I am sitting here in the gathering dark as our short winter day comes to an end. We had a serious wind storm here during the night and into the morning, and around 9:30 am or so our power failed. It is a bit past 4:00 pm now.
According to the BC Hydro outage phone system message, 180,000 people in the Lower Mainland are without power. I guess falling branches and swaying wires caused over a thousand separate power “incidents”, one of which was ours.
The power has flickered on for a second or two twice now: once at around 2:00 PM, and again just now. I am made increasingly aware of my dependence on electricity as the light gradually fades. I’ve gathered some candles and an oil lamp, but I’m saving those for when it becomes fully dark: another hour or so now.
But this lack of electricity is doing more than just making it dark. I have food in the fridge, but the left over pizza needs to be heated before I would want to eat it. The food is still okay in the fridge- but another four or five hours and I’m not so sure if I would trust much of it. We have a gas stove, but it is a modern thing that uses electricity to start rather than a pilot light…so there won’t be any cooking there, either. Of course I can’t watch TV, but the other things I usually do like read are becoming problematic as it gets darker. I spent the afternoon reading a book or two, but that is no longer possible: books don’t emit light, and my eyes can no longer make out the words on the page without straining. Thankfully our gas fireplaces both use old-style pilot lights, so I have those for heat.
So, I’m writing this on my laptop. It still has a couple of hours of battery power, and emits light so I can still read it. But of course, I can’t actually post this: no internet connection.
In less then ten hours, the loss of the trappings of our modern technical civilization has rendered me hungry and bored. If this were to last 24 hours, I’m not sure what my condition would be. I guess I would make do…
Power came back on at about 7:00 PM