Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Awakening

Did I say I am a survivor? Scratch that. For a few minutes, I almost forgot.

Two happenings recently whopped me into reality. Click click. My car key remote wouldn't work. I frantically stood there, aiming and clicking at my car. Panic seized me. How was I going to get into my car? Who should I call?

My car key is attached to the remote. Duh, oh yes, I can use the key. We used car keys since Henry Ford thought autos were a good idea. Most of my life I had unlocked car doors with a key. I can do that now.
That night, lights were blazing throughout the house and the TV was on. Suddenly, the TV gave a slight crackle and went blank, along with every light in the house. For a moment I was stunned, as I sat in a dark, silent house.

Fumbling my way to a kitchen drawer, I retrieved a flashlight. I went outdoors to check if anyone in my block had electricity and found my neighbor standing outside with a flashlight too. Not a light in the neighborhood on this black cloudy night.

So what will I do? Radio? No Computer? no Read ? too dim. I grew up without electricity and we managed to do everything. Now, living in mono-power source times, all I could think of was gong to bed and getting a good night's sleep. And so I did.


  1. We do tend to take our way of life for granted don't we?

  2. Probably the electric going out for a little while is good for us. This way we don't our way of life so much for granted.

  3. Modern technology has spoiled us. Our power went out last night and my first comment was "We could watch movies on my phone until the battery dies." My spouse was very right to laugh at me for it.

  4. I'm sitting here shaking my head and smiling, Manza. I think about this kind of stuff all the time. I've a book to recommend to you, it's called 'Better Off.'

  5. LOL... Manzy that is so funny. But if truth be told. My first thought when my remote didn't work would of been the same as yours.

    Now about the lights. We have power outages quite often up here in the hills of Pennsylvania. I have a hefty supply of candles and I even know where the matches are. So... I am ready.

  6. LOL! amazing what we forget!!! :)

  7. Wow! If that set YOU back, Manzi, I think I have no hope for my children!

  8. haha! I didn't know whether to weep or laugh, but I chose to laugh. Oh, what the heck, that good night's sleep did wonders for your disposition.

  9. I remember in the 1970s in the UK we had power cuts as a result of strike action. We soon got into a routine. We had candles ready but it was manageable because we knew it was only for a limited number of hours.

  10. You wrote this with such great humor, I had to laugh. Laughter is good.

    I'm with you. I grew up with the radio though not without electricity. We are very used to these modern conveniences. Our houses depend on them. So when they go out...well, I'd say do what you did: go to bed and get a good sleep!!
    Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror, A Memoir of Shattered Secrets

  11. Yay for sleep and doing things manually!!

    It's so easy to forget what we are able to do when technology conks out!

    Take care

  12. One of my favorite power-gone-out memories was several years ago. It was night. The husband, mama, and I lit candles and rigged up flash lights in the living room, so we could sprawl on the couches and read.

  13. We both wrote about awakening today, but yours was much funnier!! As Joni Mitchell sang, we don't know what we've got till it's gone. And sometimes it's good to do without!

  14. Love it , especially the bit about actually using the car KEY!!! Hee Hee!! It does go to show just how we take everything for granted these days, don't we? Hope you had a good night's sleep anyway!

  15. Well going to bed sounds like a very sensible option to me!!! Funny how quickly we become dependent on the gadgets and yet when we put our minds to it, we can come up with solutions and alternatives. Good for you!

  16. Manzi: If that ever happens again, call me. I can't help you much because I'm 2000 miles away, but feel free to call.

    PS: If you do call, don't try the rotary dial on your cell phone.

  17. Ann's words reflect my thoughts exactly. Going to be and getting a good night's sleep, then waking to sunlight is what our forefathers and mothers used to do. I've done that also when I first lived on a farm seventy years ago.

    We do get so dependent on gadgets that somehow we don't think of other options. But then suddenly, as it did for you with the keys, our common sense kicks in.

    Those people who have experienced natural disasters from hurricanes, tsunamis, and earthquakes must learn quickly that they can still depend on themselves to make life happen.


  18. Laughing about the car key. Glad you didn't call a locksmith like I might have.
    Get a kindle with a clip on book light. That gets me through the dark times.
    However sleeping is next best. I sleep like a baby when it is pitch dark with out night lights, security lights and electronic LEDs.

  19. I would think where you live you would be well stocked with candles and survivor gear. Maybe even a hand crank for the car!

  20. Hi Manzanita .. sounds like you made the most sensible decision .. a long good night's sleep.

    Gadgets and brains don't always work together .. and we do do funny things sometimes. Loved the story and gave me a good smile and quiet giggle .. cheers Hilary

  21. I only use a flashlight long enough to locate the candles, then go outside to see if it's the whole neighbourhood or just me. after that it's reading by candlelight until I get sleepy.
    I could still use the laptop until the battery runs out, but usually I don't bother.

  22. I only use a flashlight long enough to locate the candles, then go outside to see if it's the whole neighbourhood or just me. after that it's reading by candlelight until I get sleepy.
    I could still use the laptop until the battery runs out, but usually I don't bother.

  23. I spent many years without electricity too. And in the Virgin Islands, power outages are a very regular occurrence.

    Here where I live in Texas we've been blessed. Even so,I always keep oil lamps on hand, just in case.
    I also have a gas stove. That way, if the power should go out in the winter, I can still cook and even warm up the house.

  24. What a good idea - we lost power the other night too and I just found my cozy comforter and went to bed early also...
    awake is good.
    Liked your words and found you on Galen Pearl's site - thought I would comment today as you gave me a chuckle
    Been there before
    What we do with out power?

  25. Delores : Yes and we seem to soon forget the way of life when things were not as easy. :)

    Rubye Jack : Your are right. At least it stirs up the memory a little and reminds us to be grateful.

    Loralie : You gave me a chuckle the same as I laughed at myself, after I thought about it for a minute. I guess we always think we have to be watching or doing something. It felt pretty good to get a full nights sleep. :)

    Suze : Oh Thanks.... I'll look it up. Needless to say, at least now I have some candles and matches handy. Ha.

    Terry : I have no idea what your geography is like since I've never been to your neck of the woods. It sounds pretty nice and peaceful.

    Texwisgirl : And in such a short time..... well maybe not that short. Ha Ha

    Big D.... Yes, I've lived in the city too long.... I guess I need to go back to my roots in the country again. :)

  26. Gigi : You are right. It felt so good I want that much sleep every night. :)

    Roselind : That's interesting.I should know more about UK's history, but I don't know much. After mentioning Forever Amber in my post, I'm re-reading it and I find the history of that time so great. I didn't even remember that Charles I was beheaded during the civil uprising. I'm keeping candles handy now, too.

    Ann : I liked my childhood but have to admit that it's a lot quicker to flip a switch to get light. :)

    Kitty : How true. For a minute, I couldn't even remember that a car key would open a door. :)

    Su-siee : Wish I could have seen that sight. How funny. Flashlights taped to chairs and tables. You should have taken pictures of that one. :)

    Galen : We did write on the same these. I checked yours just now. Joni Mitchell probably was referring to a man by those words.... and on that I fully agree.

    This is me : It was a heavenly sleep. Have to do that more often. Thanks for the fun comment.

    Ann : Yes, we all seem to do well in an emergency or high stress moment (even me) but sometimes we forget during the mundane.

  27. JJ : Ha Ha.... funny man. I'd better not call with our time change. You'd be long sawing ZZZZ's when it would still be talking time here. But thanks for the invitation. :)

    Dee : I'm sure it comes back in a hurry when there is a natural disaster. I think of the telephone and how every person walks around with one by their ear. My grandmother never talked on a phone in her lifetime and I'm sure she was as happy as the kids who are texting and talking constantly. I ran into a gal just this morning at the health food store, who doesn't own anything electronic. I used to be almost that radical but kept up with the times a little. This woman was 70 and very interesting how she manages to live here without the modern conveniences.
    I always feel better when I go to sleep and get up with the birds.
    Thanks for visiting.

    Patti : I shouldn't even admit that but my first thought was that I had to call a locksmith. I don't even like those remotes. I've been trying to get someone to turn off that alarm thing that I seem to accidentally push once in a while and then have to scramble to get the thing turned off before I drive everyone crazy. :)

    Chuck : Believe it or not, first power failure I've seen in Bozeman in 10 years but I saw them constantly when I lived in the mountains. A car crank... I do remember them. You had to be very careful or the thing would flip back and could break your arm. You must be watching Waltons re-runs again. :)

    Hilary : Gadgets and brains don't always work together.... I like that. I'll remember that next time I'm trying to set the digital numbers on a clock. I usually go over and have to start again because it won't go backwards. :)

    River : I thought of the computer having some power left but only post epso facto. Now I have candles available, too and matches. You probably don't have to worry about power going out in your new home.

  28. Bish : You are really prepared for storms with the oil lamps. I used to have all of that and my hurricane emergency kit all ready but I had never needed things here....guess I will have to be like the boy scouts, now. I have a gas stove too. Don't you like cooking with gas a lot better than electricity. I got a story about that too. 2 years ago at Thanksgiving my granddaughter and I were up early and ready to put the turkey in the oven and no gas. I guess in that case a wood stove would have been better. Ha.

    Patricia : Thanks for visiting and the nice comment. From the sound of the comments, power has a bad habit of going blank in a lot of states. But, it's good to go to bed with the birds and then you are ready to get up with them too. Nature's way.

  29. How true it is that we have grown acustomed to our electronic friends. I would be lost without mine and think I would go to bed too.

    Anna :o]

  30. You handled the situation most wisely :)

  31. Congratulations on handling both situations so well, Lady M.
    Another note.
    Major power outages over several decades have been notable for something else, too. A spike in the number of infants born nine months later.
    Something else to do when the power goes out.
    I've done my research; you can trust the Bear on this one.

  32. Haha, how soft we've all become - either that, or the consumerist evil plan to take over the world is working!!

  33. :)) We are really absolutely depending on electricity! I thought once something like "what if..." and it appears that no electricity = collapse of civilization:) at least, in such way we are accustomed to it now ;)
    But yes, - candles, table games or...sweet dreams:D

  34. Don't just limit this to your car. How many gyrations do we go through when the TV remote doesn't work? Let's see...raise button...damn!...twist! back...spin AA, F!!...stand up...put remote under!!!!!...switch arms...lean toward it!!!!....throw remote at the Spanish language network....oh, that's okay....coulda been worse...coulda been"The View."

  35. Ah well, a sudden power outage is no fun.

    We have them frequently and I always have candles ready everywhere. But I agree, the novelty soon wears and there's nothing for it but to get into bed.

  36. Hi ..I came over from Chrome on the Range..looking forward to reading your past and future posts..

  37. I have also had to use the car keys, but for a moment I was, 'Now what do I do?' :)

    And, I also recently lost electricity for a few hours, along with the neighbors, and it made me realize how much I do value it. I could, though, get into a lifestyle that was lived according to the daylight hours. If I had to.

  38. I love to read by flashlight. Reminds me of when I was a kid and read under the covers in secret.

  39. Anna : Sleep is good. I never get enough of it, anyway.

    Elizabeth : Thank you my dear. A word from the wise about the wise. :)

    Rob-Bear : Hey, far be it for me to ever question "The Bear." If he says it, "That it." :)

    Clare : I'm so happy that you are happy. Good to see you.

    Red : Take over the world, I suppose. OMG.... I'm not ready. I don't even have my supply of nuts in store. Thanks... Nice to see you.

    Zara : I had/have a friend who lived in the mountains without electricity. His house had such a peaceful feeling. I always thought it was because of lack of all the electrical zapping our energy. ????

  40. Al : Ha Ha The TV remote is even worse, you have to make physical effort to get up and change the channel...OMG.... I'll take the language channel any day.

    Friko : An Abe Lincoln, I ain't when it comes to reading by candlelight.

    Ain't For City Gals : Welcome and it's nice to meet you. I did look you up. Thanks.

    Teresa : I hear what you're saying. I could live with lamps and gasoline produced power again, too, if I had to. We did it before, or at least I did but it's so much easier to flip a switch. ha

    Kelly : That would be a little comfort from childhood. Good memory. I bet the light was really concentrated under the covers, too.

  41. Great thoughts! I think you're wonderful. I would much rather read a book than watch TV any day :), Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

  42. Love the ending! :) Sometimes I think I'd love for the power to go out so then I could really have a few minutes' silence.

  43. I can and do know how you felt. I remember well how it was to have nothing. If we wanted to stay warm we had to figure out how to stay warm. No switch to flip but a coal bucket to fill up and a pile of cobs to light the coal with. No soft water at our house as mom saved the soft rain water for washing clothes and hair. It made more suds than well water. The soft water was collected from what fell on the tin roof, ran down into the gutters and then into the brick-lined cistern that held the rain water. I think we were able to fix anything we owned and while we didn't own much we could fix whatever we had that went bad or broke. I don't think it is possible today.

  44. What often accompanies the darkness is a silence as all the gadgets are cut off their supply. We have forgotten the quiet. We have been forced into a world of noise and don't realize it until all has shut down.
    I guess the sleep was extra sweet.
    Love the key part :)

  45. I wait for the power to go out so I could get a good night's sleep! Otherwise I'm still sitting in from of the PC at all hours of night!

    Great post!

  46. My remote is going bad for my car. Drives me crazy because when I forget where I parked it I can't hit the button to hear the horn honk...It might be God's way of making sure I get my exercise walking up and down each lane in the parking lot. hahahaha

  47. I've had that same experience and sigh.... I did the same thing.