How to get ready for work in the dark

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By Paul Rhodes, publisher and editor

Recently the storms we were experiencing in the area caused a power outage at my house in the morning, right as I was getting ready for work.
My first thought was to call the office and tell my staff that I wasn’t going to be able to make it in on time. You know…because the power was out.
Remember when a power outage was actually a pretty good excuse for calling in late for work…or taking a whole chunk of the day off? It was an excuse with a built-in alibi: your boss could call the power company and find out that yes, indeed, there really was a power outage at your house.
Ahhhh, those were the days. Most of us had radio alarm clocks, and without a battery backup, those darned things would just fail you in a power outage. And this was well before cell phones, which unlike alarm clocks almost never fail.
And, even if you did wake up on time, how in the world were you supposed to get ready for work? Without power, you could not call upon your auto-drip coffee maker, shaver, hair dryer, curling iron and any other electronic devices needed to prepare yourself for another stint at the office.
So there I was…fumbling around my house with no power, wondering how I was going to get ready for work. That was when I took note of my life in the 21st century.
First off, I do use my cell phone as an alarm clock. I was already up when the power went off.
Second, I’m an espresso drinker, and I make mine on my gas stovetop with a small Italian espresso maker. As long as I’ve got ground coffee, I’m good to go.
Third, my shaver charges up and then runs on battery life. All I needed were some rays of sunlight in my bathroom and I could start the grooming process. The water was running, my towels were handy, and the toilet still flushed.
I’ll admit that without some light, my walk-in closet is pretty dark. No worries…I deemed it “casual day” at the office and put on a T-shirt with my jeans. I keep them in my highboy dresser, right between the two windows in my bedroom.
By the time my espresso was brewed, I had gotten myself as ready for work as I do on even my best days. My briefcase was right where it was supposed to be, and even if I had needed to do something quick on my computer, my laptop always has a charge.
With almost no dent in my schedule, I was just about ready to head out the door. And then it hit me.
How was I going to get my truck out of the garage? Yes, I have a manual release on my garage door, but it’s so heavy I wasn’t sure I could even lift it up under the circumstances.
Oh my gosh…I almost had an excuse to call the office and push off my arrival. And then, just as I wondered how I could kill a little time, the power came back on.
I wasted five minutes resetting all of the electronic clocks in the house, and then opened the garage door, started my truck and headed to work.
And all the while I was just inches away from a good excuse.