The raging Santa Ana wind storm that destroyed my gardens, mangled my patio gazebo, and terrified my pets into our bed on Wednesday night also left us without electricity for the past 30+ hours.
Earthquake prep is a fact o’ vida around here. So there’s fresh water and a handy crank radio. And the local supermarket down the street, the only building with power for miles, is offering local residents free refrigerated food storage until DWP restores power.
Which may not be until Sunday. It was a doozy of a blow, let me tell you.
It’s also been a doozy of a reminder. Of what? Modern fragility. Of how much noise electricity makes, not just in a house, but in a neighborhood. Of how dark it is in winter. Of how much I love lots of light when doing dishes. Like sharp dishes. Like my knives. Of how much I miss the Internet when it’s not around. Of how many other things I can do when the Internet’s gone. Of the importance of laundry day. Of how much I love that we have a gas stove and water heater. Of my neighbors, who are all dealing with this same imposition with varying levels of preparedness. Of how much moonlight can come from a half moon in a clear sky. Of the importance of slow driving in a community full of pedestrians that lost all its street lamps and signals.
I don’t consider our home an energy sink. But we do keep a few passive lights on in house, which was something I questioned until we were shoved into this pitch blackness. I’ve spent the past two evenings dealing with the dark as another being in the room, held at arm’s length with a few camping lanterns and candles. And it’s so quiet that you really can hear yourself think.
It feels primitive and eerie. But I gotta say, I kinda like it.