I was napping. It was raining… and the power was out. The power had been out for some time already. Joe Courter knocked at the door and I thought he’d said he was going to sit in my patio–which isn’t a proper patio at all, it’s some lawn furniture under the exposed hallway that stretches from my room out at the edge of the woods to the rest of the house. It’s quite lovely, as something as simple as going to the kitchen for more water is an adventure like camping because, though there is an overhang, the hallway isn’t so much exposed as outdoors. Some nights I am greeted by choruses of frogs from the lake, other nights owls from the trees.
I got up and was surprised to find Joe sitting on my patio, I guess that part of me that was awake enough to hear him calling in from out my door hadn’t worked out that his announcement that he was going to be sitting on my patio meant he would be sitting on my patio in one of my green chairs. I sat with him and tried not to complain about how long the power had been out. It was dinner time and I was hoping to use the toaster oven. “Well,” I announced, getting up, “I’m making a turkey sandwich.” When I got to the kitchen I leaned out and asked if he wanted one. He did, I told him to sit tight, relax, I’d take care of it. I’m a tad old fashioned, and as unpopular as it may be, I enjoy cooking for the men in my life. To round out the orgy of self-realized sexist cliches… I was of course… barefoot.
But the power was out, which meant I had to get in and out of the fridge in one quick swoop… wheat bread, smoked turkey, pepper cheese, mayo, green pepper, spinach, onion, tomato, and no doubt a few things I had forgotten. I grilled the meat, peppers and onions under cheese, then put mayo, tomato, and spinach on the sandwich, cutting it attractively in that angular manner that always seemed a little uppity in the house where I grew up. A few sea salt and vinegar chips, and a small bowl of pineapple for desert. I have to say the sandwiches turned out fab, and as it turned out, thanks to the power outage, we were now sitting together and enjoying dinner on my patio. Something about the combination of melted pepper cheese over smoked turkey breast always excites me once I start eating it. It tasted even better out there overlooking the lake and listening to all the wildlife.
Finished, Joe suggested we go out on the lake in the kayaks, after all, there was no power, so there was no TV, no Facebook, no needless checks in on email. It sounded like a great idea.
It was perfect out on the lake, cooler by far than it has been, the moisture in the air was cooling rather than suffocating. As we paddled along we marveled at the mist hovering over the water along the shore like you might see in a photography print at an art fair. The lake was hot, hotter than the air, perhaps even hotter than my body temperature, and shallow too, it hasn’t rained much this year. I laid down in the boat to take a nap, or at least to rest.
A few moments into it and I realized that I hadn’t felt that relaxed in weeks! All that tension I had been carrying around was dissipating into the mist, hovering away, or vanishing into the air. Soon the distant traffic noises caught my ear. Seemingly they were a lot louder closer to the surface of the water, as I hadn’t noticed them when I was sitting up. Just as the sound was about to spoil it for me I smiled and felt thankful that I wasn’t out there on the road in some car going to pick up something as essential and unromantic as undergarments. Yes, things were good. We’d had a lovely meal, and now I was floating around on a lake realizing that there was nowhere I’d rather have been… especially in my room on my computer looking at nonsense on the internet. Maybe power outages aren’t all that bad after all. Well, this one wasn’t.
A lovely sketch, and you are absolutely right as regards the evils of the Internet – the eternal dilemma being, of course, that I (or anyone else interested) would never have read it without the Internet…
Yeah… I think it’s really more about realizing that being outside on a lake and eating good food with friends should should always be the priority, not the back-up plan. I write these things to remind myself as much as anything.