Monday, March 15, 2010

Church in the Dark--Sunday's Inconvenience

Saturday we got more snow.  Seriously.  I'm all snowed out this year.  I don't know if it was the snow or because of daylight saving time or maybe that it was the morning after closing night of the community theater play or maybe none of the above were to blame, but when sweet husband's phone alarm went off Sunday morning and I looked at my clock, nothing looked back at me.  The power was out.  On a Sunday morning.  I know what you're thinking--a day off!  But this was no ordinary Sunday.  For my LDS readers, this was Stake Conference Sunday.  For everyone else, twice a year a group of 4-5 LDS congregations near each other meets together and hears from the area leadership.  Yesterday was that day, and we were expecting the stake leadership to go through some changes.  It also means there are extra meetings.  Hubby had to be to the 7-9 am meeting and I had to be at the 9:15-10:15 meeting, then the whole family at the 11:00 meeting.  He looked down the road and there were street lights on, so he thought maybe the church had power, so he showered in the dark and got himself to his meeting.  Well, the church didn't have power.  It was dark.  They lit up the pulpit with battery powered lanterns as well as they could and people used flashlights to read the music.  It was also cold.  No reason to take your coat off when you got there.

Meanwhile, I was back home, getting out of bed and getting ready.  Thankfully, it wasn't dark anymore.  I laughed at our situation.  Generally when I've thought of an "emergency" I wasn't thinking I'd be trying to look nice and go to church.  I washed my hair real quick, knowing I wouldn't have a blow dryer and then set to work heating water for hot cocoa and getting some oatmeal cooked for the kids.  Our stove is gas, so it still works when the power is out, we just have to use a match to get it lit.  That saved me having to go out to the shed and get the camp stove.  By the time I was dressed and ready to go, my hair had partly dried, so I was able to use the propane curling iron (I've been corrected by my mom--it's butane, not propane) on some of it.  It's not the best, but works in a pinch.

The "emergency" was minor--more inconvenient than life stopping.  I'd just never considered being too concerned about how I looked in any kind of emergency. :)
After his meeting, sweet husband came home and picked me up and took me to my meeting.  The power was still out, so we held that meeting in the dark also.  Church in the dark is quite a memorable experience.  I sat next to a friend of mine (our scout leader) and shared my flashlight.  Yeah, you know the scout motto, "be prepared".  He laughed and reminded me that this is the second time I've saved him with my flashlight--the first time his car battery had died at night and he didn't have jumper cables or a light and I had both, so we got him fixed up and back on the road.  And he's the scout leader.  Hilarious.

Anyway, after that meeting there was a little break before the general meeting started, so I sat down and saved a space for my family.  This is usually quite a large meeting.  We actually still had quite a good group considering the circumstances, although I heard of at least one who couldn't get out of their garage because the automatic doors wouldn't open.  Others likely assumed the meeting was canceled for the power outage or just chose to stay home.  The ushers used flashlights to show people to their seats.  Families had to find each other in the dark.  Interesting.  My family showed up with flashlights, headlamps, etc. plus blankets for the kids and a friend caught them on their way in and told them where I was sitting.

Then, just as the meeting was going to start, the power came back on and we could all see again.  Not that any of us ladies that got ready for church without power wanted to be seen much, but I really don't think people were judging. ;)


jimmycrackedcorn said...

Propane curling iron? Surely you jest?

Sondra said...

Great story and lesson. I guess I never thought of having to go to church without nice hair. I've never heard of a propane curling iron - wow! that is cool.

I love that you were prepared with flashlights and blankets. You are such a great example. I hope others were watching and thinking about being more prepared.

Momnerd said...

LOL, what a fun adventure! I want to go to church in the dark! As for me...the way I'm prepared is that I have hair ties to put my hair back and cold cereal and milk for breakfast. Yeah, I know, I'm cool like that.

TM Frugal Gourmet said...

Too funny. I don't "do" my hair. I brush it and go. I have long straight hair, so I can do anything with it :) The only reason I am not getting rid of my gas stove, is it still works when the power is out.
We had church with the power out a few years ago, they called around and told everyone to leave the kids home, we were having an emergency meeting instead of sacrament, because we had a major ice storm, and those of us able to make it to the meeting, turned out to get assignments on who to check up on and report back to the bishop. It was memorable. I am also VERY thankful for my wood stove insert. It does a great job of heating atleast half the house.

Leasmom said...

OMG, a propane curling iron? Where in the world did you get that? And thats too funny. I'm glad you still had gas because when the power goes out here we have no other choice but to break out with it all. At least you were prepared for the minor and major emrgencies.

Angela said...

Doesn't everyone have a propane curling iron? I got one when I was a teenager to take to camp and just last summer it broke, so my mom gave me one of hers (she found a few for sale somewhere and picked them up). Seriously unnecessary piece of survival gear, but it made me feel like I looked better anyway :)

And Sharla, there were lots of ponytails.

Liz said...

Not that there were a million and one lessons and parables in this experience. Wow. Parable of the ten virgins comes to mind first and foremost.

Great story. Do you mind if I share it in a talk at some point?

I, too, have a gas stove and it's an older one with manual ignition so I can use the oven part as well when the power is out. In fact, I usually have the desire to bake then just because I can!

Btw love the propane curling iron. That brings being prepared to a whole new level!

Angela said...

Okay, in talking with my mom, she said she thinks it is butane not propane. Fuel is obviously not my forte. :)

Jeannetta said...

Butane makes more sense, but still! Cool!
Never had Stake Conference in the dark-you all must be die hards :D We cancel here in Oregon for snow :D

Jill said...

I wish you could find a NEW gas stove that didn't have an electronic ignition. I've looked everywhere for one that you could use manually so it would work when the power was out. No luck.

Angela said...

Jill, mine has electronic ignition. I just don't turn the knob all the way to "light" when the power is out, but instead hold a match up as I turn it on and the gas starts coming out and it just lights by the match. My friend's has "light" at the start of the dial, but I think you could turn past it to just get the gas flowing without having to use the electric ignition.