By June Mathews
Until last Sunday, I’d never much thought about how electricity – rather, the lack of it – can mess with your brain. But it does. Or at least it does with mine. My dependency on electricity is apparently so strong, when the lights in the house went out for a while, so did the lights in my head.
Jimmie had already left for church (his Sunday morning duties require that he arrive early), and I was enjoying my last few sips of coffee before getting ready to go myself. Right about the time I figured I’d be seriously late if I didn’t put the java down and hit the shower, I heard a loud popping noise outside the bedroom window, and the power blinked off.
I immediately knew what had happened.
Surrounded by wooded areas, our neighborhood is blessed (or plagued, however you choose to look at it) with a multitude of small critters. Every once in a while, one will venture too close to live electrical components and – bzzzzt! The lights go out on a permanent basis for the poor little thing.
For the neighborhood, the darkness lasts only until Alabama Power has mercy on us and sends somebody to remove the fried carcass and flip whatever switch needs flipping to turn the power back on.
Being a rather astute person when an occasion calls for it, I immediately realized that no electricity meant no blow dryer and no curling iron for the duration. This critical turn of events suddenly cast my appearance at church or anywhere else in public for the next few hours in doubt.
So I made a couple of phone calls to let people know I’d likely be either late for or absent from my Sunday morning commitments, and I poured myself another cup of coffee before the coffeemaker grew stone cold.
Having had an extra-busy Saturday, I relished the prospect of a relaxing Sunday morning. So I grabbed the laptop (thank goodness for charged batteries), plumped up the pillows and crawled back into bed, intending to catch up with my Facebook friends. So I clicked the icon to bring up the web browser, and … nothing.
Funny thing about those wireless routers: They’re powered by electricity.
I settled for proofing and putting some final touches on an article due the next day. That took a grand total of 20 minutes. I spent another 10 minutes playing solitaire, but that got old fast.
I was growing restless, so I threw back the covers and headed for the pile of dirty laundry in the bathroom closet. I figured I might as well get a head start on the Monday morning wash. I was halfway through sorting before I remembered washers and dryers generally require power, too.
“OK,” I thought, “I’ll just put on another pot of coffee and catch some of the Sunday morning news shows on TV…”
“…or put some chicken into the crock pot…”
Well, I could certainly put it into the crock pot, but that’s about all I could do.
“…or vacuum the living room rug…”
I finally gave up trying to be productive and headed for the shower. If the power happened to flicker on anytime soon, I was going to church, late or not. So far, my Sunday morning at home was proving pretty boring.
Lucky for me, the lights came back on when I was halfway through putting on my makeup in the semi-darkness of the master bathroom. If not for the welcome brightness, there’s no telling where my mascara would have wound up. I might have had smoky eyes all over my face.
But I do know this much: The next time the lights go out on Sunday morning, I don’t care what my hair looks like. I’m going to church, regardless.