Dishes at midnight

Wednesday evening, smack-dab in the middle of our dinner hour, a storm blew up from the West.

The clouds heading our way over the ridge were fearsome and no one, least of all me, could sit still with such a scene right outside the kitchen window. In between bites of our boiled potatoes with brown butter (for the kids) and tomato bread pudding (for the adults), peas and applesauce (for kids and adults), we kept running out on the deck to scan the horizon.

The sky boiled and roiled.

And roiled and boiled.

And then the wind started. First we could just hear it as it came howling over the ridge. Then we could see the distant trees bend under the lashing.

It roared louder. The kids whimpered. Tin lids and window screens (okay, so only one of each) flew.

And then the power went out and the storm blew over.

We finished our supper in dejected darkness and went to bed early. There’s really not that much to do in the country without power and water.

I awoke at midnight, in the dark throes of a panic attack. My foggy brain was one-hundred percent certain that the tomato bread pudding was rotting on the kitchen table, that the cookies I had made for a pre-wedding dinner had gone stale and worthless beside the bread pudding, that the ice cream I had made earlier that day (for the fourth freakin’ time) was turning to peanut butter soup in the freezer, that the strawberries, peaches, and all other frozen produce was reduced to a drippy pile of thawed mush… And, oh dear. What about my morning coffee! I would have to load all the kids into the car and drive the eleven miles to town in search of my fix. But Mr. Handsome was supposed to take the car to the garage which meant that I would be stuck at home with five kids, a sink full of dirty dishes, piles of rotting, melting food, and a splitting, caffeine-withdrawal headache to boot! I simply couldn’t do it. My insides crumbled. I raised my head and flipped over, punching my pillow with my fist, whimpering and moaning—

Wait. What was that? Could it be? A shaft of light was shining in through the doorway. I sat up and looked at the clock. It was blinking red numbers. I switched on my bedside light and yelped as my corneas retracted into my brain. Then I punched Mr. Handsome, “The power’s on, honey!” and bounced out of bed.

And that’s how it came to be that Mr. Handsome and I did the dishes at midnight.

P.S. All the food was perfectly fine. Don’t tell the food safety police.

This same time, years previous: Quiche


  • Margo

    thank goodness you avoided that crazy morning you imagined ahead. somebody would have died, i think, if that was my morning. . . no telling who, either.

    caffeine, i love you, you make my life possible.

  • You Can Call Me Jane

    Our electricity flickered that evening and it almost sent me into a panic- the canner was full and peeled peaches were strewn everywhere. Thankfully, ours stayed on. Glad no harm came to anything at your place:-).

  • Mama Pea

    I have friends who can walk away from the remnants of a meal on the table and dirty dishes undone but that gives me a panic attack, too. (Also the heebie-jeebies. Can't do it.) If I had to get up and face that in the morning . . . well, I'd just stay in bed. Forever.

    Way cool pictures, Jennifer Jo.

  • meemsnyc

    Wow, the storm that blew in looks amazing! Love the swirly clouds! I like a good storm once in awhile, but not when it kills the electricity in this scorching summer heat. Glad your food made it through the night!

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