Paulus Perils of Power

So these last few days have been a powerful *pun intended, reminder that electricity is highly useful. And highly missed when it doesn’t come through. 


Power outage situation #1 happened when we realized that the RV fridge and radio refuse to turn on. Hubby, being the Mr. Fix-it guy that he is, has been troubleshooting for the last week. His electrically-minded cousin and his electrical engineer father-in-law would be so proud. Or yell at him for trying things he’s not trained for. The jury’s still out on their reactions. They don’t know. Yet. So first hubby checked the fuses. All of them seemed fine. Then he found one fried wire and another near it that seemed slightly damaged. With all power to the RV off [even the backup battery was disconnected], he rigged a light plugged into the garage by an extension cord and began surgery. I kept him company. And occasionally handed him a screwdriver or adjusted the position of the work light. 

I know now that I make a terrible assistant. I got tired of the silence. [Because  hubby is such a good listener, he prefers not to chat about all my problems and opinions while handling wires and trying to make decisions regarding the next snip, shizzle or pop.] I did a lot of sighing and eventually laid on my back near him. I even refused to go back to the garage to get the electrical tape. Yeah. I admit. If I were an O.R. nurse, the patient would have expired before I got motivated to find, retrieve, and hand over the scalpel. 

What I did enjoy was watching. It was exciting to see hubby pull wires through, unhook them, cut them, remove encasing, and reattach them, all the while having to remember which one went where.

When it was time to connect the battery again, I was nice. I went outside and held the light for him.

“So there are three positive attachments and only one negative one?” I state the obvious.

“Yup.” Hubby trying not to let the nodes touch and cause a zapping reaction that he thinks caused this mess in the first place. When he originally hooked up the new battery, he accidentally put the negative node on the positive spot. Oopsie! 

“Reminds me of us. Mostly positive. Occasionally negative.”

Hubby smiles. This is good. Since I’ve annoyed him up to this point by my reluctant participation in Operation RV. 

Unfortunately, when we return inside, everything turns on. Except the fridge and the radio. Darn it! 

The next day hubby’s brother helps him remove the breaker connected to the initially damaged wires. But neither Ace or Home Depot carry a 30AMP/15AMP joint piece. So we buy singles, a 30 and a 15. Even if the two breakers don’t fit in the slot made for one, we deduct that at least we can test the fridge with the similar AMP pieces. WRONG! As soon as we arrive home to Google if this is a safe idea, every site warns NEVER to try this. 

“If I just trust my instinct and do the opposite of what Rajdeep suggests, I’ll do the right thing.” Hubby is laughing. I’m not. Don’t know why I feel sensitive right now. Maybe because we have an audience. Sigh.

It’s 11:30 Sunday night, and hubby wants a haircut. I’ve been cutting his hair with clippers since our dating days, when I had little knowledge of how to use clippers or cut a guy’s hair. But I watched a video. And even back then, hubby would say, “Worse case scenario, I’ll just shave my head.”

It’s late, but it doesn’t take too long to do hubby’s cut. It’s your typical short on the sides, a little longer on top. And these days, he wears it really tight, almost an army fade. And I can do that in less than ten minutes. So I concede. 

Hubs sits on the edge of the bathtub and I attach the No.1 clip to the end and flick the clippers to on. 
I’ve only shaved up two strokes of the back of his head when the clippers make a clicking sound. I ignore it. 

“Hold on. What’s that?” Hubby moves his head away and I turn the clippers off.

“I don’t know. Turn around.” Time is ticking.

Hubby takes the clippers from my hand instead and fiddles with it. For the first time in over a decade, the clippers are acting quirky. Turning on when upright, clicking when held sideways, and turning off when upside down. Hmmm?

“I think something’s wrong.” 

“Well, it’s not like anything bad has happened while you checked it out for the last several minutes. Let me just try to cut your hair fast and I’ll try to keep the clippers upright the whole time. Maybe you could just move your head for me.”

Hubby fiddles more. He applies a little oil. Removes some hair stuck in the teeth. He’s not quite buying the whole idea that it’s safe enough to keep cutting his hair. But at the same time, he’s not too thrilled that he looks like a lawn mower attacked him. But only on the right back of his head. Finally he hands it back to me and says, “Okay, do it quick.”

So with the on-off clicking clippers, I do a really quick clean up of the entire back. But with the last stroke, I see a tiny flicker of a flame at the same time that the clippers begin to emit a burning smell. I totally freak out, turn the clippers off and kind of, sort of, just throw them. Not too hard or too far. But they hit hubby’s back and then fall onto the bathroom carpet. The flame is extinguished.

“Why do I not listen to my instinct?” Hubby is shaking his head as he wraps the clippers with its chord and shoots it straight into the trash can. Bye bye faithful clippers. It’s been fun. 

I finish his cut with a scissors and comb. All the while waiting for the reprimand of reprimands. Never came. But he did say, “We both could have really gotten hurt.” 

“I’m sorry.” 

Then during the night, the power goes out. Twice. When you’re used to hearing the fan or the AC at night, the silence is really distracting. Plus it was a muggy night. And a few strange noises were heard that suggested movement around the house. So hubby got up and walked around the house with his cell phone light to make sure all was well. No burglars. Back to bed. 

But I toss and turn a lot as it is. When hubby whispers, “Shhhh.” I’m thinking, sure, easy for you to say Mr. I Can Fall Asleep In Two Seconds Anywhere, Anyhow.

The power turns back on for a split second. I savor the rush of cool air from the fan. For a split second. The second time the power goes off, a shattering sound is heard. I wonder if someone is in the kitchen and a cup or bowl has been dropped. Hubby gets up a second time and surveys the indoors and then I hear the front door opening. He’s taking a peek outside to see if it’s just us or the whole street is dark. He comes back to report to me that the whole street is out. Kind of relieved to know it’s not just us having outlet mishaps this night. But it’s still a muggy night. And when it gets really late, I get hungry.

So at some point, I get up and walk around the house. The power turns back on suddenly. Yeah! But as I enter the kitchen, I see two small pieces of broken white glass in the hallway above the stairs. Hmmm? Not enough glass to make up any kind of dish. I dustpan the little shards up, dispose of them down a spoon of peanut butter and glass of water and return to bed. Find out in the morning that the lamp above the broken glass broke. Weird.

In the middle of the night, I have a terrifying nightmare. It seems so real, I wake myself up with my own screaming voice, yelling, “Help me! Help me!” Hubby reaches over me with his arm and pulls me close. I’m still shaking. I dreamt I was being chased and beaten. And I recognized his face. 

So although I didn’t get the electrical tape, talked too much in the RV, and almost set my hubby on fire while playing barber, his arm around me in that moment reminds me that unconditional love sleeps next to me. Because hubby is not perfect. But he’s got the power—of a higher love filling his tank. And when God refuels your heart’s capacity to love day in and day out, you can give more of you to those around you. 

The key is to stay plugged in. And God’s the kind of power source that never lets you down, short circuits, or turns off when you need him most. Thank God! Because, in a little over a week, we’ll be camping in Acadia National Park for five days. And they have no electrical hook-ups there. Time to get recharged. By nature, cliffs. trails, and a sunrise on Cadillac Mountain. And of course. By the one who made all these beautiful things for us!

If ever in our lives hubby and I needed a vacation, it would be now. T minus four days, baby! 

**What do you do to recharge? What’s your favorite part of nature? Have an crazy electrical mishap you’d like to share… :)

**IF you LIKED this POST, you MIGHT also LIKE:
“A Week of Storms”
“Life Lessons from Under the Hood”
“Tough Muther to the Mudder”

Dive Into Another Waterfall:

8 thoughts on “Paulus Perils of Power

  1. Life is dangerous…live anyway!

    Michael Jordan said that you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take…Just sayin!

  2. I’m wondering if the good Doctor would be happy to know that his patients were operating on themselves? The level of repair he was attempting seems to be more than taking an aspirin or applying a bandage if I may continue the analogy. That’s why professionals are apt to say, “I’m a professional, don’t try this at home.” But the greater message I got was at the end. And I liked it: God’s supplies the power we need and it never goes out. That got me.