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?"