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Writing in the Dark

By Janice Ewing


Like many others, my husband and I lost power in the storm on Friday night, March 2nd. Like some others, we are still without power, as the next storm blows in. In fact, our neighborhood sustained more damage last Friday than I can ever remember, with downed trees and power lines, electrical fires, broken backyard sheds, and damaged cars. Fortunately, no one was injured in our area.

On Saturday morning, after surveying the situation at our house and in our immediate neighborhood, we went to a local Panera to decide what to do. It was crowded for the early hour, and everyone was set on charging their various devices as they fueled themselves with coffee. A seat next to an outlet was like a center orchestra seat for Hamilton.

“No power…” new arrivals would simply say, as they contorted their bodies to reach the outlets at a nearby table. The response was always empathetic. Once settled in, we listed what we would have to do without: heat, light, hot water, TV, and other things we take for granted but don’t absolutely need, like toast. We did have an intact house. PECO estimated restoration of power at 11:59 on Tuesday, which sounded a lot like Wednesday, which turned out to be when the next storm was coming. (It also turned out to be overly optimistic.) We considered the options of staying with relatives or friends, or possibly booking a hotel room, but agreed that, if possible, our first choice was to stay put with our two cats, both of whom are terrible travelers and even worse at adjusting to a new environment. The highest priority was a safe and practical source of heat, and after some internet research and a phone consult with a helpful brother-in-law, we decided on a kerosene heater.



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