Last time was torture. During the day, the temperature rose to 98F, 37C, with the dew point at a high/uncomfortable tropical 72. At about 4::00 pm, 1600 hrs, the power went out due to an Eskom fault. On the horizon at 11:00 pm. 2300 hrs, load shedding was scheduled to begin. We weren’t hopeful.
We were seated at the table on the veranda, listening to music and chatting about our dreams for the future amid these crazy pandemic times. When we heard the usual ping of a power failure, we started planning how we”d prepare dinner when several items we’d planned required the use of the stove.
We cooked the rice, creamed spinach, and bacon on the braai to go with our beef patties I’d already seasoned and prepped. Earlier in the day, I’d made a big salad that would stay cold in the fridge until we’d eat, a few hours later. Regardless of the power outage, we were roasting on the veranda in the interim. It was hotter indoors.
We prepared and ate dinner, and when the bugs got bad, we had no choice but to go indoors. With WiFi still working, we decided to sit on the bed and watch a few more episodes of Yellowstone. By 8:00 pm, 2000 hrs, we still had now power. Worried about the food in the fridge, Tom filled the metal bowl with ice and placed it in the center of the refrigerator, hoping to keep the contents cool enough not to spoil.
The bedroom was a hotbox. We had to keep the door closed since many bugs were flying around the house, including flies that came out of nowhere when preparing any meat.
At 10:00 pm. 2200 hrs, we turned off the laptop to complete darkness except for the light from our phones. Since the outage, I’d been texting back and forth with Louise since she gets updates on Eskom outages on her phone. She, too, speculated this would be our fate for the remainder of the night.
I’d taken another shower before bed but was dripping in sweat in no time. Tom was feeling the same, but neither of us complained. What was the point? We weren’t the only people feeling uncomfortable. The power was out in all of Marloth Park. Also, without power, the security system doesn’t work. The house locks up tightly. We keep the house keychain in the bedroom with us every night since the emergency button on the keychain is battery-operated.
Field Security could be here in five minutes if we pushed that button—lately, many break-ins and burglaries in the park, including on our road. We always stay super alert to sounds outside the house. Most of the break-ins have occurred at night when residents are in bed. This is especially frightening.
Getting to sleep wasn’t easy. I awoke at midnight sweating under my lightweight tee shirt. Tom slept restlessly beside me. Finally, we drifted off.
At 1:30 am, I heard the familiar ping of the power returning. We’d left the remote for the aircon on the bed between us. I couldn’t hit the button quickly enough. Within minutes, I was back to sleep, pulling up the duvet, hopeful our food in the fridge might survive.
This morning, Tom said the ice in the metal bowl hadn’t melted, a good sign the food would be ok. What a relief! On numerous occasions, we have lost most of the perishables in the fridge.
Today, it’s still hot with a high of 97F, 36C, but with a slightly lower dew point which makes all the difference in the world. Of course, load shedding will occur tonight but only from 9:00 pm, 2100 hrs, for a total of 2½ hours. We can handle that easily.
Summer is almost here, but we’re already amidst its brunt now. It will worsen, and we will prepare ourselves for that eventuality. We could be in Minnesota now, where we spent most of our lives (Tom all of his life), where temps are often below zero with snowfalls hard to imagine. Nowhere in the world is exempt from challenges such as these.
We forge ahead, slaying the dragons as they appear and carry on, filled with hope and optimism for the future to come.
Photo from one year ago today, December 6, 2020:
|This photo was posted one year ago while in lockdown in a hotel in Mumbai, India, on day #257. A pelican was proudly posing for a photo while in Pisco, Peru, in 2017. For more photos, please click here.|