Monday, June 09, 2008

Lights Out!

Dear Hodophiles ("Hodo" = The woman who is afraid of traveling and "philes" = those who love her, which is you, because you are kind.)

Anyway, Dear Hodophiles: First of all, you guys are great. The best. Your encouragement and humor have made me laugh at myself even more and gear up to face my fear.

Secondly, I haven't been able to read you or post until now because our electricity went out this afternoon. I have lit a bazillion candles, and my house currently smells like a giant fruit/flower bin. I'm surprised an army of bees isn't knocking on our door to be let in to the party. ("Hey, Hey. Where are all the sweet bud-ettes?")

Maybe you have heard the news during the last few days about how hard Indiana has been hit by storms. About 1/3 of our counties have been declared disasters, and for once, they're not even talking about Hoosier eating habits and fashion desecration. No, we are being clobbered by not just T-storms but T-Rex storms.

Our elderly neighbors across the street had a power line fall into their front lawn this afternoon, which resulted in yellow caution tape being strung around their house like weird party crepe paper. In fact, there was a party-like atmosphere as neighbors came out in droves to find out the 'haps. In spite of the possible danger, they were milling around talking to the homeowners as if this was the biggest thing to happen since Fonzie jumped the shark.

After waiting as long as we thought safe, we put all of our refrigerated/frozen food on ice. Of course, about 30 minutes later, the lights came on. Ain't that the way, though?

The lights going out reminds me of the time I was in Kazakhstan (south of Russia, west of China) teaching English at an English camp for kids.

My team stayed in primitive cabins in the woods, to say the least. This was backwoods in a Third World (or more correctly, "Developing") country. Pitch black at night with giant Asian beetles, for example. Scary.

One night my cabin mate Bev had to go to the outhouse. We had both forgotten to pack flashlights, so she went down the hall to ask to borrow one. The woman in that room said, "Gee, I don't know. It belongs to my roommate. If something were to happen to it, she would be really unhappy with me. Go ahead and borrow it; just be sure to bring it right back, OK?"

Bev replied, "Oh, I will! Thank you, thank you!"

So she grasped the small flashlight in both of her hands as if she were carrying a candle through a Gothic castle. She trekked slowly and carefully through the tall grasses trying not to think about what was lurking in the shadows, while whispering to herself, "Must not drop flashlight. Must survive outhouse. Can't lose flashlight. Must not die. Must not lose flashlight," all the way to the outhouse.

Then she opened the creaky door, stood over the diamond shaped hole, and "PLOP." End over end, the flashlight did a triple gainer into the hole, much like this amazing kid:

Yeah, just like him. Anyway, the flashlight landed handle down, light shining directly up through the hole and into the desolate night. Bev gasped and panicked, frantically trying to think of how to retrieve the flashlight. She actually thought of holding someone by the ankles while they retrieved it. Hmmm. Any takers? Not her cabin mate, for sure!

So the next day, and every day after that, we teased Bev, singing, "This Little Light of Mine, I'm Gonna Let it Shine," etc.

The moral of this story is: I don't know. Perhaps: "Flashlights are good everywhere in the world." Yeah, that's it. "Be kind to your flashlight. Keep it out of the toilet."

Don't ever say you never heard anything practical here at 2nd Cup. You're welcome.


annie's eyes said...

Carrying a flashlight is exactly how I met my husband in astronomy lab. I had the flashlight and he could find the north star. We were in business. So, another, moral-laden "never forget your own flashlight story." Glad you all are safe and have your power back. Love, Annette

Susan said...

Oh my goodness. That is a funny story.

I quoted you over at my place today. Thanks again for the lesson.

I hope the storms subside and all is well in your neck of the woods soon. I know there are a lot of gawkers down here after a Hurricane...people who "joy ride" to look for damage. Odd.



Darlene R. said...

The fact that it was shining stright up only means that the handle was firmly planted in something that I wouldn't want to come in contact with! That is gross!

I never would have even made it to the outhouse. I would have just "held it" until morning.

Queen B said...

That is so funny! And kinda sick!!

Glad you are all ok after the storms.

And because I can't leave well enough along...what happened with the flashlight owner?

sara said...

Well, it seems to me that she provided light for every other person needing to go to the outhouse!!!

I am going on a mission trip to Romania in July and we will be in tents and using outhouses...I will keep this in mind!!! (and NOT loan out my flashlight! ha!)

Robin said...

I did get your comment - I didn't realize you live in Indiana. I've been watching the news and my goodness, you guys are really getting it. You are in our prayers. The news keeps showing that big house being uprooted and floating down the river - incredible. We have been having unseasonable COLD weather here. Snow even. It's crazy.
I'm sorry our arrival times don't coincide. Hopefully we will still be able to meet at the conference.

PJ said...

Maybe spending a summer in a place north of China that I can't spell, using an outhouse and needing a flashlight was the beginning of your hodophobia? I'll have to check past blogs for stories of K...stan.

Lisa a.k.a. The Preacher's Wife said...

Well, at least the woman whose flashlight was lost can not tell your friend, "I'm going to kick you where the sun don't shine."

Because, well, now it does. Shine there, that is.

Hope you have a wonderful trip to She Speaks. I'm envious. Really.

Missy @ It's Almost Naptime said...

Ok, when you segwayed from storms in Indiana to "The lights going out reminds me of the time I was in Kazakhstan" I totally thought you were joking. But no. Potty humor followed.

Which brings me to my next point -

you traveled safely & successfully to KAZAKHSTAN but you are afraid of Charlotte?? I know phobias are irrational, but my goodness. I'd a thought Kazakhstan woulda cured it.

Mocha with Linda said...

Missy took the words right out of my fingers.

Or is Kasakhstan what CAUSED your hodoness?

Did you tell your roommate "You Light Up My Life"?

Lelia Chealey said...

Too funny! Just yesterday I had a little out house...well, porter-potty experience. I came out of it & took a pic of it. My husband just started laughing "you're gonna blog on this aren't you?" Of course! :) So soon I'll share of my experience.
Loved your comment on my blog about being out how God put one another on our hearts at the same time. Looking forward to seeing you too!