What do YOU do when the power goes out?

What do YOU do when the power goes out?

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We lost our power yesterday. Nasty snowstorm here on Cape Cod. I thought it would be an interesting experiment to document my feelings as the day unfolded…
Minute 1: This is kinda cool. Novel, really. It’s still daylight, so I can read. And, my cell phone and laptop have plenty of juice. OK, the internet is down, but there’s plenty of other things I can do…
Hour 1: Still feeling fine because my laptop and iPad batteries are keeping me ‘somewhat’ connected. However, I am noticing how much of my “work” actually NEEDS to have an internet connection. Electricity is the core, but not having access to the internet is a First World problem of the First Order! Heaven forbid I can’t check email or Facebook for an afternoon. Oh well, I can still watch one of the movies I had downloaded to my iPad…
Hour 3: The novelty is starting to wear off. The heat is dropping. My cell phone and laptop batteries are down to 20%. The bed-sheets we put in the laundry are still wet. The dishwasher is full of un-washed dishes. I can’t see the food in the refrigerator. Two of the flashlights I had ready for such an event aren’t working. I don’t think the iPad has enough juice for another movie – and it’s only 4:30PM! Oh shit.
Hour 4: I hear something. It’s my daughter playing the piano. And it hits me: I now love the piano more than ever – it’s there for you even when the power goes out! This completely changes my mood. I am optimistic once again…
Hour 5: I can’t read my book anymore. I found a place near a window where there was just enough light, but now it’s too dark. NOW, we can start talking about growth. It’s wonderful to light a candle. And, just…. sit. There is a beautiful peace in it all. The quiet. The simplicity. We’re getting back to basics. “What are we going to do about dinner?”. “What to do without heat for the night?”. I’m thinking about essentials. Food. Shelter. As I light a match, I think about the scene in “Cast Away”…Ooga-Booga, me make FIRE!…
Hour 6:  It’s pitch black. We’ve got all the candles lit, and make dinner on our gas stove. We enjoy a candlelit dinner as a family. No music. Just candlelight and the people I love most in the world. I’m so thankful for this moment. My daughter is casually passing her finger over the candle. My son’s phone is out of juice, so he is more attentive than usual. There is a ‘festive’ mood at the table. And then… just as suddenly as it had started… the lights come back on. A kind of weird depression hits me as I realize we’ll all be rushing back into our 1st-world habits. My daughter must have shared my sentiment because she jumps up and turns off all the lights and re-lights all the candles. “This is Fun!” she exclaims as she runs around the house, chasing our dog with a flashlight.
Today I am thankful for electricity. I’m thankful for my home, heat and food. I’m extremely blessed to live in a country which can restore my electricity – even in the fiercest of winter storms. So, I’m thankful to those guys out there (somewhere) making sure we have electricity. But, what I’m most thankful for today? The piano – truly one of man’s greatest creations.
I hope you enjoy this story. If you’ve faced a similar situation recently, let me know about your experience.

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