Last night, a storm knocked out our power for several hours. Sure it's annoying. Sure it was supposed to get down to below freezing last night. But I was happy. You know why? KNOW WHY? Because for the first time since the beginning of Sucktember, I was able to sit back, breathe a sigh of relief and wait for someone else to fix it without requiring any additional money out of my pocketbook or any effort on my part whatsoever. It was heavenly thinking about that while we were all curled up in our snuggies.

When we first moved to this neighborhood after living on a military base where the power went out if someone sneezed, we were amazed at how seldom we lost power. Even in the worst of storms, the lights might flicker a few times to try and fake us out, but ultimately they would glow steadfastly on. But last night while we were talking with a neighbor, we all realized that in the last three years, we've had the power knocked out more times than in the prior ten put together. I guess you have to work hard in order to have the distinction of providing the worst service in the nation.

When the power does go out these days, The Dormouse uses it as a chance to experience what life was like back in Laura Ingalls Wilder's day. She's been working her way through the Little House books (is currently in the middle of book three) and feels she has a pretty good picture in her mind of what life was like on the prairie, so she gets a kick out of reading by candlelight, and living "just like Laura" when we have to rough it for a few hours. I don't have the heart to remind her that Laura would have been required to bundle up and head outside during the storm to feed and secure the livestock and Pa probably didn't just hop in the Subaru and stop by Wendy's for dinner when the microwave stopped working. Some things are better left unsaid.

After the first couple of hours when she had tired of trying to read her book with a tiny orange flashlight clipped to her ear, she came back upstairs to where our neighbor had joined us and we were chatting in our candlelit living room just in time to hear me say,

"I feel like we should get out a deck of cards or something and play a game."

The Dormouse *who was waaay too excited to hear me say this*: "Oooo! Oooo! Yeah! We could play that don't let the marbles drop game." (Yes, yes, we know the official Mattel name is Kerplunk; that's not what we call it in our house.)

The KingofHearts: "I was thinking of something a little bit more adult, honey."

Dormouse: "Like Operation?"