Friday, November 02, 2012

Hurricane Sandy and 81 interesting hours of living without electric.

Well it is all over for me, but not for many. As I write this much of New York City is plunged in darkness.  For me I found myself stranded with not much to do and so I tried to be creative and find ways to entertain and enjoy myself in the dark.  I had no idea how long it would last or that since there was a gas shortage no one could pick me up. So the first order of business when the Hurricane struck the winds were quite strong. I had removed much of my stained glass windows and put tape on the windows just in case there was something flying through the air.  I have often said in this blog that I like candles and I often like to light my library with them. Well in this case was well supplied. I had 40 candles on hand and 10 different fixtures to put then in. The power went early and I was thinking it would be a short interruption.  I set up candles all around and had matches here and there.  I have a old whale oil lamp from the 19th century and decided to use that as well.  It did not work too well, but for a short while I got to experience what that lamp was like in use.  For entertainment I read 5 books and listened to a wide selection of early recordings on a Victrola.

Here I lit a candle opera and read by this
 The early whale oil lamp in its short stint as a light

Just a slight glimmer of light comes from one room lit by candles

This was my rule for the next 3 days outside of cooking a lot of what was in the refrigerator so I did not need to throw everything out. Cooking by candle light is a unique experience as it is not easy to see and see where you put things.  Since there was no heat or hot water I boiled it for bathing needs. It was an escape to the 19th or early 20th century.  I like that era, but I was very glad to leave it too.

By the time I had reached 75 hours of this I was really starting to get tired of ordinary lighting and tried experimenting a little...I made some brighter lights of the candles by using aluminum foil ..In fact in one case I made a spot light using 3 tea candles .. Obviously I was tired and bored..   I like candles but I am not one to trust having them lit and not be monitoring the situation.  So I needed some light to get around and also needed to be totally I slept with one eye open.  Now that power has been returned within a few hours of this writing I will sleep now like a rock once this is done. It is nice to be back in the 21st century.

These methods add much to your lighting if you need to have candles due to a power outage.

My three candlepower spotlight with just one candle light at the time.  It worked very well.

So now I will sleep and rest well knowing that there is electric once again running through the house. I remember how it happened at 2:40 this morning.....I was listening to a  1902 record of Silas Leachman  singing as the lights came on...After 81 hours I let out a yelp of joy and laughed and blew out the candles....  Now it is all history.. Sandy goes into the record books and into the memories of many people like myself. My thoughts and wishes go to all who are still out of power.    Good Night..or should I say  Good Morning.