in the car was not hurt and what a miracle that was. Lots of grateful sighs going around the small crowd. I’m sure the power guys were grateful that we all didn’t show up with our chairs to watch them work!

Home again and what to do with ourselves now that it was getting pretty dark. Out came the candles that hadn’t been used for years. Out came the flashlights and we loaded those with fresh batteries. Arch decided he’d be fine sleeping in his chair and I thought the sofa looked ok. So armed with flashlights we both read our books for a couple of hours. I felt a bit wasteful using battery power! We were both wrong of course. He began to feel folded in the middle in the chair and the sofa proved mighty narrow along about 3 in the morning. He was brave enough to want to sleep in a bed upstairs even if it was in the high 80’s. I stayed downstairs and tossed and turned.

But bright and early, the lights popped on and the blessed relief of cool air flowing through the vents. What a wimp I turned out to be. Those power guys who worked so hard all through the night working, (and sweating) in the heat to fix the problem need big hugs from all of us in this neighborhood.

How often does this happen in our lives? We move along doing basically the same things everyday until something out of the ordinary rocks our world. We can’t fix it ourselves – we HAVE to let others who know what they’re doing step in to help. And hopefully, we can return the favor.

So hug your local policeman who got you safely through the traffic lights that were out. Hug the electric men who come to help when the lights go out.

Be aware and be grateful and pass it on.

Happy memory making,



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2 Responses to Blog: The night the lights went out…

  1. Beth Moore says:

    Great story and a wonderful perspective of all the conveniences we take for granted. It is good to take a step back from our all-electronics world and have some face to face interaction, as well as quiet time to read a book, one of life’s simple pleasures. Kudos to power company workers everywhere for the hard work they do for all of us. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Deanna says:

    Wonderful blog, Anne! 🙂

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