The power in my building went out late this morning while I was eating my breakfast cereal and idly browsing the internets. The inventory of affected appliances and utilities is different than the list of things affected by a power outage when I was a kid.
The new laptop switched to battery power as soon as the lights and the radio flickered out; and because the phone line is unaffected, I still have internet access. (Six months ago, my desktop computer would’ve gone down when the power went out. But it probably would’ve crashed even if the power was on.) I say that the phone line is unaffected (as it would have been when I was little) but the cordless phone doesn’t work because its base relies on house power. The cell phone would be a backup, but it doesn’t get service inside the apartment, and besides, it’s battery hasn’t been holding a charge for the last few days. The heat is still on — my building is heated by a gas furnace. The electric heating system would’ve gone out when I was a kid. The water heater is also gas powered, so I was able to shower. Back in Eastern Washington, that would have been a cold shower. When I was little and the power went out for more than a few hours, the water pressure would have eventually slowed to a trickle because the pump on the community well would have lost power. (Am I remembering that right, Mom? I may be thinking of when the pipes froze.)
The kicker is, that I have an electric stove and I can’t boil water for tea. As with the phone, I would have been less affected by this in Grandview. We had the same dependency on electricity for the stove, but I didn’t have the dependency on caffeine.
Update: I went over to Vivace for tea, and when I came home a few hours later, the lights were on and so was the stove. I guess I had put the kettle on. The kettle was bone dry and the cap had melted and sealed over the spout. Hurray for not starting fires!