I was in the orchard brushing out our Great Pyrenees, Sydney, when the power went out. Covered in dog hair and in desperate need of a shower, the sun was setting, and I had yet to make dinner. I put down the brush and stood to shake off the hair. Normally I would have marveled at the sunset, but I was hungry and was in no mood to feel around in the dark for something to eat.
I peeled off my clothes in the greenhouse and found Ron at the dining room table changing the batteries in our flashlights. When he finished, he called a friend at the Columbus Electric Co-op. The news was bad. Power was out for miles and would be for hours. I grabbed a portable camping lantern and went to the kitchen.
Our kitchen stove is electric, so I piled chicken, veggies, and seasonings into a cast iron skillet, grabbed the lantern along with the comal and headed out to the greenhouse where I fired up the Camp Chef. While the fajitas sizzled, Ron made me a margarita. In the dark without music or the radio, I felt like I was back in Honduras where, years ago, I had managed to live quiet comfortably without electricity.
I sometimes complain about living so far out in the country. We must plan for everything including the unexpected. I keep a shopping list next to my computer, a month supply of toilet paper in the basement, and rely on my imagination when I run low on groceries. Ron has unwillingly become our electrician, mechanic, plumber, carpenter and all around handyman simply because there isn’t anyone to call within a hundred miles. But as I flipped tortillas, the pair of Great Horned owls who live in our pine trees called to each other, and I was reminded why I chose this lifestyle.
During dinner I admitted I had enjoyed cooking over an open flame and that it had brought back some wonderful memories. Ron said he didn’t mind the interruption either. Wrapped in a cocoon of quiet darkness, we talked about building a fire pit in the clearing out in the orchard.