When the power went kablooey on Thursday, I figured the most lasting effect would be a resurgence of interest in knowing where we kept the spare batteries.

It’s never that simple, is it?

Well, first of all, the local sewage treatment facility dumped 3.5 million gallons into the ocean, shutting down the beach and delaying the Surf Dog-a-thon to a day we absolutely, positively cannot make. Brody and I are so, so sad about that. Worse things have happened, of course, but we’re still sad.

Then school was shut down county-wide for the following day, leaving me with two bored kids and a sudden need for an activity. Fortunately for me, I caught a tweet from the Helen Woodward Animal Center that they were offering educational tours for any bored kids in sudden need of an activity. I figured hey, it’s technically still a school day, might as well learn something instead of just going to the park. So we went to the Animal Center.

They do such a great job there.

First, the kids met Miss Ree and learned the 3 ABCs of approaching a strange dog. Ask, Be Sniffed, and Carefully Pet (I think those were the three! I was so busy admiring Miss Ree I forgot to write them down.) 

She was a great pup who was a very good sport for letting my kids practice how to pet a dog, over and over and over.

Then it was time for the snake! And a real beauty she was, too.

There would have been none of this at the park, I tell you that. Or school, for that matter.

After that, a little cockatiel came out to say hello.

The little cowlick absolutely killed me.

And lastly, even though I don’t think they are normally part of the tours, my kids got to meet Snacks, a miniature horse/Shetland mix, because my daughter kept hinting at how very much she loved horses.

Photo Sep 09, 1 52 04 PM

And Snacks, apparently, loves being brushed.

On our way out we ran into none other than Mike Arms himself, giving a tour to who turned out to be a husband/wife team from Eukanuba who had flown out for surf dog and ended up with nothing to do, so were also there getting a tour of the Center. Funny how when everything gets all shaken up everyone still winds up in the same place.

When the power went out we all sat paralyzed for a moment, then regrouped. There was no looting. The liquor stores stayed open by the light of their neighbor’s headlights so people could get ice and milk, which they went home and shared with the neighbors. We sat outside in the lavender moonlight and talked. When the power came back on, I was actually kind of sad.

It’s nice to know it’s OK to be disconnected every once in a while. When push comes to shove and the grid goes kablooey, guess what? People do the right thing. They check on their elderly neighbors, share what they have, and get something out of the experience that makes them a better person. And that gives me hope.

Filed: Blog, Daily Life, Musings Tagged: , ,
  • Cathey

    Very nice post, Dr. V! Im so sad you and Brody won’t be able to do the surf this year. By the same token, it IS nice to know that we CAN survive and probably are better for a little disconnection every once in a while! For our children to see and learn to do the right thing, that’s a plus.

  • Tamara

    Sounds like a fantastic way to spend the day! I’m sure Miss Ree and Snacks enjoyed it too 🙂

  • Great way to spend the day! Another thing about being disconnected, we all got a chance to see an abundance of stars in the sky without all that light pollution. It was amazing!

  • Bev

    “Educational Tours?” That Mike Arms is one smart dawg! He quickly took advantabe of an unexpected event (county-wide school cancel) to create an event to showcase his animal center! In spite of school being cancelled, the day was educational because kids learned about pets. And I bet that some of Mike’s orphaned furbabies found new homes with the extra traffic through the center! Bravo Mike! When you’re in the business of saving lives, you use every available angle.

  • So sorry you won’t be able to do your Surf Dog-a-thon 🙁 It sounds like the educational tour was a huge hit! What a great idea – who doesn’t love spending the day with our furry friends???

  • A few years ago, we actually had hurricane force winds come through Ohio (Hurricane Ike) it blew out the electricity for days. Fortunately, it wasn’t hot, and we made the most of it. Got to know our neighbors a little better, found stuff to do that didn’t have to do with electric….it was kinda sad when the electric came back on.