Joel Vernier

It was a quiet, peaceful evening watching a comedy show on television. I was sitting in my “Comfy Chair” with a nice warm fall throw covering me. Life was good! Then it happened, without warning, no high winds, no lightning, just a light rain and then the power went out! In an instant, the family room turned pitch black. The whole house seemed to groan to a stop. Then silence! 

The dogs were napping, and they didn’t seem to notice. I was overcome with an overwhelming feeling of loss. My routine of relaxing and was watching my favorite television shows was abruptly disrupted. It’s a feeling of helplessness, concern for the freezers full of beef and pork, and the hope that the power outage would not last long. We have become so dependent on our modern conveniences. Living in the city, the water stayed on so you could take a shower and flush the toilet. Living in a rural area with a well, you might have one or two flushes, and then you are out. 

My phone alerted me that I had a message to read. It was Consumers Energy letting me know that I had a power outage; I knew that already. It gave me a link to restoration. What will it be, days? As the link brought up the page, it said two and a half hours until power restoration. I thought to myself, I can handle that! 

I do have a generator that I can hook up and power most of the household needs. But it is raining out, and I have to get it out of the garage, hook it up, make sure it’s safe, and then hope it will start. Or I can wait the two and a half hours; heck I can nap longer than that! 

So, I decided to wait it out. I did not have a flashlight near me, and I decided to hunt for a light when my wife came towards me with a small luminary. The blackness was penetrated with enough light to be able to walk around the house. 

I began to think about other power outages that I have lived through. One warm July night, my family watched the movie “Arachnophobia.” It was just at the scene where Jeff Daniels was going to see the ginormous spider up close, and just as the film hit a fevered pitch, I heard a clap of thunder and the power went out! Talk about the creepy-crawly feeling, the “heebee jeebees,” and a touch of panic! Then I remember a few years ago the power went out on the day before Christmas and the outage lasted for five days. We cooked Christmas dinner on the BBQ, vegetables and all. We did not have a generator at the time, and some friends were kind enough to lend us one to keep our freezers from thawing. 

We have a gas stove and a coffee percolator to make our coffee, and we can cook eggs and bacon. Toast is a trick in a pan, but it comes out alright. As a youngster, I enjoyed power outages because it brought the family closer together. We were all in the same room and had real conversations. I always felt like it was an adventure, like being on the frontier! Sure enough, at two and a half hours, the power came on! It was exhilarating! 

As the rain continued and a thunderstorm kicked in, I took the time to thank our Consumers Energy power workers that went out into the darkness and got our power working! Thank you to all of our first responders that help out in all of these situations. When they are working in my area, I offer a bottle of water or some candy!

“Remember, every day is a gift! Some are just a little more fun to open than others. – © Joel M. Vernier 11/11/2020 Author of: “The Guinea Pig In The Freezer.”

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