At this point, my thoughts went as follows:
- Crap. I have to leave my car outside, tonight, of all nights? Tonight, when it's already rainy and blustery and unpleasant and when the "wintry mix" in the air is sure to turn into solid ice on my windshield, which I'll have to get up early to scrape, if I can even get out of my driveway anyway after the six inches of spring snow the weather people are predicting? I have a garage for a reason, and I'd like my car in it, thank you!
- Crap. No power means no TV! And The Office is finally new again tonight! Nooooooooooooooo!!!
- Crap. I just went grocery shopping yesterday. (Yes. Again. Eating healthy is expensive, dammit.) I wonder how long that chicken will be safe in my fridge.
And then I got inside and remembered something else that's rather important relies on electricity as well. My furnace. It may be "spring" (ha), but it was 56 degrees in my house. Brr.
I called the power company to report the outage. While I waited for the automated voice named Amy to confirm she had entered my complaint, I thought about Laura Ingalls Wilder. I considered that I might have to spend an entire lonely evening with no TV, no Internet, no furnace or microwave. I wondered "What would Half Pint do?" I was quietly resigning myself to a night reading by candles or flashlight, telling myself stories to pass the time, and going to bed at a reasonable hour for once, for lack of anything better to do. And then Automated Amy came back to inform me that my power would be back by 7:20. The one analog clock in my house said it was currently 6:15. I would have to live in a simpler age of no electrical conveniences for a mere hour and five minutes. And all I would miss was 20 minutes of My Name is Earl.
Five minutes later, just as I was pulling on a polar fleece and digging up a pair of gloves appropriately thin enough for indoor wear, my microwave started blinking its "Power Failure" light and my refrigerator started whirring again.
Five minutes. How did they even do that? Is there a little red "Reset" switch for my address on a wall in an Xcel Energy building somewhere? Is there an emergency team of electric company superheros who were able to whisk themselves to the power lines behind my house at a moment's notice? I do not know, but I do know that my car is safety stored out of the elements, I can still eat the chicken in my fridge likely without acquiring a bout of food poisoning, and I was able to see Michael and Jan's disastrous dinner party in real-time. And for all of those, I am rather grateful.
The simple life is overrated, I say.