No electricity

Small town living has its pluses. So does living on an island.

Vancouver Island is has an area of 12,408 square miles and about 600,000 people. That's 48 people/sq. mile, or a bit lower than the population density of Iowa. And whereas Iowans have corn as high as an elephant's eye, us Islanders have trees as tall as... as... a really big tall thing (Rodgers and Hammerstein, eat your heart out). This doesn't make Vancouver Islanders better, of course. That'd be silly. It just makes Iowans worse.

Anyway, living on a relatively sparsely populated island is swell. The ocean is always close, the wildlife is abundant, the air is sweet and the fishing is great. The problem, however, is that it's... well, it's an island. If the ferry workers strike, nobody goes anywhere. If the one main highway is blocked because of an accident, nobody gets their mail. And if the highway is blocked and a windstorm knocks down a power line, well, we sit in the dark.

And that's what happened today. The power in our town got knocked out for a few hours. I know, I know. Big whooping deal. Well, let me tell you, it was a big deal here. I didn't have access to my computer! I was at a total loss. I've forgotten how to read text that doesn't shine in my face, so digging out a book was out of the question. I've gotten into the habit of IMing the kids downstairs, so I don't really remember how to speak out loud. And the sun scares me, so going outside for more than a few minutes wasn't an option.

I can't believe I'm going to confess this (but it's a blog and that's what people do in blogs. They confess. It's very Catholic.) but I spent the last several hours "standing" at the sink, washing dishes by hand. I also put laundry on a line to dry!

I know!

Having no access to a television or a stereo or a computer to play MP3s, I found myself making mouth-noises while I worked. The sound startled me so much I almost dropped a plate on the floor. It was a familiar sound, so I stopped what I was doing and tried to remember. That sound... that eerie sound. I was making a sound with my mouth. I just couldn't remember what it was called. I was very frustrated, because normally I'd just type "mouth sound" or "lip noise" into Google and have the answer in three seconds flat.

I remembered hearing that sound as a kid. So I sat down (exhausted from moving heavy coffee mugs from the soapy water to the not soapy water - "rinsing") and tried to recall the word. After a few minutes it came to me. I was whistling! HOLY MOTHER OF GOD, I was whistling! Just like they used to do in the old days. And I liked it!

Well, there's no real point in continuing the story. The power finally came back on and I stopped what I was doing and slowly walked, zombie-like, to the TV and the radio and the other TV and the computer, turning everything back on. While I waited for Windows to load I went around the house and turned on all the lights. Banish the silence! Banish the darkness! Banish the backwards pygmy entertainment of "whistling."

The power's back on and I'm normal and happy again. But I'd better close this entry and IM one of the kids to bring me a towel. I think there's drool running down my chin, and I can't check because I'm typing.
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