Lights Out

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Recently our power went out three Saturdays in a row. Life as we know it ceases to exist. Everyone panics and prays for it to be a quick break in the power line and hopes it will come right back on. When it doesn’t, your mind switches to survivor mode.

Candles, flashlights, batteries come to mind. Things you don’t give a second thought to in everyday life. Our power has gone out so many times over the years we have it down to a science. Lanterns and solar powered flashlights are stockpiled, even a solar powered radio.

After the big power outage of 2003, now called the Northeast Blackout of 2003, we invested in a generator. We debate when it’s the time to haul it out, crank it up and start using it. Since we lost all our food in 2003, the refrigerators are the first to be plugged in. That used to be everyone’s main concern.

During these last outages, the fridge wasn’t the only thing on my mind. I was disconnected from my world…the computer. Everything I do is on it…my writing, books to read, and my entertainment. I didn’t like the feeling of sitting in the house with nothing to do because everything was on the computer or my Kindle which wasn’t charged.

How times changed! When I was little I thought it was cool when the lights went out and the candles came out. We’d try to place as many as we could around the house. Everyone would sit in one room and talk. We’d decide how many cold snacks we should start to eat out of the refrigerator if the lights didn’t come back on. There were books and board games to entertain us.

Life, at times, seems more solitary than even a decade ago. Maybe the power going out has some benefits. It might be time to tear ourselves away from the computer screen long enough to look around and see what we’re missing. Our whole world shouldn’t be wrapped up in our phones, laptops, iPads or whatever you use these days. It gave me time to reflect, gather the family together after the initial shock of being without power wore off. We talked, shared stories and even cracked open a bottle of wine. Maybe having the power go out once in awhile isn’t such a bad thing after all.

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