We were into day two of EGG sitting. The parents of G major, G minor, and E were away in a magical world without bedtimes, where life was one long play date. One grand boy was back from practice, another home from his friend's house, and dinner was over. The hour before bath and pajama time loomed ahead but I knew we'd be fine with maybe a televised basketball game or an animated something or other to fill the gap, never mind the weekend.
We turned on the TV and saw the words that can strike cold terror into the hearts of grandparents everywhere: NO SIGNAL. My knees buckled slightly and I could have sworn my husband looked paler than he had a moment ago.
What could have happened? The TV had been pouring out news of the latest crisis in Europe all afternoon while the boys were in school. The broadcasting source at this house is satellite rather than the cable we're used to, but I was impressed with the alacrity Grampa EGG showed in researching the problem. He whipped out his iPad and scanned the troubleshooting sites. One comment attributed our issue to the uncharacteristic cold we'd been experiencing. Another explained how they'd tracked wires, changed cables, even splicing a few.
Visions of a 67 year old hanging out over an icy roof or peeling back protective casings of unfamiliar wires flashed across my mind.
Meanwhile, I dug frantically through the family's assortment of DVDs, thinking maybe we could at least turn on a movie.
"Think," I called over my shoulder. "What has changed since this afternoon? The kids haven't been near the TV."
"Nothing. And it was working fine before." He stared at his tablet. "Hey - here's some kind of box we should be looking for."
Using a flashlight left over from someone's Christmas stocking, we pawed through mysterious devices attached to the television, then went on a foray to the basement. No luck. Then it occurred to me that since the dish was on the roof, perhaps it would make sense to look upstairs. Up we went and indeed found the box in question.
I experienced the same rush Stanley must have felt on finding the source of the Nile.
This was it!!
Except the power button was dark, as dark as our prospects in a weekend with three boys under twelve and no television.
Our aging hearts thumping, we tracked the power cord - around the back of the upstairs TV, behind a bureau, and to the wall where instead was plugged the charging cord for Grampa EGG's phone, and the one for the dish connection lying sad and unplugged on the floor.
That day I learned a fresh lesson about mixed emotions. I was grateful for the way my husband had instantly sprung into action to save the day, but he was in fact the reason it had almost kamikazied in the first place.