Thursday night – 7:15 pm – we’re cleaning up the kitchen from dinner and chatting about Brian’s girlfriend situation. A typical night at the Coffey household. and then… the power goes out! No big deal, we think at first – it will be back on in a few minutes. We do out best to finish our tasks in the dark, and the lights don’t come on. We look out the window and see that the whole neighborhood is dark. Time to find the flashlights. But it’s dark, and we don’t exactly remember where we put everything since we just barely moved in. Luckily Greg, the Pitta poster boy, has a flashlight (a “torch” in Australian) in his desk drawer, and he finds his way there easily. The other flashlights are in a drawer in the utility room closet. I find about 5 of them and carry them to the kitchen table. None of them work. Dead batteries. Or old batteries, whatever the case may be. Back to the closet for batteries, and we spend the next 20 minutes getting the new batteries in the old flashlights. I’m amazed that we are doing this, that we have enough batteries to go around. Family bonding time. Since we have no computer, Brian must do his homework by flashlight in his room. A modern day Abe Lincoln. The boy has a built-in excuse for not turning in an assignment but Brian is diligent, and a little obsessive, so he works away. I bring him a candle and put another in his bathroom. Greg and I decide to spend the time meditating. 7:55 and anxiety sets in. The O.C. is on and we’re going to miss it! Oh, no! Brian and I commiserate. His friend Jason will Tivo the show, but then Brian has to go over there to watch it. We wonder how Ryan and Seth and Marissa and Summer will do without us for the evening. The minutes tick by, and still no power. I put photos in the albums. I put candles in the bedroom. We can always go to bed early and catch up on some sleep. We hear noise from the neighbor’s house and surmise that they must have a generator. Their lights are on, but there is still no power on the rest of the street. We brush our teeth by candlelight. Suki, our cat, doesn’t seem to notice our quandry. It’s business as usual for her. 9:30 and we’re in bed – I leave a candle flickering in the bathroom so we can find our way in the middle of the night. Finally relaxed, knowing that the light of day will come and I might as well give in to sleep. 9:50 the lights come on! The clocks all flash and need to be re-set, but that’s okay. Just in the nick of time, I race downstairs to catch the last few minutes of The Apprentice – and watch Clay get fired. What a night.