Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Mixed Blessings

We had a terrible wind storm over the weekend that knocked our power out. We are on day 4 with no electricity. Of course, my entire kitchen is electric, but our hot water is gas (Thanks goodness!!), so we can clean things, but we have no food and no way to cook it. Well, not easily. It is at times like these, when I realize that all of the things that we have been through have prepared us for these "mini-disasters".

In the past few years, while we have struggled financially, occasionally we had to pick between having gas and having electric. And though I wouldn't exactly call us "off the power grid", we have gotten very good at fending for ourselves "on the edge of the power grid".

Last night, The Princess and I decided we were hungry. Of course there was no money to just go buy a pizza, so we improvised. We found a can of Sterno in my son's camping gear and set about making a grill. We used a dutch oven to set the Sterno can in and then took an oven rack and put that across the top and proceeded to make refried bean dip. It was delicious. We also discovered that we could make a pretty good lamp out of a flashlight stuck in a vase. I have a friend at work who has been making coffee by candle light. He says it works pretty well. It's been kind of fun coming up with solutions to the problems of living without power. It stretches us and makes us use our heads.

The nice thing about not having power is that there are no distractions from the outside world: No TV, no radio, no telephone, no computer. We sit and visit with each other. We play cards and make our own music (though playing piano by candlelight is not as easy as it looks in the movies...) and, of course, we read. Our internal clocks are getting used to the rhythm of the day; we are tired when the sun sets and awake when the sun rises. And there is a sort of pride that we are getting through it all, none the worse for wear, and maybe even getting by a little better.

When the power comes back on, we will resume our busy lives and hectic pace, but it is nice, for now, to have a little technology vacation.

Photo by justmelissa1977. Found on

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