I’m not saying that our power outages are worse here than in any other part of the country. I’m just saying that the magnitude of our “wind storms” have been known to rival hurricane season in the south and up the eastern seaboard. In the midwest, these kinds of winds are called tornadoes. But here, in the Pacific Northwest, we call it a “blustery day.” Or, more accurately, a “typical autumn evening” (to-may-toe, to-maaah-toe).
So, it should have come as no shock to me when I woke up this morning that the power had ceased to return since it was so violently blown out last night, causing me to climb into bed with my babes under a down blanket with no heat. Welcome to Western Washington. “Survivor Island,” my aunt likes to call my home. Quite the comedian, she is.
The sad part is, she’s not that far off … in the mid-1990s, I think we went without power for 10 consecutive days. And when you live in the sticks, no power means no water either … because the pump on your hand-dug well doesn’t work. I didn’t know that stock-piling jugs of drinking water all year wasn’t a “normal” thing to do. I mean … we could drink, but bathing was a whole different story.
And, since my son was infected by a dirty spider fang this summer, I can now identify every arachnid known to man … including the hobo spiders that have taken up residence in my garage. So yeah … I can go without bathing, drink stale well water, and identify creepy crawlies. I’m pretty sure those Survivor contestants have got nothing on me. Oh, and during the deathly windstorm of 2006, I not only had a toddler, but also a 3 month old infant to care for while we fumbled around in the dark. Bring it.
It’s a good thing I’m no stranger to the candle business. You could call me a candle connoisseur. But I don’t like just any candles … no, I’m afraid my highly evolved consumer tastes call for the most expensive candles on the market. The kind you can’t even buy in the stores … you have to host an at-home party to purchase these clean-burning, pure paraffin candles with the non-lead-infused-wicks … because if the food I feed my children is not laden with enough carcinogens, then the candles we buy must be so full of toxins that we’re breeding lung cancer around the dining room table, right? So, I’ve been sold on the health benefits of stock-piling the Cadillac of candles.
Then I converted to Minimalism. I actually just turned down the opportunity to host a party last week. Because candles are an unnecessary luxury item that ultimately do not change the quality of my life. Until last night when I was groping around in the dark trying to find the last tea light left over from those glory days of aromatherapy wafting through my cozy, comfortable home. God only knows where the flashlights are. One would think that having lived on this island for several decades, a good Survivor would have flashlights on hand. Not this girl.
No flashlights and only a handful of tea lights left. Then I remembered that one of my girlfriends has just started her own organic, clean-burning, soy-based, cotton-wicked candle company, and left me a sample last time she came to visit. Providence. Now, I can stock up on my favorite luxury item, justified by sheer survival instinct, and do so while contributing to the economic stability of a dear friend and not Corporate America. Sold.