A day without electricity

There was no Internet. There was no Sunday afternoon opening weekend NFL football. There was no lazy Sunday morning breakfast.
There was no “Sunday Morning” television and CBC was absent from the airwaves. My cellphone became intermittent and our land lines at the lake were silent.
We almost were pulled back into the 19th century.
Across the district, gassing up your car was almost impossible. The traffic control lights throughout the community went black. Stores that normally open on Sundays gave their staff a day off. The streets were almost deserted.
It was a day of leisure.
A day without electricity was a day to visit friends. A day without electricity was a day to read that novel that has been sitting on the kitchen counter for months. A day without electricity was a day to go fishing.
At the lake, where we now are addicted to electricity, our neighbours who use propane chuckled at our discomfort. Their water tanks were filled and gravity filled the hot water tanks. Their propane gas stoves baked up fresh blueberry muffins.
We ditched our wood cooking stove two decades ago, along with a propane stove.
Our friends from LaCrosse, who reside across the island, were unaware of the pending power outage set for Sunday until we informed them Saturday night. As with us, they chose to have the coffee ground and coffee-makers filled with water so early Sunday morning they could at least have hot coffee.
My sister rose early at the cabin and made a casserole breakfast for everyone to enjoy. And no sooner was it out of the oven than sharply at 8 a.m., the lights went out in the cabin.
A wiener roast might have been in the offering for Sunday.
Here at the newspaper, realizing that the power was scheduled to be out for eight hours (long past the capacity of our electrical back-up), all of our computers had been turned off.
It is always a frightening procedure—having previously experienced a computer refusing to start again.
The high-pitched hum of the blowing fans disappeared from the building. The building was silent again.
In simpler times, the typewriters would have worked. Receipts could be hand-written. But today, everything is written, or photographed, or moved electronically.
We arrived home Sunday evening. All the clocks greeted us, blinking furiously, telling us the power had been off. They had to be reset.
Following the return of power in the afternoon, everything had to be restarted at the newspaper, too. There is an order to starting up the computers so that they can talk to each other.
We start with the servers. When they are up, the computers that talk and automatically relay information between the servers are started. Then the production equipment is started.
Starting something out of order, or failing to start a computer, may result in having to restart the whole procedure again.
We cross our fingers. We wait while each unit comes up. As expected, the wire service with eight hours of news was lost.
Fortunately, it was a good day and everything came back on line. After an hour, everyone could begin working.
In simpler times, when the power came back on, everyone could begin work immediately.

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