I was out driving last Thursday evening when the big wind storm started up along the Midcoast.

I was coming back from Chiner, Maine, where I had spent the day hanging around with Dad.

Now, I’m not a weather buff. The guy who sits next to me at work monitors the weather from minute to minute. I just can’t apply myself to it. I tend to space out during that segment of the news.

But after getting caught in a snowstorm on the way back from Augusta a few years back with it so bad I thought the whole family was going to freeze to death on the side of the road, I learned my lesson. Before I do a day trip in the winter, I check the forecast.

Well it said wind and rain, so I thought, big deal! Right? Wrong.

So the cool thing about driving during a wind storm is that all of a sudden your car just says, “Hey, I feel like being over there now.”

It was a surprise I couldn’t hear the tires squealing, because I swear that Chevy was going pure sideways. It was like standing on the deck of a sailboat, staring off the port side. Foom! “Why am I heading into the trees?”

The other wicked awesome part of the drive was when I’d get the passenger side tires into the standing water where the pavement started to slope down toward the ditch. Then one whole side of the vehicle was hydroplaning and the water was splashing up so it looked like I was going through a car wash.

Bob Dylan famously wrote, “The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind,” and I gotta tell ya, he ‘s way off. Trees, debris, power lines, sailboats, the odd tumble cat or two, but I saw nary an answer flying around out there.

Eventually, I made it home and there was a message from Mom waiting. She wanted me to call so she would know I made it home OK.

On the home front we started Phase 2 of the storm experience.

This was when the power went out.

I kind of enjoy a blackout. It always reminds me of all of those times when I was a kid. I can remember huddling around the radio with our flashlights during a hurricane and listening to some poor news guy driving around in it.

Most of the power outages I remember seem to have been during summer thunderstorms. My parents had told me lightning could get me through the toilet, which added a certain something to my terror during storms. One time, I’m not sure I even realized there was going to be a storm. I happened to be in the bathroom when lightning hit right outside. It had to have been in the yard.

“Wham! Crack!”

All done!

That’s the longest I ever remember going between heartbeats.

Mom also told me if I sat too close to the windows the lightning would carry me away like it did some distant long-dead ancestor. Somewhere in Canada there’s a gravestone: “Grammie Whosit, beloved mother and wife, carried away by lightning in 1936.” There’s a stone, but the body was never found.

Unfortunately my children had already gone to bed, so I had no opportunity to terrify them with whatever foolishness I could make up.

Our house is probably a lot like yours. We have the one flashlight that works and the two that don’t that we keep in the same spot because it is just so much fun to play the “Which light works” game for 10 minutes in the pitch black.

We actually have a pretty nice rig that looks like an old-timey lantern, but it has florescent tubes in it. Problem is, it takes about a gazillion batteries and the kids like to play with it. They make tent forts by draping a blanket over the dining room chairs and then go under there with the lamp.

So when a storm comes a calling, the thing doesn’t work.

I was zero-for-four on flashlights. Not a one in the house worked. So we resorted to plan B, which was candles. Finding the candles was no problem because the wifer already had them out. I found the grill lighter near the long dormant barbecue tongs.

Finally, we got the candles going. On my way down the upstairs hall I moaned in my most ghostly voice, “Ebenezer Scrooge, the sins of man are huge!” quoting what I could remember from the Albert Finney version of the movie.

Something just seems to click when you operate by candlelight in an old Victorian house.

Before I could go to bed, Christine had to interrogate me at length about all of the possible things we might have left on. It’s kind of a drag to come flying out of REM sleep at 3 a.m. when the overhead light suddenly kicks back on.

Down in South Thomaston, a tree slammed down just missing Christine’s parents’ house. It did take out my mother-in-law’s rhododendron, but otherwise, the damage was minimal.

I think I must have sensed something because I got up in the inky darkness and howling gale of the night to stand by the window and look out.

I watched the trees swaying and the shingles flying.

And drifting out there in the darkness was old Grammie Whosit, her hair blasted white and still standing up on end.

Now I know what you’re thinking. You don’t buy it. But there’s a more important question.

When the next storm comes, do you think my kids will?