Friday, November 13, 2009


There are days that challenge us. For me, this is one of them.

I’d stayed up late last night, cramming in a nighttime writing session after having to halt my productive late afternoon write to meet up with some friends I haven’t seen since I began my road trip back in August. Dinner became one of those lovely drawn out occasions, followed by another meeting fifteen minutes down the road at Starbucks. (In some respects, I was relieved to know that the franchise closes at 9 p.m. in sleepy Gibsons, giving me time to head home with enough caffeine-infused energy to finish my day’s quota of writing.) I didn’t start reading the morning paper until after midnight.

I awoke to the blare of a ferry horn, a dog barking and a blast of broad daylight. The sun, which had packed up and gone for a weeklong exclusive European tour, was back. Welcome, for sure, but not as my morning greeting. I usually get up to see the dawn and get cracking with my daily regimen. I glanced at my alarm clock. It was still sleeping, lights out.

Power outage season had arrived! (It’s called winter in the rest of Canada.) Anytime the winds pick up, there’s a risk of losing power in my rural community. The ferry’s cry told me it was already 8:30. I scrambled to get up, walk the dogs, shower and dress, ever hopeful that the power would be restored at any minute.

Nothing doing. The pot of coffee, such an integral part of my start, sat idle. I considered using a pen and my writing journal to begin my work for the day, but I realized I have now switched to using the laptop exclusively—apart from a few urgent brainstorming sessions. And, unfortunately, my laptop battery has the juice to keeps things cranked for a paltry two minutes max when not plugged in (to a working outlet).

I headed into town. The first coffee shop was packed and, worse, the outlets were already taken by other laptop dependent, power outage survivors. I headed for Lower Gibsons, the quainter, quieter part of town, and lucked upon a table with an outlet at my favorite café in that area. The cup of coffee did not fully supplant the pot of coffee (which, rest assured, is a 40/60 blend of caf/decaf), but it activated enough of my brain to begin the day’s writing.

Already off to a late start, I had to interrupt things for a vet appointment and my midday swim workout. I dashed home, relieved to find the power restored. I booted up the laptop and heated up a can of soup for a quick lunch. Just before resuming writing, I opened the refrigerator to grab a drink. The light in the fridge was out. Power outage #2. (I hadn’t noticed the faint whistling of the trees.) I reported the outage to B.C. Hydro and was given an estimated three-hour window for the power to come back on.

So here I am writing away at the library in town. I have been inconvenienced today, but I have trudged on! Sometimes all the real power you need is the power within.

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