The day the lights went out in Bethesda

So our electricity is back, along with Internet access and telephone connections. I’d say, “its about time,” but I liked spending time with my two very bored teenagers.

The electricity went out during a severe thunderstorm on Wednesday afternoon while Clare and I were driving back home after a meeting at her school. We heard a transformer blow as we neared our house and feared for our power. Andrew greeted us at the door with news that the power was out. We told him of our frightening drive from school (the rain and trees were blown sideways some of the time).

That afternoon, in between complaining about no electricity, television and Internet, the kids read books, jumped on the trampoline and listened to the battery powered radio about storm damage. When it got dark, Clare studied for her upcoming final exams by the light of about 16 candles. Andrew went to bed early.

On Thursday, since there was no school because it was graduation day, the kids alternated between studying and playing. Clare’s anxiety took over and she ended up going to work with Dean to study. Andrew read the first 150 pages of The Overachievers then helped me untangle some crochet yarn. Then he made a potholder with a loom I’d just bought.

When Clare got back home and after we’d eaten dinner, the three of us sat on the porch until dark, untangling yarn and talking.

Sure, we could have these kinds of interactions any day; the electricity does not need to be out to do so. But I think we’d all be thinking about what we could be doing — watching TV, writing blog entries, visiting Facebook — you know what I mean.

Today when the kids come home from school, everyone will be at their own screen doing their own thing and our interactions will be either non-existent or half-hearted.

At least I now have an imperfect neon green and orange pot holder as a visual reminder of our near-perfect day together.

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