There are some who revel in power outages. It’s a chance to play at being a pioneer, testing their ingenuity at making a life without the convenience of modern technology. That pioneers didn’t look at it as ingenuity so much as every day life doesn’t seem to bother them.
I am not one of those people.
I accept the blackouts as a factor of living in a world with trees and not wanting to see my utility bills skyrocket to cover the cost of burying the lines. But I’m not going to pull out my Laura Ingalls bonnet anytime soon.
I much prefer the alternative — finding ways to make modern technology work for me, even in a blackout.
We all have our little tricks, don’t we? Filling the bathtub with water immediately so the pump doesn’t have to be called on hours later when there’s no juice. Powering up the grill, then figuring how out to make pizza on the rack.
But as the hours while by, it gets more complicated. Especially if you have a 5-year-old who is a wee bit afraid of the dark, and dead set on your joining her in bed at HER bedtime to save her from the boogie man.
It’s a monster of my own creation, I admit. Thanks to a dim light from IKEA and a CD of 80s tunes for kids, we’ve regained our hold on the evenings while she drifts off to sleep in an atmosphere that’s both to her liking and relatively green (no 60 watt bulb a burnin’ in that room).
But when neither the flower light with its pinkish glow nor the sounds of funky fan favorites from yesteryear are available, it takes more than the pioneer spirit to power through an evening.
Because shadow puppets by candlelight begin to bore, board games are near impossible by Yankee Candle-light, and the sounds of booming thunder make it hard to get through a fairy tale without yelling.
This was our house just weeks ago, courtesy of a standard Sullivan County thunderboomer. A kid way past her bedtime. Two frazzled parents. And a power company advising it would be morning before we saw the light.
And so in my hour of need, as I stared longingly at my own book, which I would normally be 20 pages into by this time of night, I broke down.
I pulled out the iPhone and handed it over.
And so instead of encouraging the pioneer spirit, I let her while away the darkest hours catapulting Angry Birds and cranky monkeys in a previously downloaded Rio version of the smartphone game. Not quite what you had in mind? I bet Laura Ingalls used a catapult or two in her days anyway.
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