Monday, September 14, 2009
The night the lights went out in Coker Creek
Not that I want all of our dirty little secrets out there but all right, brace yourself.
Brad came back from church Wednesday night (around 8:00) and said “Now hear this, they’re turning the lights off at 12:00 midnight and they won’t be back on until 6:00 tomorrow morning. They have scheduled electricity turn offs here in Coker Creek. For those of us who don’t have a generator that means no lights, no toilets, and one 200 pound insomniac boy who is afraid of the dark.
Brad and I talked about last Easter when we had that terrible storm and the lights went out. Yes, we had candles. Yes, we had flashlights. Yes, we had a full blown three alarm all night-long slumber party. Charley was so scared that the three of us had to come out to the living room and stay up all night. (Gone are the days when the three of us can fit into the same bed, and even when we do I’m the one who gets nudged until I finally go over the edge and I’m not just talking about the bed).
Charley was on his bed crying. And yelling, “I’m scared.”
“Don’t be scared,” I said in effort to comfort him. “We’re right here with you.”
He grabbed the phone. “Call the tricity man.” Hated to have to tell him the electricity man was the culprit.
“Because the electricity man is working on the electricity. It’s going to take a few hours, but the lights will come back on.”
“No! Call the tricity man.”
And so the conversation continued.
So. What to do? Do the rational thing and go to bed? Sleep like everyone else on this mountain? That would have been the sane thing to do.
But no. We proceeded to run around the house like 3 chickens, gathering everything we could carry, pile into the car, and drive to a hotel in Madisonville (about 20 minutes from here.)
Going to a “tell-room” as Charley calls it is one of his favorite things to do. And why wouldn’t it be? He gets to lie on the bed with the clicker in hand and monopolize the TV and each chicken from McDonalds. Who were we to deprive him of that, right? The way we saw it, we could sit up all night and wear ourselves out trying to calm him down, or we could find another place to sleep.
Brad went to his room and opened the door. “Son, do you want to go to a tell-room?”
That’s not the first time we’ve run away from home, but it is the first time we’ve run because of an electricity turn off, and I have no idea why because there was enough electricity generated by our rushing around trying to get out of there that we could have probably read by our own light.
He was packed in about 30 seconds and first in the car.
As we pulled out of the driveway Brad said a prayer for our safe travels and off we went. To the tell-room.
All the way there we did our best to justify our decision.
“Do you think this is stupid?”
“Do you think we are overreacting?”
All the typical questions you might expect from someone who is on the run, and rightly so. Who does that? Who hears of an impending electric shut-off and then run like thieves in the night?
“He’s so afraid of the dark,” Brad said.
“Poor thing,” I said, “He’s just beside himself.”
“He’s having a melt down.”
It sure was quiet in the back seat. I turned around. “He’s asleep,” I said.
But forge ahead we did, and got to the tell-room.
I went in to get the room key. “Are there any rooms on the bottom floor?” I asked, “My son is too heavy to carry up the stairs.”
Did we want a smoking room?
So up the stairs we went and Charley lay down on the bed.
With clicker in hand he assumed the position. Two seconds later he was asleep again.
And there sat Brad and me. Looking at each other.
“Well, I sure am glad we ran away from home tonight,” I said as I crawled into bed.
“Yea,” Brad said, “And aren’t we glad we treated him to a tell-room?”
“Uh huh, even if he did sleep through the whole thing.”
And as for me and Brad? Well let's just say the lights were on but nobody was home.
There was only one thing left to do.
Wouldn't you know it? We turned off the lights and went to sleep.