I was driving home yesterday around 5:30 when the traffic light I was approaching went out. At first I thought the sunlight was over powering the intensity of the light.  When I got to the intersection I quickly realized that everyone was treating it as a four way stop.  I drove on for about a mile to a larger intersection, same thing there, but there seemed to be more confusion.  I thought that I needed to get home before I get caught in the potential traffic jam.  When I pulled into my driveway the garage door would not go up when I hit the button on the remote. 

My “emergency mode” kicked in, I first started to mentally layout what may need to be done.  Get the generator moved to the back of the house, kill the main breakers on the utility power entering the house, wire up the cabling I made up years ago for hurricane threats.  I pulled the generator out of its storage spot, and moved it to the driveway. My son Will carried the cabling to the back of the house while I looked over the generator before start up.  Oil was good, fuel was good, now to open the fuel valve that feeds the carburetor, and it broke.  That’s ok, I can move the valve by tapping on it, dang it, the valve broke away from the tank and now gasoline is spilling all over the engine.  I moved the generator away from the house and garage and started to siphon the fuel out of the tank into a fuel can.

Will tells me that supper is ready. Since we have a gas stove Jennifer was able to finish making supper.  Instead of worrying about the generator and trying to get power back on in the house, I brought out several lawn chairs onto the driveway to eat supper.  Jennifer and Allison joined me since the inside of the house was dark and getting warm.  We had a nice breeze to enjoy while we sat there and talked.

Then I realized that something magical was happening; neighbors were outside, kids were playing in their yards and riding bikes in the streets.  People were talking with each other and introducing themselves to their neighbors.   We had a neighbor stop by to talk with us that I had never met.  He has been living near us for many years and I recognized him as someone I wave to as he drove past. People were actually socializing without social networks.  What a novel idea!!

Later, Jennifer and the kids went over to my parent’s house since they have a whole house generator that is able to run the air conditioner.  I stayed home and enjoyed the warm house. (I hate cold, even air conditioning cold).  I read a book by flashlight in bed when I would normally watch Johnny Carson on Antenna TV channel.   About an hour or so after I turned off the flashlight, the power came back on.  I must admit, there was a little sadness when I realized the ‘normal’ ways of living with technology showed up again.