Midlife Cabernet: You've Always had the Power, My Dear

 

I recently hosted a women’s writing retreat at my cabin in the Idaho mountains, and I was under pressure to organize the perfect experience. Just past midnight on the second night I was working in my bedroom when the power went out. This is a normal winter occurrence but I had guests sleeping in other bedrooms. I feared horrible calamities would result from the lack of electricity, including no morning coffee, no blow dryers, or perhaps death by freezing. All these were major problems.

I bundled up in my flannels and piled quilts on the bed, trusting that the other women would do the same. I didn’t sleep much during the night because I was planning how to cope with the problem the next morning. I couldn’t move my car out of the garage to go get coffee because the control on the electric garage door was too high to reach. I thought about calling a friend who owned a nearby yurt, but I didn’t know if he had a generator. I worried that my paid attendees would demand a refund to pay for frostbitten fingers and toes.

Early the next morning, I took my flashlight and tiptoed out of the bedroom. That’s when I saw the glowing lights from the kitchen appliances. The power was on in every room except mine. I hurried to the garage, found the correct breaker switch, flipped it back and forth, and discovered all the lights were on in my bedroom. As usual, all that worry was for nothing.

It reminded me of Glinda the Good Witch in the classic movie The Wizard of Oz telling Dorothy “You’ve always had the power, my dear. You had it all along.” I plugged in the coffee pot, feeling relieved and powerful.

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