I usually write about art-related subjects, but this month has put that on the back burner.

I usually write about art-related subjects, but this month has put that on the back burner.

As the lights flickered when the storm rolled in earlier this month, I said, "Not again." In my five years in Worthington, I had been blessed to have only two outages, each lasting nine days. The second one was during a scheduled trip to San Francisco that I had packed for during the daylight hours but left at 4 a.m. for the airport. The power was restored when we returned three days later on a Sunday.

Having been bitten twice, I was ready. I took much of my frozen food to a friend in Dublin who was unaffected by the storm.

I went to the Dollar Store and purchased three flashlights -- my great-grandchildren had successfully hidden the one they played with. I read that night with the light on my shoulder and a candle in the bathroom.

Thinking that surely the power would be returned sooner this time, I continued my routine but ate a lot of sandwiches and salad. My children's power soon came on, and I was invited to stay with them, but I opted to stay close and guard my spoiling food and deteriorating garden. I now had some more freezer space so another load of meat and desserts went to their houses.

The chest-type cooler came into the kitchen, and daily trips to buy ice became the morning ritual. Each day tomato plants and flowers were watered.

We on South Selby commiserated that we would be the last to get power back, which was our history, but there was still hope that would not be the case this time.

I had a friend in Portsmouth who said, "If I were going west in a covered wagon, I would want to be in Martha's wagon." I was never sure if that was a compliment, but I am resourceful and pretty much unflappable.

As the days went on and the promised relief in the weather never materialized, it was become more and more difficult to keep a stiff upper lip. At least I had a gas hot-water tank, which I wouldn't have had on a covered wagon. There is always something to be thankful for, and we were not caught up in the dreadful wildfires out West.

On that fateful stormy Friday, I was making benne wafers for a planned southern soiree and had creamed the brown sugar and butter, which, with no power, went in the freezer.

After the week came to an end and the lights were on, I commenced the task of discarding. I hesitated over the butter and sugar, which had stayed cold and went into a glass jar for sweet potatoes and acorn squash.

On Wednesday evening, I was cleaning the inside refrigerator when my granddaughter marched in and said, "Mimi, it is 89 in here, and you can't stay in this house.' I reminded her that I grew up without air-conditioning and that my mother and I had canned bushels of tomatoes and green beans with a wet towel as a sweat cloth. I spent that night at her house.

At 6:30 a.m., I sneaked out and was on my way for more ice.

The lights were on at the South Selby apartment complex, and I thought, You don't suppose?' I turned left instead of right and eased up the street. Lights, lights and more lights. I rounded the bend and there was my porch light, gleaming brightly.

I made some new resolutions during this third episode. Do not continue to cook like I have 10 people in the family, avoid buying in bulk and turn up my nose at "Buy one, get one free" signs -- regardless of how artfully displayed they are.

Martha A. Burton is a former member of the Ohio Arts Council and MacConnell Art Center boards.