In the Paddock

The lights flickered and the screen of my office iMac went dark just after 7:30 a.m. Thursday.

Definitely directly tied to the howling winds outside, the kind of wind that topple trash and recycling bins, shake the window frames because the storms are up and the screen are down after Wednesday’s near 70-degree day.

The power didn’t stay out for even a second, not that time at least. It did go out for good just before 8 and it’s still out now more than an hour later.

The battery on the laptop says it’s good for 41 more minutes; the cell phone says it’s at 43 percent battery. That’s good, for some work can be done although nowhere near enough to put a dent in the pile that grows by the day.

Without fail when the power goes out immediately one thinks about life without the luxury of electricity. “How did they do it?” we ask, thinking about our all-the-more resourceful and creative ancestors. We’re out of electricity for an hour and we’re writing blogs about it. Back in the day – really back in the day, not like 10 years ago as many think was a long time ago – people would go about their daily lives. I’m thinking they’d be out chopping wood, or corralling cattle and sheep or putting up a new fence. Something rugged I suppose.

But what about us, our screen-obsessed selves, pining away for our devices to get that hollow stimulation by reading out what our high school classmates are up to these days or how our neighbor is going on about how well the president read of the teleprompter Tuesday night.

Truth be told it’s a bit of an inconvenience but I feel I can live with it for a bit. Sometimes it even feels like a bit of a relief, a forced off-the-grid few hours.

Now that the coffee is cold and an impromptu breakfast that consisted of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich consumed it’s time to get rolling. But what to do?

Of course it would be easy to just hop in the car and find a place where the juice is freely flowing from the electrical outlets. Plug in and away we go, back to the “real world.” That seems too easy, too much kneeling at the alter of technology.

Now that the coffee is cold – and empty for that matter – it seems like a good time to unplug even more. Surely it won’t be as windy on the trails at the Saratoga Spa State Park. All the snow from last month is gone, at least in the city, so surely the trails will be clear of any slush and ice. Surely a run on the 5-mile trail – just like the ones we do in the summer as a release from the grind that is The Saratoga Special – will be the perfect way to pass the time until the power comes back on.

If the power is still out at the end of those 5 miles, well, then it will really be time to get creative. But until then, here’s to the trails, being unplugged and keeping things simple. 

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