There were only 20,000 words to meet my deadline and I'd grounded myself from all the sparkly distractions that slow me down. I was running for the homestretch. Focused. Phone muted. Friends likely fraping all over my Facebook, it didn't matter, I was in The Zone. Ignore that doorbell. Ignore the chime of new e-mail and BAM. The electricity went down. On a perfectly beautiful November day. Squirrels. They're a menace. Why is it that when the electricity is off it surprises you at every turn? You know it's true - you walk into rooms and still hit the light switch - dang. How often have you pulled open the microwave and went, "Oh, yeah, this doesn't work either without power"? It was down long enough to use up both laptop batteries and then for about eight hours more. Enough time to read both of Ruthy's engrossing new books, which was the sterling silver lining. Unfairly they took her quite a bit longer to write than for me to devour on the sofa with a flashlight; while intermittently dialing the power company to listen to the latest updated squirrel damage report (with its continually moving estimate for power restoration).
Eventually the flashlights died and I learned that matches have a shelf life (who knew?) so without even a candle to read or write by, there was nothing left to do but to go in search of adventure. It took awhile, and some serious talking to myself but I finally figured out how to make the garage door go up without electricity (yes, that took me by surprise too when I walked into the garage and hit the button. DANG!). Then it involved a ladder in the dark, and a hammer and one shoelace, but I escaped. Drove past the power company trucks and when I rolled down the window to ask they just shouted at me, "SQUIRRELS!" I could feel their pain, I'm sure they had better weekend plans themselves. This wasn't the first time I've had my train of thought derailed by sparkly squirrels, but let me point out that there were survivors, I'm just not certain - exactly - where they are.