Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The advantages of a blackout

I would have posted earlier today, and probably on another topic, but mid-morning, as I was carting a basket of laundry throught the house, I became aware of an unsual sound. Actually it was a lack of sound that drew my attention.

My computer was no longer whirring and sighing, the fridge wasn't popping and pinging, and the gentle hum of the washer and dryer in the basement had stopped.

Except for the ticking of the battery operated clock in the kitchen, the house was completely quiet.

Apparently someone hit a utility pole a few blocks away and so, for three hours, I was cut off from all my 21st Century technology. With the exception of my cell phone, I had no means of communication. No e-mail to check, no laundry to do...nothing left but a pen and paper and the half-finished chapter Eight of my work in progress.

It was wonderful.

I'm not used to complete peace and quiet in this house. There's always something going on. Either the dish washer or the laundry is running, the various appliances are buzzing and churning, and if the kids and husband are home, there's at least one television on and a video game being played. Too much quiet can be a bit overwhelming, I discovered, so to combat the possibility that I might sink too deeply into the zone, I tempered my creative time with intermittent bursts of housework.

I finished the chapter and straightened up the house in those three quiet hours and I have to be honest, when, shortly after 2:00 PM the electronic hum started up again, I was mildly disappointed. Not that I was looking forward to figuring out how to make dinner sans my electric can opener and my oven, nor was I pleased about the prospect of having to eat all the ice cream in the freezer and do my editing by candlelight, but for a while it was nice to listen to the quiet and let myself think.

Now it's back to work - no excuse to let the laundry sit or consider going out for dinner. It was definitely nice while it lasted, though.

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Jennifer Elbaum said...

That's a nice window of time to be without power. Not too long to become a major annoyance, but long enough to get some work done.

Congrats on using your silence wisely!

Skylar Masey said...

Congrats on finishing Chapter Eight! I myself would likely have snuggled in with a book, since writing long-hand (except for notes) drives me bonkers :0)

I've only had the power in our present house go out once. The silence was what woke me from a sound sleep at 3 AM. In the previous house our power was out for almost a week following an ice storm, so we had to temporarily move in with my mom. But it was around Christmas, so we put up the tree.

Sorry about you not getting to enjoy that ice cream or go out to dinner for being so crafty during the electircal outage!

Bernadette Gardner and Jennifer Colgan said...

It was good that my husband wasn't home. He goes a little nuts when he doesn't have access to the Internet and it's very hard to keep him entertained. He mostly stalks up and down the stairs muttering about how the universe is out to get him.

Lynda K. Scott said...

A few years ago, we lost power for several days. I had Internet withdrawal pains :D

Congrats on finishing Chapter 8!

Oh, if you lose power again, just remember---they serve dinner at restaurants. You can always eat the ice cream for dessert :D

Cassandra Kane said...

I love blackouts. You can do absolutely nothing and have a perfectly valid excuse.

Well done for using the time wisely, and thank goodness your husband wasn't there to spoil it. *g*