OK, what’s the deal? I am trying to work on my column while the electricity keeps going out and then coming back on. I get a few words down and suddenly the power goes out. Then on. Then out again.
What’s the deal, I ask? Well, the deal is it is very windy outside, which apparently is wreaking havoc with the power lines.
Each time the power goes out, I hear warning beeps from the stove and the microwave. This means I have to reset the stove clock and the one on the microwave, which sit above it.
The fact is, I don’t really have to reset them because there are several other ways I can find out the time. We have a windup clock on the mantle, and I can see it from where I sit. I can check my smartphone, which is not dependent on the electricity coming into the house.
My computer is running on batteries, so I can simply look up in the corner of the screen to see how many minutes I have wasted from one sentence to the next. (So far today, the minutes wasted greatly outnumber the minutes typing.)
Still, even with these independent sources with which to tell time, I feel the need to reset the kitchen clocks. Not only do I have the urgent need to set them, I have this compulsion to get them as close as I can to the “real” time. My method is go through all the steps on the two appliances except for the final one. I set the time for one minute later than what my phone says it is (Phone time, 12:23; Stove time, 12:24) then, the moment the phone time changes, I push the button to start the clocks. Four times in the past hour I have gone through this routine to set the “real” time.
By “real” time I mean the time we accept because the satellites orbiting around up there in space tell us is the true time. I consider this as “objective” time and contrast it to “felt” time.
Felt time can be longer or shorter than objective time depending on the circumstances. It seems to me I have been spending an inordinate amount of felt time waiting for the electricity to come back on.
Warning beeps are also coming from the basement, which tells me the pump that brings water into our house from the pond is off. I hope this on again/off again electricity dance doesn’t do serious damage to it. We have ways to independently check the time, but we have only one pump to bring us fresh water.
I had the television on to catch the noon weather report. Not only is the weather report my favorite thing about TV, this particular noontime I was hoping I might get a little insight into what is going on (or off) with the power.
At 12:15 just as Randy Ollis was about to explain the current numbers, the set went off. A minute later, the power was back, and he was going over the prediction for tomorrow.
Then, just as I started to process the information, the set went dark again. I am beginning to suspect the weather demons don’t want me to see the forecast.
I had planned to write about the end of February and how glad I am to be over the rough weather we have endured. I guess I should have waited at least until the end of the month. I never remember to think how fortunate I am to have things like power and water until something like this happens. It is good for me to get these occasional reminders.
Oh, look, the power is back. Where is my phone? I need to go set the clocks on the stove and microwave.
Norman Knight, a retired Clark-Pleasant Middle School teacher, writes this weekly column for the Daily Journal. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.