Last Thursday at 3:20pm all of our power went out. I immediatly noticed how quiet it was in my home. Soon the neighborhood was buzzing with reports that the electricity had gone out in all of San Diego County, Imperial County, parts of Arizona, New Mexico, old Mexico down to Ensenada, Orange County, and parts of Riverside County. This was a HUGE power outage. 5 million people were without power in one instant! The things I observed post-blackout were so interesting! First of all, I grew up having periodic blackouts because of Thunderstorms, so this wasn't completely foreign to me, however, 1. Things have changed a lot since I was a teenager. 2. There are never thunderstorms out here, so power outages are highly infrequent.
It was hilarious to see people responding. It was 100 degrees outside, so people were just outside sitting in their cars to get air conditioning. The radio station asked people to call in if they knew gas stations that were open - not much luck on gas stations,but you know who was open? Casinos. They had enough generator power to have gas, food, ice, A/C and gambling. Hilarious. Adam and I had to run to the church around 7pm and what we saw was incredible. Families taking walks down Alpine Blvd together. Neighborhoods gathering outside visiting. Large groups of people BBQing together. It was awesome! And I love reading what several teenager wrote on their FB walls about how their night went. 15yr old Ashley said, " if the power didnt go out i wouldnt have met the ppl i met..so bam..it was a good time." A 14 yr old girl named Alyssa said, " i never knew the people who lived next door until the power went out. we all played yahtzee. :)". I read so many posts about family time and great memories shared. At our home we had some of our students over for a candlelit game of Monopoly. It was a blast!
Since then, everyone I know has talked about the blackout with fondness. Electricity is no doubt a wonderful thing, but in one night people all over SoCal realized what was really important - the people in our lives. No TV, lights, video games, few had internet, computer battery was limited, restaraunts, microwaves, electric stoves, the list could go on. Work was let out early, school was called off. Some entire apartment complexes had get togethers. Neighborhoods chatted together and families played in the dark. Most people went to bed early and got a good solid night's rest. It was a little Wall-e ish. It's funny how one mistake at a power plant in AZ could cause so many people to rethink what is important in their life!