Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Summer Storm, No Power, St. Minimus to the Rescue!


While driving home after the storm passed, lightning was making an impressive show on the horizon. I'm talking about the kind of lightning that makes your heart pound and your eyes wince. Words pop out of your mouth involuntarily. I was a little scared. As I got closer to home, I began to see big tree limbs laying near the road; I slowed the car, my eyes scanning the road ahead. At the time the storm came through, I had been safe in a building downtown, oblivious, absorbed in a theater production. When I went in the theater, it was 90 and humid; now, outside my car window, I could tell there had been at least a 30-degree drop in the air temperature. Eerie. I took a deep breath and gripped the wheel.

Making my way down my steep gravel driveway, there was evidence of hard rain in the telltale gullies that running water had formed. I checked my big beloved oaks and walnut trees as I walked to the house. Not that I would have seen much. The night was now still and dark, save for the meager light from a few solar lamps in my garden. I was just grateful that I wasn't stepping over trunks or large branches, and my roof line was straight and true.

As I suspected, my power was out, but I flipped the light switch anyway, out of habit. Twice. Okay, candles. I felt my way to the drawer, pulled out some votives and wooden matches, and began blindly striking, without much luck. Spark, spark, nothing, it's humid. Try another. Standing closer to the window didn't help. After breaking a few matchsticks, I set down the box. I guess I could just feel my way up to bed and not worry about light at all. Then, like a kick in the head, I remembered my St. Minimus headlamp. I turned and reached for it where it waited on its hook by the door. In one swift move, it was on my head and turned on, its 100 lumens doing their job.

I had to chuckle at myself--I've bragged about my Surefire St. Minimus more times than I can count. In the year since I bought it, it has lit my campsite, helped shoo bandit raccoons from my bird feeders, guided me in the dark recesses of my cave-like basement, and assisted in dispersing midnight feline fights. I showed it to a lady in the store recently whose eyes lit up when she told me, "I could use that when I'm knitting!" Indeed, the uses are endless, and after that storm, during a power outage, my Minimus came to my aid again.

Next time, I'll skip the candles. Candles are just mood lighting. The Surefire St. Minimus is the real deal, and there when you need it, as long as you...um, remember it's there.

Nina Cheney
Eagle Optics Staff
Binoculars: Bring them. See what they bring you.

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