Valley Musings: Power outage complicates luncheon plans

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If there was a convenient time for a power outage it was not the day a group of us were scheduled to prepare food for a luncheon.

My plan was to attend a Bible study at church and then go with another committee member to pick up groceries for the meal we would prepare that evening and deliver the following day to the staff of a local assisted living facility in appreciation for their work. Instead, I woke up to heavy, wet snow and no electricity.

The luncheon idea had come out of a discussion at a church council meeting.

“That sounds like something that would fall to your committee,” someone had said.

To my dismay, she was looking straight at me.

After getting the go-ahead from the facility, three of us held a meeting. I knew nothing about preparing a meal for a group, but one of the members agreed to contact a woman who had handled church dinners.

A subsequent meeting resulted in a menu - scalloped potatoes with and without ham, green beans, a large tossed salad and cupcakes for dessert. We decided to meet at the church the evening before the luncheon to put together the scalloped potatoes.

Now our preparation day had arrived and so had a snowstorm. It was a good bet Bible study was canceled and our shopping trip was in question. I would have had to take the garage door offline from the electric opener to get the car out.

The utility company estimated the time of power restoration at 10:30 a.m.

I phoned my next-younger sister and the woman I had planned to shop with and waited for the power to come back on.

It didn’t.

The estimated time of restoration was changed to 4:15 p.m. and later listed as “to be determined.”

I pulled everything off a bookshelf I’d been meaning to clean behind and took care of that task. The man who plows for me came and took care of the driveway. I called the woman who was to do the shopping and told her to go ahead without me. After shoveling our short sidewalk, I walked around to survey the damage. A limb on our flowering crab was broken and some of the trunks of our pussywillow tree were leaning on our garden shed.

My sister came and we gathered up some leftovers to heat and eat at her house. Then she took me to church and joined us in peeling potatoes. We prepared the pans of scalloped potatoes to bake and set a time to meet the following morning.

A committee member took me home to my still-dark neighborhood and angled her vehicle so I could see to unlock the door. I used my wear-around-the-neck flashlights to manage bedtime preparations.

Sometime in the night I rolled over and noticed the glow of the numbers on my clock-radio.

The power was back.

A few of us gathered at the church, put the scalloped potatoes in the oven, cooked the beans and made the salad. The cupcakes arrived, although our helper still didn’t have power and had to accomplish the baking at her sister’s house.

A little after 1 p.m., we loaded everything into cars and took it to our destination in Mohawk. The only hitch was that we somehow forgot the beans and had to send someone back to Ilion for them. Still, the staff members ate, we ate and everything tasted good.

And I drove home to open my garage door with the push of a button.

Who could ask for more?

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