I woke up at 4 A.M. with the carbon monoxide detecter going off. Not because we were in danger of dying, but because there was a severe brown-out. Lights were at about one tenth of their normal brightness. It was driving me crazy because everybody knows how hard that can be on electric appliances, televisions, and so forth. Cliff suggested I throw the main breaker, which solved that problem. At our house, anyhow. Sister-in-law next door is working nights at present, so our old house was still experiencing the problem. Not to mention the pump in our well.
I called Kansas City Power and Light to report my problem to an automated program. I called again to give them Cliff's sister's number as well.
With no water and no electricity, going back to bed seemed like the wisest option; I'd stay warm a lot longer there. Unfortunately, I couldn't possibly go to sleep because I was busy worrying; Cliff was doing the same, beside me. The granddaughters had spent the night, and the house was getting steadily colder. I got up, roused both of them to tell them if they woke up cold to let us know and Cliff would take them home. Later when they got up, neither of them remembered my being in their rooms in the wee hours of the morning.
They awoke at eight, and I got Cliff out of bed so he could take them to their warm house. About that time, he noticed a faucet dripping in the sink and said, "I think the power's back on; otherwise there wouldn't be water coming out."
I turned on the main breaker and sure enough, we were in business.
At one point, right after I got out of bed, I stepped outside in order to see which neighbors' dusk-to-dawn lights were still operating; misery loves company, you know. The sun was just starting to come up; the temperature was about eighteen degrees. A flock of geese flew straight out of the sunrise, as it were, honking in unison. I wish I could have somehow captured that moment, but I doubt my camera would have done it justice; you just had to be there. I did take some pictures after the geese were long gone. Click on them to see them larger.
Just imagine a couple of big "V's" of geese flying out of the left side of that picture where there's the most light. It was magical.
After awhile, though, I peeked outside in hopes of seeing a KCPL truck coming to save us.
I pulled out the old camper coffeepot, thanked God that we have a propane kitchen range, and made coffee with the little bit of water I'd managed to milk from the lines as the pump went idle. I turned on a couple of burners for heat, got out the portable battery-operated radio I used to keep at the cabin, and listened to an all-request country music call-in show on KMZU playing wonderful oldies.
It wasn't really such a bad morning, even if I did have both pajamas and sweats on, inside my Carhartts.