Snipitz - The Night The Lights Went Out!

The story your about to hear is true.

The names have NOT been changed to protect the innocent.

This is the place

Independence, Missouri.

I work here... but I am NOT a cop. I don't carry a badge.

It was January 29th 2001.

I was working the night shift out of Blue Springs but at the moment was trying to rest my tired body

Outside the frozen rain had begun to fall. Coating everything it touched in a nice thick layer of ice.
I could hear it as it clicked against the window. This night was NOT going to be good. Soon I would have to get up and go to work.

My wife would have to head to the nursing home to tend to her patients and I would be in the world of microwave pizza and soft drinks.

My Name is Sharp...

This had already been a long winter and the ice falling just made it extra fun. ( please read this with the appropriate level or sarcasm)

My three kids were off from school already and the creaks and groans of the trees being weighed down reminded me of most of the late night fright movies that were a part of my childhood.

Soon the alarm signaled that I had to get my backside out of bed and so my wife and I climbed out and started to get dressed.

That's when it happened...

with a snap, crackle and a VERY loud POP!!

Independence, Blue Springs and other KC metro area cities where plunged into total darkness.

Everyone in the household huddled together in the living room around the roaring fire. Candles illuminated the house as we got ready to leave and the kids settled down to sleep.

As I followed the wife to work the power lines and tree limbs snapped and fell as easy as you snap a tooth pick in half. It was like something out of the €œTwilight Zone€

The city glistened in the moon light and with every falling power line I thought to myself...

€œWhat The Heck am I doing out HERE!!!€

after a grueling 2 hour drive (that should have taken 30 minuted) I arrived at work.

€œSo pretty€ I thought as I felt the warm air and bright lights kiss my cold body. I bid goodnight to the manager I was replacing and set about my nightly chores.

€œClick... POP!€...


My world was once again dark. With NO heat and NO lights the store got cold very fast. I had to lock the doors, so no one could get in..I was alone, and I was cold. Only a couple of times did my heart beat faster...

that was when I heard someone pulling on my door trying to get in...

Just an observation here, but when you are alone in the dark and someone is trying to get into your locked door...your heart WILL palpitate, you WILL breathe harder and you WILL want to hide.

For me it turned out to be the local city police making sure all was OK.

For my children at home however, the night of darkness meant that they were going to stick together and defend the house. Even now the thought of Kevin McAlister from Home Alone comes to mind and I shudder to think what they might of dreamed up if given the time.

Instead when they thought they heard someone coming up the basement stairs...

My middle child became the warrior she is...

Not batting and eye she grabbed my Louisville Slugger and hid, putting her older sister and little brother behind her as she exclaimed...

€œAlright... I have a baseball bat and I am going to jack you up!!€

The next day when my then 3 year old son talked to my wife he remarked...

€œMommy...there was a burglar in the house his name was JACK and Laura was going to hit him with a bat!€

Anyone that knows my daughter will tell you... .don't mess with her or her family.

I was busy trying to stay warm...

I was working by flashlight to stock shelves and even mop. Keeping my blood circulating was my thought. When my District Manager called and asked if I was getting a nap with the power off I told him NO!! it was way to cold and that I had used duct tape to fasten the dual beamed flashlight onto the mop.

I bet I had the only mop in the city with a headlight and a high beam!

After my long work night was finally over I headed the slippery drive home. My 4 wheel drive nothing more than a giant sled with wheels. Able to slide but can't turn worth beans!

Bending to kiss the ice coated steps of home I made my way up and into the Igloo I called a home.

The kids were all huddled in their sleeping bags looking like birds in the nest calling for the parent to bring food.

We had NO heat to cook with so I did the only thing I could think of. I offered to roast hot dogs in the fireplace.

This met with a negative reaction, Ewwwwww Dad, NOT for breakfast.

So, I offered to roast which my wife scoffed €œthat is not an appropriate breakfast€

So as I looked at the roasting sticks that we had. I noticed that they had two prongs so you could roast marshmallows two at a time. Or even two hot dogs at a time, then...


I had a thought..(I know, I know...they don't happen that often)

I looked at the metal rod...and then at the POP TARTS sitting in the open cupboard.

Soon the Brown Sugar/Cinnamon pastries were roasting on an open fire and Jack Frost WAS nipping at my nose and my kids were laughing at the two holes that were left in each toasted treat.

€œIt's like Dracula came and bit each one€ my eldest said...

So, now and for forever I have become the Pop Tart Dracula.

That night and for the next week of no power we improvised and thought of fun things to roast in the fireplace. I just wish I could have figured out how to cook spaghetti and meatballs over the fire.

It was a challenge and we were up to it.

God tells us that whenever two are more a gathered in His name He will be there.

I can tell you my friends that he was. He created in each of us the need for self preservation, for ingenuity and to protect our family. He has never once left us out there with no life line to get back. He is always there with us.

We are the ones who put the distance between us and our Heavenly Father.

He has given each of us different tools to be used in the course of life. When we combine each of these gifts and talents to help each other then ANYTHING is possible.

God..and us. Together we are a team that cannot be beat.

When you come up against a challenge look inward and upward for a solution. Some will be simple and others will be creative.
You might find that you too are a Pop Tart Dracula for your kids.

*smiling as I finish writing this...I grab a box of Pop Tarts, start the fireplace and shut off the lights...

€œYep€ I think to myself. €œits going to be a good night€

and as I sit down and skewer my frosted goodies I look to YOU and offer you another stick and a tart.

€œJoin me?€

Kathleen Williams @khw4christ ·

Very good writing, I enjoyed it. I know that it was a real life experience for you and your family but it has a great message.

Billy Beard @billyb ·

Yes it was good writing. Thanks for sharing about life. Enjoyed.

Marly Allen @marly ·

Thank you for this, Snipitz. I'm still chuckling, and will never look at a Pop Tart quite the same way again. BTW, do you know you can fry things in a fireplace, as long as you pull some coals out by themselves, have a cast iron skillet, and really good gloves. Bacon and eggs cooked over an open fire? Oh yeah!

Samantha Wallace @sharingsfromsam ·

Really enjoyed your fun style of writing! Very entertaining and most encouraging to be reminded that God gives us inward and upward solutions to our problems that are both simple and creative!! I really needed to hear that today. Although I've never had the joy of a pop tart, I can appreciate the sentiment too!

Do not include honorifics.

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