Thursday, November 21, 2013

19th, 20th and the New Millenium

I have a flashlight tucked into the back pocket of my cords.  Outside, it's an ice storm of sorts.  Our electricity has gone off twice this evening.

The first time, I was on the phone to daughter Gillian on Cape Cod.  (She may soon experience Cape Cod winter outages; take note, Dearie.)  The power went off, I bid adieu to Gillian so that I could scrounge around for some candles and a flashlight or two.  (And save my cell phone in the event of a prolonged-outage.)  Funny, in the Spring time (i.e., tornado season), I always had two flashlights hanging on the basement doorknobs.  And these two are dandy: they are wind-up flashlights.  So (in theory, I know, especially since they are MADE IN CHINA), these bode well for horrific, catastrophic tornado problems.  But for some reason, they are missing from the basement doorknobs tonight.

Must make a note to self.

That Spouse o' Mine asked me from the darkness of the living room, "Where are those candles we used this summer?!"  I thought he meant a bundle of new and unused candles I had purchased and had tucked away somewhere.  Where, now, I had now clue, no clue at all.  What HE meant, apparently, was this: where were the candles we used all summer when we opted to dine al fresco out on the front patio, at the wrought iron table, with the delightful windbreak of the new addition to shield us from the summer tempest?

I went through the house looking for the bag of new, unused candles.  (I finally found them in our bedroom. Why there, I haven't a clue.)  He finally found his idea of candles - guess where? - at the wrought iron table, with the delightful windbreak of the new addition to shield us from the summer tempest.  I hadn't moved them.  I guess I just thought we might have a mild day in November and need some outdoor evening atmosphere.

Or, we two are slackers in the household management biz.

I think it's the latter.

Nevertheless, by Round Two of no electricity this evening, I had rounded up beautiful candelabra and also some stumpy scented candles (which, really, I do not like, they make me wheeze...), and we had candlelight in every room and bathroom downstairs.

It really was pretty.

Round One of no power saw me thinking...thinking...thinking... (because it was already dark at 6:00-ish.)...What will we do this evening?  (I had already opted out of my book club meeting, due to ice, although the topic was Alice Munro, this year's Nobel Prize winner in literature.  And let me tell you, I have SOoo enjoyed her short stories.)

A dark house and candles were remindful of anything I have read about Abraham Lincoln.  Dearie me: we shall have to read by candle light.  And then I moved on to games.  Card games?  Chess?  Backgammon?  (That Spouse o' Mine and I, back in Newlywed Days living in Egypt, used to play amazing hours of backgammon.  I think it was an escape, looking back...)

One of the first episodes in Season One of Downton Abbey shows one of the housemaids building a morning fire in the dark.  She complains about the brightness of the new electric lights in the house - she won't turn them on.  

Well.  Here I am now, in the new millenium complete with electrical power, and dinner is on the stove.  A propane stove.  A funny thing, this: the stove has an electric ignition to start the-then propane power source. What the heck?!

I am going to cut this to the chase:

I have computer capabilities this evening.
I have a functioning stove: propane, albeit, needing electricity.
The propane heat (two separate entities) is on.
Our cell phones are charged.

OK: That's the New Millenium.

Candle light, (pre-ca 1900)
Darkness fun & games, (pre-ca 1900)
Flashlights, (ca 1900)
Electricity, (1900s)

And so we have it.  We, as a family, still require the 1900s non-technology to get through an evening.

And you know what?

I love the candelabra in the living room.


Louise Plummer said...

My throat closes at the thought of scented candles. Other than that, bring them on by the boatload.

(The other thing that makes my throat close is gift shops where the smell of potpourri knocks you down when you come through the door).

twebsterarmstrong said...

Louise, I no longer go to our Bed, Bath & Beyond store, or to our Pier 1 store - I get wheezy very quickly from the scenting overloads.

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