Thursday, December 10, 2009

Power Outage in Rural America..

That black blur under the candles is our TV.

We had a snow day yesterday, and I was so excited. A whole day free of school with my two young sons. We had big plans of lots of fun. Music, dancing, computer fun, Movies, popcorn, and some other indoor fun. We began with a movie. Then some dancing. We put in a VHS copy of the 1977 version Mikhail Baryshnikov's The Nutcracker. I had purchased it for a dollar at our local library in their sale book & movies section. Hubby found it for me since I had recently seen the Ballet in the City. We managed a full viewing then the dancing began. Boys were twirling and whirling to the music in their heads. They borrowed some leggings & danced around having fun pretending to be the boys in the ballet with the swords, guns and horses. Sometimes they were the Rat King, sometimes the Sugar Plum Prince. They were having a ball. My younger son Roosky asked to have the movie put back on so he could dance to the music & get more ideas. So I put it back on. We managed about 20 more minutes with the movie, and it's music. Then the lights went out.

Dancing to keep warm..
The comforter in the back round is from their bed. It was the tent roof of the fort I helped them to make.

No electricity means a couple things here. No heat. No hot water. 40 gals of cold water only. No cooking. (no cooking, only cause I couldn't see where the portable grill was) No heat, did I mention no heat? No TV. No music. No computer. The weather outside at the time was truly frightful. It had snowed overnight about 7-8 inches, then it was raining & deluging on top of that. Ice on top of snow + wind = Not that much fun to be had hiking or hanging out of doors. Plus if we got really wet there was no real way to dry clothes, or warm ourselves up. So on went a bunch of clothes for all of us, including the dogs in their t-shirts. We made a fort, we danced some more. We read a bunch of books. We played dominoes. I showed them how to line them up & knock them down. We played matchbox cars. We coloured. We thought up some stories and we cuddled all 5 of us on the couch. Then darkness began to descend. Funny I didn't think much about the dark coming on. Till it began happening. I had thought the power would have been on in one to two hours or so. It was now nearing 5 hours. So we began hunting up the flashlight. Check. Found the big one. Then I found some LED coloured ones we had purchased a few weeks ago for the boys. They danced around with those for a bit & did some recon missions under the bed & couch to find some toys.

I then looked for a lighter to no avail. Hubby came home and he had one. So I took the candles I had been rounding up & started lighting them. I had a few tea lights and some other small ones.. and lit them all. I found some bottles we had saved for soup & such, rather than using plastic and put candles in them to maximize the light.

Olde Fashioned Lights..

We did venture out one time. We did a quick run to the store for some easy to prep foods. Junk foods I don't normally have on hand since I make most from scratch nowadays. I also picked up some veggies so I could begin our supper stew.

Supper stew ended up being cooked at 9PM. So we had it today for lunch.

While we were tooling along in the car. I saw a red truck in front of us. I kept clear of it, as it was the first real time this winter driving on the wet wintry roads. It rounded a corner, and came to a complete stop, began backing down the road. I pulled alongside it and looked up in front of me to see a ginormous tree blocking our way. It was the "No Electricity" culprit. Hmmmmm, I began backing up too, 3 point turned the vehicle and headed back the other way, to a cross road that cut around the mess. Made it to the store & back with no issues. I saw National Grid coming down the road. I figured at tops it would be a couple two-three hours. I didn't count in the Thunder and Lightning that began working itself up, once we returned home. Electric Employees cannot work in electrical storms, I think it's an obvious reason. They could get struck by lightning, and holding electrical wires in their hands. Just not a good idea.

The lack of power didn't keep us down. It didn't dampen our spirits any. We just switched tracks and found other things to do. We still had fun. We didn't miss the TV at all. We really had a great time bonding & cuddling. My son's were mad when the lights came on and they had to sleep in their own beds. They had been looking forward to camping with us to keep warm, so we caved and let them anyway. They are only this small, this one time. Mine as well enjoy it.

Now that we've had this experience we are going to be better prepared for the next time. Nothing like 'flying blind' to prepare you. I've stored the grill & propane tanks right where I can find them. I've also stashed the candles and glow sticks & flashlights, so I don't have to go looking for them. Definitely considering a wood stove too. It would have made things so much more fun & warmer too boot. ;)

I also took the time to explain how folks used to live, without lights and amenities that we have now. Things like TVs and computers and Mp3 players. That candles, and fires, and dominoes, imaginations and books would have been pretty much it for folks, in some cases. We appreciated our day without the extras. But, we also appreciate the things & extras we do have, just a little bit more now.

XOXO --Heather :)
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