The best thing about losing electricity for a number of hours is the sheer joy when it comes back...
After 83 hours -- three and a half days -- the lights came on at 10 p.m. Tuesday in parts of Union Township, Berks County. Not only the light, but the heat, the running water and the refrigerator, washer, dryer and stove.
Three days of ice-cold water, clothes stiff from the cold, food spoiling in the freezer, and dirty laundry piling up in the laundry room ended. No more taking buckets into work to fill up with water in the cleaning closet and transport home for flushing toilets.
No more eating sandwiches and fries at restaurants to prolong going home.
When the power is out, it's like your house is in a deep sleep -- dark and quiet without the background noise of TV voices and humming appliances, without clock numbers lighting the way out of sleep in the morning.
The only sound is the neighbors' generator; the only warmth comes from the fireplace.
It was tough going for a few days, but we survived. And oh what a joy when the sleeping house woke up and those appliances started beeping.