I suffered a power outage on Christmas morning. Losing electricity isn’t fun anytime, but Christmas morning? No heat, no water and no working range. 

I had slept in, knowing it was a holiday, and had just brushed my teeth when everything stopped, so no coffee, either. That’s what pushed me over the edge. I was grateful the failure had occurred during daytime hours and not at night when the absence of light, especially in winter, makes everything feel like a black hole, but no wake-up caffeinated stimulant–that’s the pits! 

My daughter, Ilene, who lives just 10 minutes away, heard that Heritage Hills’ power was out once again and called to see if I wanted to come over to her place. Because my family and friends were expected on Dec. 26, I had hoped to have a really quiet Christmas, a good time to reflect and reminisce about Christmases past and prepare for the next day’s onslaught.

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Dressed in a terry cloth muumuu, un-showered and un-made up, I allowed my grandson, Justin, to pick me up and was delighted to accept a strong cup of coffee upon arrival.

Since we planned to exchange gifts on Boxing Day, I had an enjoyable time watching the St. Johns open the presents under their family tree. I had previously been invited to share Christmas dinner with Ilene and her family but, feeling the loss of my husband more strongly this year, I demurred. I realize now that last Christmas I was still numb. The first year after Jason’s death was filled with so many changes and, in retrospect, seems almost like a dream. I drifted through each month, barely noticing the seasons change, then suddenly awoke to discover I could feel again, and it really hurt. That’s why I wanted to spend a quiet Christmas day, but New York State Electric deemed otherwise, until they repaired the damage.

We were about 22 people on Boxing Day. I smiled and fed them and was a welcoming hostess, all the while trying to ignore that empty, lonely place lurking just beneath the surface of my heart...an outage that, unfortunately, can never be repaired.