What would you do if you had a whole year off?

Remember that question floating around at the start of the pandemic? (Not to mention the irritating Instagram and TikTok posts of people working out in their basement.) Would you learn a new language? Teach yourself how to knit? Train for a marathon?

I think for a lot of us, the answer was nothing at all along those lines. I did learn how to binge watch TV while drinking wine, so it wasn’t a complete waste. Except I didn’t have that much time on my hands, which meant not being able to travel too far down that rabbit hole.

Consequently, no surprise on Tuesday when we lost power in East Dallas at the start of our day, and I had no idea what to really do with all that time. Thirteen hours of it. No power. No AC. No wi-fi. Standing in our kitchen at 6:15 in the morning, looking around with everything off and the storm raging outside, and thinking: “How long is this going to last?”

In June 2019, how long turned out to be 3-1/2 days. We flew home from the AIA National Conference, turned off the freeway, and drove into a completely blacked out section of town. Not a light to be seen anywhere. One thing to have your neighborhood go dark. Another to see every streetlight, store, and house in utter darkness.

And I don’t know that I was prepared for that sort of down time, especially since I couldn’t remember how we really managed in 2019. We did have a car out of the garage, so we could at least travel around a bit to get food and whatnot. But beyond that? No idea. Somehow I guess I’ve blocked that out. I do remember seeing the electric company folks walking the alleyway around midnight of the last night and not too much later having the power come back on.

However, this time around? Not a clue as to what to do.

I did manage to finish a book I’ve been working on for a few months. We took a nap. Played Scrabble. Napped some more. Opened and closed the fridge as fast as possible to make lunch without losing too much cold air. Napped again.

We also were debating how to get a car out of our garage. We don’t have a door from the house into our garage. And the people door on the backside of the garage had – well – the garage on the other side of it. I was pretty sure the ladder was leaned up against it, and we were debating the need to leave versus paying our deductible to repair ladder dents in James’s car.

But we got lucky and shortly after dinner – thank you Door Dash! – the power popped back on and stayed on. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for a lot of others. A bit disturbing to look at headlines the next morning saying power should be restored to everyone by Friday. Yes. You read that correctly. Friday. As in today.

And seeing how stormy it’s expected to be over the next week or so (and was yesterday), I don’t know that we’re out of the woods yet. Which has me thinking I might want to better prepare. Except what does that mean? Cleaning the garage? Stocking up on books, batteries, and candles? Drinking the vodka in the freezer in case it goes bad?

Realistically, they all sound reasonable and logical. Well – maybe not the vodka part. But if the power goes out again, and I really can’t think of anything to do, I can always just nap. I know I’m prepared for that.