by Teri Saya


This is a mask my friend Art and I made many years ago (way before we were a couple) during one of those storms on the coast that took out the electricity. Whenever this would happen, Art would pull out "The Box" and we would do arts and crafts or play board games until the electricity came back on. In a tiny town on the northern California coast, the outage could last for days. The older boys had moved out and there was only the youngest, Jessi, left in the house at this point.

Picture this....It's daytime so we don't have to light candles just yet. Jessi and I are sitting back in chairs with our heads resting on the table and our faces toward the ceiling. Art puts a layer of Vaseline and over that, a thick layer of wet casting tape on both our faces, and we are breathing through beverage straws. We are trying not to giggle or smile lest we crack our works of art.

It doesn't take long to dry and our masks are soon ready to be decorated. After washing the Vaseline off our faces, we sit down at the table. It is loaded with a huge assortment of craft materials and broken computer parts (which we had plenty of.) We tell stories, joke, laugh, and gossip while creating the "the most awesome masks ever!" as my son put it.

I used clear marbles for the eyes, wires for the hair, and computer parts for the accents.

Thinking back, it's sad to say, the adults in the house worked with computers for a living and so the kids did not get much attention until things went dark and the computers shut down........I'll never forget times like these and neither will my kids.

After my children were grown and on the rare moments when all of the boys took time off from their busy lives and gathered for holidays at home, I would look up at the sky and if it was the least bit drizzly, suddenly the electricity would go off. No one suspected that I knew where the main switch was, they just assumed it was yet another winter blackout.

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