Last night, Dearly Beloved and I had another Fireside Chat. We didn’t need it as we’d had a perfectly good one earlier in the day, but as we were enjoying a glass of wine (before the dinner I hadn’t yet prepared) the power went out. Something about the noise we heard as the lights flickered four times sounded ominous. It was the sound of a long goodbye–a transformer blowing–as in might as well pour yourself another glass of wine.
We are not good sports about power outages. There are far too many. A recorded voice on the hotline informed me that there were numerous outages in the area due to weather conditions and that it would be repaired by 10 PM.
The Duke Energy above-ground wiring syndrome struck again. We don’t remember our power ever going out during all the storms we experienced during our years in the midwest. Here, it’s more times than we care to recall. Trees and wires, especially in winter, don’t mix.
We turned on the gas fireplace and pulled out some old Christmas candles. Matches are hard to find around here and I tripped over Miss Piggy as I was looking for them. Miss Piggy takes “being underfoot” to an art form. She does not embrace a change of routine unless it involves food or a car ride. Lights out? She’d already had supper; it must be bedtime. She headed back to her bed in our room.
The candles and firelight weren’t bright enough to read, do puzzles, or knit by, so we had a fireside chat. We worked our way through an analysis of cable news which took about five seconds: shameful. We agreed that our favorite news commentary is the few minutes on Friday nights that Mark Shields and David Brooks discuss issues on PBS news hour. After them we’ll take Jon Stewart… and that says plenty about the state of television news.
That resolved, we moved on to Afghanistan.
Watching the President at the ceremonies this week–at Fort Hood, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and Arlington Cemetery–we were struck by how the man carries heavily the decision he must make about Afghanistan. Are there any possible solutions there? We don’t see one, but we are grateful for Obama’s thoughtful consideration. Dithering? Not on your life. Or someone else’s.
DB assumed prone position on the sofa. Might as well; dinner wasn’t going to happen. I couldn’t even manage a sandwich for us because we were out of bread. Lash me with a wet noodle; any good Southerner rushes out to get bread and milk at the first sign of bad weather. I need to assemble a box of emergency supplies.
DB invited me over to snuggle with him and even took the back cushions off the sofa so that I could get both butt cheeks beside him. Unfortunately, as I leaned over to lie down, a little flatulence (chili bean alert!) spoiled the moment. So embarrassing.
Yes. My bad. I pooted.
That’s not something we do around here and he was genuinely shocked, which sent me into a fit of nervous giggles. Only a couple of 12-year-olds could manage to make such a to-do over a bit of wind. ( It was not unprecedented, however. For THAT time, go here.)
So much for the snuggly moment. I gave up and returned to the loveseat. All the laughter was putting me at risk for further misfires.
DB, taking his cues from Miss Piggy, went back to bed, but I waited up until after 10, hoping that the power would be restored in order to cut the lights off before I went to bed. There is only so much contemplation a person can do alone by the fireside, however. My navel failed to hold my attention.
Finally, I had a banana and a glass of wine. Dinner. I don’t recommend it. Then I took my little candle back to the bedroom and went to bed.
I don’t count sheep; I analyze Miss Piggy’s snoring sounds. Garrison Keillor could use her sounds on his radio show. There’s the cow noise… the banshee…the squeaking inner-sanctum door, and the loudest… snow plow blade scraping the pavement. At one point, DB burst into snore song, too, and I lay there grinning, wishing I had a recorder handy because he, of course, does not snore. Or fart. Or cuss. Or make untidy messes.
That in no way is meant to make him sound prissy. Far from it. Mr. Jock is simply a man of strong will. Mr. Jock also never pushed out three big-headed babies.
Note to self: Add Beano to emergency kit. It’s romance we want in the air.