Fade To Black
Somewhere in the neighborhood of 10:20pm, the power had gone out. We'd had inklings before that. The local TV scare mongers were reporting widespread outages in the other counties. And the TV/VCR/stereo cluster is on one APC Uninteruptable Power Supply and the computer is on a bigger APC UPS -- both units kept up a steady supply of chirps and beeps as they noted glitches in the power. When the power dropped to zero, the TV/VCR and the PC didn't miss a beat, and the two screens provided plenty of light as Mrs. Dr. Phil dug out a big blackout candle. I saved the file I was working on, but we watched the timeshifted 8pm episode of Michael Palin's Sahara for a few more minutes, because as often as not, our power bounces back pretty quick. We weren't having any of that though this Monday night.
So we sat in the candlelight, our three cats lazed across the floor like dim furry wraiths. If one didn't move, it wasn't so hot. But the AC unit in the bedroom was no longer putting any cooler air into the rest of the house and with the windows all buttoned up all day against the 95degF afternoon heat, the living room wasn't exactly cool.
Nothing To Do But Sleep
We took the cats down to their nice comfy basement room and sat with them for a while down there in the relative cool. If we had to, we could sleep down there after opening up the sofa/daybed futon frame. But the "kids" aren't used to having people sleep with them and cats are seriously nocturnal, so it's quite an "adventure" to sleep downstairs. Getting pounced on from above is just one of the dangers. (grin)
Our three cats -- Bagel, Blue and Sam -- are litter mates and have always been together. When Blue, the one ex-girl cat of the fleet, was a kitten she used to get upset and hide during big thunderstorms. But thirteen years have mellowed them all and sitting with them in the dark downstairs, with huge booms and bright flashes all around, Blue was content to sit on Mrs. Dr. Phil and get ruffled. This is one cat who cannot get furried enough.
When it became clear the power wasn't coming on anytime soon, I closed the door to the bedroom, so it was the coolest place in the house.
No Darkness Like The Coming Of The Dawn
I'm off this Summer II Session at WMU, but Mrs. Dr. Phil has work so we got up at a relatively normal 6:30-ish. WGVU-FM, the local NPR radio station from Grand Valley State University reported that their Meijer Public Broadcast Center on the downtown Grand Rapids campus was without power. Uh-oh, she has a meeting at the Steelcase Library on the downtown campus. We'll see how that develops. Consumers Energy reported a lot of power outages -- Kent County had over 44,000 people in the dark -- but they didn't give numbers for Allendale or Ottawa County. Then they said some residential customers would be without power until Thursday.
Now one doesn't want to say it out loud and jinx the thing, but mostly our road bounces back pretty quickly. Still, we were in the middle of debating options for dinner and how we'd organize disposing of the stuff in the refrigerator if the power stayed off... when the power suddenly sprang on at 7:13am. First order of business: flush the johns. Since we're on a well, we only have limited pressure and water for a couple of flushes. Secondly, open the garage door. Getting to the chain and disengaging it from the track to manually open the door is a pain -- and one we gratefully avoided this time.
Life Marches On
It's Monarch butterfly season here in West Michigan as well as Chicago, and Mrs. Dr. Phil's stepmom visited over the weekend and left a couple of cocoons ready to go. And while we were reveling in our rejoining the 21st century, one of them had emerged. An hour and a half later, with its wings good and dried, I released it. It lit on one of our tall weedy flowers and then immediately took off and landed again about twenty feet away. Never got a chance to check the open wings, but I'm thinking it was a female. Mrs. Dr. Phil released one yesterday and it was a male. So nature is balanced again. (grin)
And back to our little lives...