Back to the basics

As one or two folk might have noticed, we seem to have had a slight bit of a storm recently here on the east coast. Nothing to write home about, but she opened an eye or three. She was officially name Sandy, but to the more affectionate among us she was called Frankenstorm.

Here in the wilds of South Eastern Massachusetts, we had naught but a few trees down and a bit of a healthy breeze (if you consider 90 mph gusts healthy). Not much in the rain department and inland not much flooding either. But fortunately we did not miss all the fun, as many a folk lost power, and the luckiest among us probably still don’t have it back. Of course in my little spot on the map, this is no big deal, since we seem to lose power every time mother nature sneezes.

Just like we don’t realize how much we use, say our thumb until we go and damage the bugger, we of this modern, high-tech world do not realize how thoroughly addicted we are to such insignificant things as electricity … until it’s suddenly not there. And worse yet, we highly advance "smart" modern types have no clue how to function without it.

I was out for the afternoon braving the horrendously heavy misting and the breeze with a slight attitude. It was sad that even the bar did not know how to make a Hurricane. When I got home, the sky was darkening, possibly from a bit of cloudage overhead, but mostly because the sun was going down. I was shockingly NOT surprised to find we had no power. Therefore no lights. And of course no phone (because who DOESN’T have a cordless phone these days?) Fortunately we are a well prepared household (translation: we never throw anything out). So flashlights a plenty, and even a phone that actually plugs into the phone line or six. I walk into the kitchen where the flashlights are, turning the light on of course so that I can find it easily. Surprisingly the light is no help whatsoever. Flashlight in hand, I now search the various dark and dusty corners for a phone that might actually be able to use the phone line. I do have my trusty iPhone, which for some reason was not working so well seeing as the battery is almost dead. No worries, I’ll just charge it up.



I find a phone that might work. And can’t find a suitable cord to plug it in where it would be most handy. We can use the one in my parent’s room, which is not the most convenient but will have to do. I go into my parent’s room … turning the light on of course … to make sure the ringer is on. I  go back to find wherever I left the flashlight, then go back to my parent’s room, once again turning the light on. Phone all set.

Once I am conveniently several dark rooms away, the phone of course rings. I run back to the phone, hoping to catch it before it stops ringing, and trying not to trip and kill myself since I of course do not have my flashlight again. It is a nice electronic voice telling me a few nifty hints and tricks about how to survive the storm … said hints and tricks that we would never learn if we didn’t happen to have these older phones. They also tell us to not worry, the power should be back on in a quick three to five days.

Fortunately I know of several websites that have useful information to help in such a situation. I go to my room, turn the light on, and then turn the computer on.


I turn to my trusty iPhone again, even though it has less than a 10 percent charge on it, and find the website I am looking for. For some reason I can’t connect to the internet so it is taking forever to download. Finally I find that the information that was specifically meant to help us deal with such emergencies is absolutely no help whatsoever, but thankfully it has mostly depleted my phone now.

A while later, when my mom comes home with her cell phone (that does not have internet access and also has a less than full charge), it dawns on me that I can charge the phone in the car. Two hours later my phone is up to 75% charged, and I can now watch the news reports of how everyone else is surviving the storm, and do such useful things as check my facebook. With such a successful three hours, the next three to five days should be a breeze.

Seriously, who needs electricity?