Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The True Value of an EngiNerd

Many, many years ago we lived in a lovely apartment with beautiful views or over an undeveloped valley and with 1200 square feet of living space. I worked nights and The Bearded One worked days. We lived in a part of the country where summer storms were both the norm and spectacular in one way or another.

One afternoon while I was home alone except for two black cats a storm came up. Before the sirens went off, announcing the severity of the weather system, I had noticed water spraying into the apartment from around the slider that opened to the deck. Being of sound mind, my first action was to move the stereo speakers away from the window and out of danger of being soaked. With the sirens still going off I grabbed both cats and a blanket and headed toward the entrance way under the stairs (and away from potential flying glass and as close to a basement as I could get). I was well clawed as I told my terrified kitties that I was just trying to keep them safe and it would all be over soon. They either didn’t listen, or didn’t believe me.

When the storm ended trees and power lines were down all over our part of the state. For 5 days. Or was it 6? We managed to get enough ice into our cooler that we could keep most of our food safe, but I do remember one meal that consisted of everything from the freezer cooked over the charcoal grill.

Living by candle light can be romantic when it is done for the right reasons and for one evening, but we quickly graduated to getting out the camping lantern and the Coleman Stove so that there was light to read by and a way to heat water for coffee. Finally on day 4 The Bearded One had enough. He brought in a car battery and hooked it up to one pole lamp. WE HAD LIGHT! It was a large capacity battery and had a full charge. I was enjoying the light of one electric lamp but lamented that I was missing the Friday night baseball game. Within a few minutes a small black and white TV set was also attached to the battery….

Our upstairs neighbor was a divorced father of two who happened to have both children with him that electricity free weekend. There was a knock on our apartment door and when The Bearded One answered it, our caller was that neighbor. He was there to prove to his number one child that “There wasn’t any TV at The Bearded One’s apartment either…” HAH!

Number one child to father: "Dad, I KNEW the "The Bearded One" would have TV!"

There is something to be said for being married to a living, breathing episode of “How Things Work”.

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