What Happens When the Power Goes Out?

by Martha Hoch

I am past 80 years old, visually and hearing impaired.  Fortunately, my vision has been on a plateau for a number of years and my loss has not gotten worse.  I can still see a crack in the sidewalk and a vein in a leaf.  I cannot read handwriting, menus or road signs.  I am very careful about many things, and I no longer cross the street by myself.
I have an alert button which I can use to signal for help.  If I am alone, I put the button around my neck.  I cannot use a cell phone, as I cannot read the numbers well enough to be accurate in dialing.  I cannot hear a person on a cell phone well enough to converse.  I do have a portable phone which I keep near me when I'm sitting in the living room.
Some years ago, I received an electric garage door closer as a gift.  There is a button near the kitchen door, and outside there is a box which requires code entry to open the door if needed, such as a fireman or policeman.  I could transmit this number by my portable phone.
One afternoon, the power went out.  My daughter would not be home for a couple more hours.  What was I going to do?
I decided to go to the garage and check on the supplies in the extra pantry.  I did pick up a pad and marker to note anything we might need to get from the grocery store.  I opened the kitchen door leading to the garage and stepped out onto the landing.  Without thinking, I closed the door only to realize, too late, that it was locked.  I was locked in the garage.  There was no real emergency.  My daughter would be home soon.  I was not ill, nor was it storming, so I kept my cool.  I opened the cabinet and looked at the supplies on hand.  I made a number of notes about what to pick up from the store.  To my surprise, I saw a package of cookies.
If I got hungry, I could have a snack.  Along with the cookies there were some bottles of tomato juice and soft drinks, but I didn't have any way to open the drinks.
I walked around the garage for a while, then finally sat down on the top step at the kitchen door.  My watch seemed to have stopped.  No, time just goes by slowly when you're in a situation such as this.
In our garage there is a cabinet that had been there for years.  It contains a mixture of old things from the house.  I had to move several things stacked in front of it before I could even get a door open.  Once I opened the door, I seemed to be looking at treasures from another time.  I saw football glasses, glassware, and broken garden tools.  I spent a little time reminiscing about the items.  I finally closed the door again, and put all the junk back in front of it as close to the way it was as I could remember.  I sat down on the top step again, and looked at my watch.  By now, an hour had passed since I had shut the kitchen door behind me, locking myself in the garage.
Because there was nothing else I could think of to do, I decided to have one cookie.  Only one, because I didn't want to get thirsty.  So I sat there and ate a cookie.  It tasted so good that I ate another one.  I was munching on the second cookie when I heard a car.  I hurried over to the door and yelled that the power was off.  "Go through the living room door."  I prayed she had her key.
Soon I heard the welcome sound of a lock turning.  I turned around to see my daughter looking at me.  I just said, "Have a cookie?"