neyronrose (neyronrose) wrote,

and then the lights went out

So I made my LJ entry for the day, and settled down on the couch to read for a bit, and put the heating pad on my ankle.  In my explorations of the buried (under clutter) treasures of the living room, I'd found Millie-Christine: Fearfully and Wonderfully Made. The front cover blurb is: "The remarkable journeys of Siamese twins from slavery to the courts of Europe."  The book is by Joanne Martell, and it's quite an interesting one.  Mom was reading her book down in the family room.  The lights flickered, and again, and again, in brownouts.  I started thinking about turning the computer off.  Then it went from brownouts to a blackout.  We sat in the dark for a moment, then I got off the couch and started edging my way through the living room.  Mom's voice came: "Can you find the little flashlights in your purse?"  I'd just used them about an hour previous to illuminate our path from driveway to house, so she was well aware I had them on my keyrings.

"I'm heading that way," I called back.  I felt my way along, and found my purse, and my keyrings.  I turned on the flashlights and headed to the kitchen.  When Mom saw the light in the kitchen, she came up to meet me there.  Mom and I headed to the dining room, where a good part of my candle collection had ended up -- at least, several of the pillar candles, with their candleholders.  I found a couple of them and brought them to the kitchen table, we got the box of matches, and lit them.  Dad had found a flashlight upstairs and headed down to find us doing well enough.  I found a few more pillar candles, and a couple in big glass jars.

I knew there was one of my pillar candles, a pink rose-scented one, on one of the endtables by my couch-bed, suggesting some of the times in summer that the lights had gone out during thunderstorms, and perhaps even hearkening back to our fears of power going out in a blizzard this past winter.  I lit that and put it back in its place.  I lit another from the ones I'd found and put it on the vanity in the bathroom.  Mom lit the biggest pillar candle she found in the upstairs bathroom, but soon switched it out for one of the ones in a big glass jar.  The pillar candle upstairs wasn't on a candleholder, and I was surprised she'd light it like that.  I agreed that the one in a jar was probably safer.  I found the red one, also rose-scented and on a tall ram's-head holder, and put that on the kitchen table, too.

At some point, Mom had headed upstairs with Dad.  I asked if the power outage was just us.  "Your mother is calling PECO (Philadelphia Electric Company).  "But look out the window."  I did.  The neighborhood looked dark.  Mom found out that it wasn't just us, that it was 4800 people.

After finding a good number of big candles, I went for my glow sticks.  I hung one at the head of the stairs going down towards the bathroom.  I put one on the endtable by the couch.  I put one on a lanyard around my neck.  Mom came down with Dad's flashlight, to take her pills.  She wanted me to go up with her, carrying the flashlight, while she took her glass of water upstairs.  I explored in my room with my keychain flashlight.  I found several votives in holders, and brought a couple down.  I found my big flashlight by my bed, and brought that down, too.  Eventually I broke out a fairy wand, figuring I could use that to light my way up the stairs if I went up again. 

So, though we didn't have enough light to read by, we had enough light to see our way through the house.  Mom and Dad had taken out the furnace filters to wash them that day, and Dad had only just put them back in a little bit before the power went out.  I kept my sweatpants on.  I put on a flannel nightgown, then the heaviest sweatshirt I had downstairs, the Stonewall Inn one, and got under my blankets.  It got colder.  I got ready for a long, cold night, and possibly a couple of long, cold days in the house.  It's supposed to drop into the twenties tomorrow, and stay that way for a week.

A couple of hours later, the lights came back on.  We were cautiously relieved.  The heat went on, and I fervently hoped it would stay on long enough to warm up the house a little.  We went around blowing out candles.  A few minutes later, the lights flickered in a brownout.  Mom moaned.  I decided to keep the candles and flashlights where they were rather than putting them away too quickly.  The lights stayed on after that flicker.  "You can't turn the glow sticks out after you light them, can you?"  Mom asked.

"Nope.  They just last the night.  It was worth it."  My fairy wand found a more practical use than I'd intended, but I have no regrets about using the glow sticks.  They're safer to walk with than candles, for one thing.

In my same hunt for buried treasure in the living room the other day, I found a pretty large Pier One bag filled with candles: several pillar ones, over a dozen votives, and probably four or five dozen tea lights.  A lot of them were from Pier One, but not all.  Most of the votives and some of the tea lights were from various other places.

I remembered that a few years ago I'd found that Pier One was having a big sale on candles, and went back several times as I had the money.  I'd had quite the candle shopping spree those couple of months, and there they were four or five years later.  At least I had something to show for those particular shopping expeditions.

I remembered that I'd given away quite a few candles for Christmas that year, or Winter Solstice, or Yule, whichever ones respectively my friends at the time celebrated.  I know several of my relatives got candles that year.  I'm sure everyone got good use out of the ones they got.  My Goth friends got black candles, which made them very happy.  Some people got pure beeswax ones, and some picked out scented ones they liked, as I must have had seven or nine or so different fragrance types to choose from.  Although I've mended my ways from those days, with some help, the shopping sprees were fun at the time.

Well, it's colder again, as the heat goes down to 64 after midnight.  I'll try to get some sleep after the adventures of this evening.  I'm tired, but too keyed up to be sleepy.  I know we have enough independent sources of light to last us for several nights if needed.  It's the heat that I worry about.  I'm very glad that's back on.

Tags: collections

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