Power outages are no fun.
Generally though, you can see them coming 24 hours in advance from the weather forecast. More than 6-8 inches of snow? Find the flashlights. 30mph winds? Break out the candles. A series of 100+ degree days? Go buy some hand fans.
But if it is a nice 50 degree day? If there are cloudless blue skies?
Power outages are not on your radar then.
And so it was the other day. A lovely, warmish, no wind day. The sort of day that makes you think “I ought to do some yard work this morning. It is so nice out; not too hot for forsythia bush trimming & the weeds I am allergic to are in their infancy.”
So that’s what I did.
A couple hours later I was done & went inside to take a shower to wash all the potential allergens off of me.
(my actual shower. There are more bottles & things on the shelf & the hanging basket behind that curtain)
Like most bathrooms, mine has no window. The only light comes from bulbs.
Also, we have a well, so for water to flow we need power.
Unaware of what the future held, I stepped blithely into the shower and contemplated the large array of soaps, lotions, shampoos, cleansers & scrubby things. Did I want to smell like pomegranates? Or blood oranges? Oh how about vanilla jasmine? Maybe the citrus shampoo with the melon body wash? I could follow it up with the green apple body lotion & smell like a summer fruit salad.
I like food & things that smell like food.
We all have our own personal bath routines, I am sure. Mine involves soaping myself up from head to toe & then bringing in a loofa or other scrubby thing for the harder areas like heels & elbows. Then I contemplate the necessity of shaving. Do my legs feel hairy? Do they look hairy? Will anyone I am not married to or have given birth to see my legs? How much time to I have? How long has that razor been in the shower anyway? Do I have a fresh one? Am I certain enough of the existence of a fresh razor to get out of the shower & drip myself over to the closet?
Then I move on to my hair. Does my hair need conditioner this time? Did I use it last time? How about that 5 minute intense hair treatment? Do I want straight hair or curly hair? (conditioner leads to straight hair)
It was after I decided the razor was new enough to be safe & was shaving that the world went dark.
And I mean PITCH BLACK.
The bathroom door was shut so no ambient light from bedroom windows came in.
Just me, slippery soap, hot water & a razor I could no longer see.
All I could think was “Don’t drop the razor!”
Followed by “Get under the water & rinse before it stops.” because DH makes it sound like water just VANISHES when the power goes out. We’re not supposed to turn on a faucet or flush a toilet when the power is out. If we expect an outage the first thing we do is fill a tub with water & set a bucket nearby so we can use it to flush because all the water DISAPPEARS when the power goes out.
Now, rationally I know we have a 40 gallon water heater (or a 30 gallon, or 20 or 50, some double digit round number water heater) so unless it drains instantly when the power turns off, we still have water.
But after 14 years of living here he has me more or less brainwashed about the vanishing water thing.
Yet the shower was still flowing, though even rationally it wouldn’t flow forever, probably I had time to finish my ablutions, in the pitch dark.
I have no idea how much water flows through my showerhead per minute & I’d already been in there a decent time so possibly it could vanish at any time & I can’t see the bottles & everything smells like the citrus body wash so I have no idea if I am conditioning my hair with face cleaner or washing my face with intensive conditioner.
And I am still holding the razor in one hand because I am terrified if I put it down it will fall in the tub and I will step on it, slice my foot open and have to crawl, dripping wet & bleeding through my bedroom and the kitchen into the living room in search of a portable phone that is never where I left it last & call 911 and have them show up to see me in all my naked,dripping wet, tangled hair (from the face cleanser), bleeding glory.
So I am holding on to the razor mostly due to fear of possible embarrassment.
Then I worry, as I reach up to run my fingers through my hair while rinsing, that I might accidentally shave my hair off with it. But I can’t put the razor down. But I can’t leave the soap in my hair & one handed just isn’t getting the soap out efficiently & the water could VANISH at any time.
(amazing the amount of stress you can generate from a single shower)
I decided it was good enough, turned off the water, fumbled for the shower curtain, underestimated the height of the tub and tripped face first into the sink counter.
But I was at least able to let the razor go at last.
Then I stumbled around, hands outstretched feeling for the towels I know I set out here somewhere. They had been knocked to the floor to the left of me when I tripped but I didn’t know that. The bathroom door was to the right & I was headed that way in hopes of sunlight.
I still had the curtains closed in the bedroom. The power suddenly came back on while I was dripping my way around the bedroom in search of a flashlight or matches to find my towels.
Sky was still blue.
No clue why the power went out that time.
About 6 hours later I was in the bathroom, using it for the usual purpose, with the door shut of course.
And the power went out AGAIN!
I was so startled I screamed.
DH came running, or as fast as you can come in near darkness without tripping over things.
I didn’t think I could go into the whole “The universe hates me and hates this bathroom and razors and 911 and why does the power go out when I am in here & not when I am in the living room?” angsty thing.
“I can’t find the toilet paper!”