The New Normal
Phone Calls from Friends

Out of Power

Everybody on the East coast seems to have a power-loss story. When we lost ours during the recent storm, our retirement community’s generators kept the health center and the hallway lights on, but the apartments were dark.

With my phone battery running down, I looked everywhere for our flashlight. Then I looked at the same places again, fully aware that repeating what already didn’t work was useless.

I decided to light a candle. In the drawer with the candles…our flashlight! I lit a candle anyway, promptly knocked it off the table and broke my favorite crystal candlestick.

By then it was 9:00 and going to bed was my best option. I woke at 1:30 a.m. when the lights came on, but because the refrigerator wasn’t humming, I called our security officer for help, hoping to save its contents. He agreed to have a look. Moments later, he called to say he couldn’t get into our building, and asked me to come down and open the emergency door. So there I was at 2:00 a.m., raincoat over my pajamas, flashlight in hand walking down two dark flights of stairs to open the emergency door.

He and I flipped circuit breakers and unplugged and plugged in the refrigerator. Nothing worked until additional power was restored an hour later.

In the morning, I questioned my wisdom in inviting a stranger into my apartment at 2:00 a.m. But the food in my refrigerator was just fine.


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