Ad Spot

April 21, 2021

Sharon Randall: What do you do in the dark?

Writer

Sharon Randall can be reached at P.O. Box 416, Pacific Grove, CA 93950 or on her website: www.sharonrandall.com.

What do you do if the power goes off? Me? I don’t do much.

My husband was working, playing his bass in a band at a party for people we didn’t know.

I stayed home to write a column. But first I washed my hair. Clean hair helps me think. So I washed and dried and de-frizzed it with a flat iron hot enough to split an atom.

When I sat down to start writing, I realized it was 6 p.m., time for Game 3 of the NBA Western Conference Finals with the Portland Trailblazers, a team I admire, and the Golden State Warriors, the team I love.

My husband, also a diehard Warrior fan, sets games to record if he won’t be home.

Did he remember to record it?

To check, I turned on the TV and tried changing channels.

Here’s a confession. I barely know how to work our TV. I’m not proud of it, but there it is. I seldom watch it without my husband, and if he’s home, the remote is glued to his hand. But surely I could set it to record the game. How hard could it be?

So I started fiddling with the remote, switching channels back and forth and getting nowhere.

Then a funny thing happened. Everything quit. The TV. The remote. The wi-fi. Even the lamp. What did I do wrong?

Wait. The lamp? I tried some other lights. Nothing worked. Hah! The power was off!

I was so relieved to think I didn’t break the TV I did a little victory dance. But why did the power shut off while I was fooling with the remote? Did I maybe, like, overload a circuit?

We had recently moved to a new place. I could barely find the bathroom, let alone the circuit breaker thingamajig. Even if I found it, could I fix it without risking electrocution or setting my hair on fire?

It was getting dark and raining hard. My phone was nearly dead. The nearest neighbor wasn’t near. And we didn’t have a land line because my husband had insisted we’d never need it.

So I called him on my nearly dead phone. To my surprise, he answered. The band was on a break. I heard laughter. Folks were having a good time.

“Our power’s out,” I said, “and my phone is almost dead and I thought you ought to know in case you want to call me.”

He didn’t want to call. He just wanted to play his bass. No surprise there. I knew he was a musician when I married him.

He told me he’d gotten a text from the power company saying our power would be off until 10 p.m., about the time he’d get home. His big concern was if the TV was recording the game. He was also concerned for me, of course. He’d have said so, no doubt, if my phone hadn’t died.

Suddenly, my survival instinct kicked in. I found candles, but no matches. A big sweater and fuzzy socks. And a flashlight that worked, hallelujah, so I could maybe find the bathroom.

What would I eat? We had half a loaf of banana bread. And a stick of butter. I wouldn’t starve.

And what exactly would I do for four hours in the dark? I looked at my laptop. The battery was charged, good to go. So I decided to write this column.

But first, I took a few moments to sit alone in a dark house, listening to rain and watching a neon sunset light up the clouds.

I thought about my sister, who lost power for five days in a blizzard and didn’t miss heat as much as she missed her TV.

And about my brother, who is blind and has lived his life in the dark, bearing every burden by turning his face to the light.

Somehow I didn’t feel alone any more. And I began to write.

Our power finally came back on. My husband got home early. The TV recorded the game and we watched it. The Warriors won. My hair was clean. And the column was almost finished.

When life seems hard, it helps to count our blessings, knowing it could always be harder, and that for some, it’s never easy.

Sharon Randall can be reached at P.O. Box 416, Pacific Grove CA 93950.

Comments

Business

With remote expansion, outsource provider FCR looks to become an ‘exceptional part’ of Rowan community

Local

City expects $1.5 million surplus in current budget, ability to raise some wages for police, public works

Education

Enochville Elementary to host farewell event May 1

High School

High school softball: Carson beats West in a wild one

College

Seahawks QB Russell Wilson will speak at NC State graduation

High School

Wonders, Trojans facing off Monday on Cannon Ballers’ field

Local

City approves two apartment developments, more than 160 new units

Nation/World

Crowds react with joy, wariness to verdict in Floyd’s death

News

Bill seeks to end pistol purchase permits from NC sheriffs

Coronavirus

Rowan County sees 300th death attributed to COVID-19

News

Chauvin convicted on all counts in George Floyd’s death

Local

Top North Carolina House finance chair, Rowan representative stripped of position

Crime

One charged, another hospitalized in fight between cousins

Local

Bell Tower Green renamed to honor Stanbacks; Nancy Stanback receives key to city

Business

Commissioners green light additional houses at Cherry Treesort in China Grove

Education

A.L. Brown will hold in-person, outdoor graduation

Local

Granite Quarry awards FEMA contract for Granite Lake Park

Local

City to vote on apartment developments, final phases of Grants Creek Greenway project

High School

High school football: North receiver McArthur a rising star

Columnists

Carl Blankenship: Pollen and prejudice make their return

News

Harris pitches $2.3T spending plan on trip to North Carolina

Nation/World

Murder case against ex-cop in Floyd’s death goes to the jury

Crime

Sheriff’s office: Man takes deputies on chase with stolen moped

Coronavirus

Afternoon, evening COVID-19 vaccination clinic planned Thursday