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Installment #11: A Bit More About Me

I love my decent-sized house and my nice and fairly quiet neighborhood on the northwestern edge of Charlotte, NC. The house is not so big that my wife and I cannot find each other if we want or need to, but big enough that we can be by ourselves if we so choose. We live near plenty of grocery stores and restaurants, and even though there are more black people in the neighborhood than everyone else, it is one of those places where if you leave something outside overnight, it will still be there the next morning. The only thing that bugs me about the neighborhood, we lose power at least once a year if not more. And at the absolute worst times too.


It was a great sports weekend until right before the start of Super Bowl 55. The North Carolina Tar Heels beat the Duke Blue Devils 91-87 in men's college basketball on Saturday night. It is always a good thing when North Carolina can beat Duke as this is one of the biggest rivalries in American sports. Then the Charlotte Hornets, after getting smashed by the Utah Jazz on Friday night, beat Bradley Beal, Russell Westbrook, and the Washington Wizards by twenty-two points on Sunday afternoon.


After the Hornets game, my wife made us some absolutely slammin' meatball subs and salad for our Super Bowl meal. I ate and was preparing my adult beverages for the game when she came in my man cave to tell me that our power had gone out. I didn't want to believe her. This can't be happening right now. So I flipped the switch to the bathroom fan to be sure. Nope. No fan sound. Five minutes before the big game, and our power was out. Great!


Luckily my iPhone and Bose speaker had both been charged earlier that day so I would be able to listen to the Buccaneers and Chiefs. At first, Duke Energy, our electric power company, was saying that they would have our power back on by eleven o'clock. Then they said ten. So, I figured I'd listen to this Super Bowl and by the end of it, I will have electricity again.


The game, which was pretty uneventful, came and went and by 11:00 P.M. we still had no power. Not to mention, we also had no heat and the weather outside was getting colder and colder. My wife had gone to sleep hours earlier and I didn't want to risk completely running out of power on my devices. So, I finished my beer and went to bed.


I woke up one or two times throughout the night and asked my wife if we had power yet? "No," she sleepily told me both times. I knew it. For one thing, the house just seemed quiet and dead still. And I didn't feel any heat so I stayed wrapped under three blankets. We both woke up around 5:30 and she said that Duke Energy was now saying 8:30 A.M.


My wife had meetings all day on Monday beginning at 8 o'clock. So she went to her parents' house, about a seven or eight minute drive from us. They still had power and wireless internet, which is what my wife needs to effectively do her job. Me, I just stayed here and waited. I had a feeling that the power would return some time that day. I just didn't know when.


It was about 35 degrees on Monday morning so I waited patiently in front of my gas fire place for 8:30 when they said our power was supposed to come back on. I could hear a truck of some kind and people outside talking which made me hopeful. Then, my wife texted me at 8:28 A.M. and said that now, Duke Energy was saying 6:00 P.M. Seriously? I didn't know what to say or how in the world to respond. So I just told her to let me know if anything changed. I had a feeling that we would have power before six, but I couldn't be sure. All I could do was wait some more.


I kept waiting. I paced around the house upstairs and downstairs because now, my devices were starting to get low on juice and I had to conserve. When I got tired of pacing, I read some of Eric Jerome Dickey's book Sister, Sister. Then I got up and paced some more. I could still hear people and an idling truck outside. I could also hear the house clicking and clacking, which I never hear unless we lose power. Then I got tired of pacing again, so I read the Bible on my iPad. After reading a few chapters of Exodus, my iPad was on like fifteen percent.


At about two o'clock, I plugged my phone into the charger. Of course, there was no response because I still had no power. I began working on the beginnings of a short story. Maybe, electricity would return if I could get lost in doing something else. As I was writing at about 2:40 P.M., my iPhone started charging, my Amazon Echo Dot in the man cave came on, and my Sonos speaker made the noise it makes when first plugged up. This all happened semi-simultaneously because I had these items plugged into power strips. Yes! Power!! Now all I had to do was adjust my Nest thermostat because it was like 60 degrees in this house. Big difference when we normally have it between 72 and 75 degrees.


We have lived in this house since March of 2017, and I believe that we have lost power every year. There was that time in December when we lost power for almost two days during an ice storm. Then there was that time in June or July when we lost power for over half a day when it was eighty or ninety degrees outside. If it wasn't the power, then there was that time in late May of 2019 when our HVAC went out. We had to buy a whole new unit, because there was a leak and the system was no longer holding refrigerant. As I said, this is the black suburbs. It's always something.


Meanwhile my in-laws, who live in white suburbia seem to never lose power. I guess there are inequities in suburbia too. I still like my black suburban neighborhood and am proud of our house most of the time. We just have to do something about our power situation.


So that's a little bit more about my personal life. I'll try to have these posts every now and again in addition to my informative articles. Hopefully, the personal posts will show more of my personality and show that I'm not just a writing machine. You can read my first About Me post here.

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