Week 17 – Power Down

Years ago, a hurricane swept across our state.

We were lucky.

No physical injuries, no property damage – other than a few uprooted bushes in our front garden – and we were blessed by a neighbor who let us plug our refrigerator into his generator.

We had three days without power, and thankfully, the weather was cool and breezy after the storm passed.

The lack of air conditioning was a nothing.

Those three powerless days were some of the favorites that we’ve logged away in this house.

So much so, that once in a while, the boys ask when we can go without power for another weekend. No TV, no lights. Just us and candles and board games at night-time.

National Screen Free Week is April 30-May 6. So on the weekend of May 3 – 6, we’ll be powering down.

We’ll still have our fridge running. Still be flushing toilets. Still be gratefully using the AC if necessary.

But we won’t be using lights, or running the washing machine or dryer. No TV or video games or computers or stereos.

We’ll be cooking on a camp stove, or the outdoor grill, or – if I can muster the organization and motivation to be prepared ahead of time – I hope to build one of these. We’ll do a day-long science experiment, and cook a meal in a cardboard box.

We might eat a lunch of peanuts, beef jerky, and apple slices.

It’s possible that we’ll feign panic that our freezer could potentially shut down (in a real storm situation) and all of our fudge pops might melt to oblivion – so we’ll have to eat them all immediately.

We’ll spend evenings playing Monopoly, Clue, Uno, or Go Fish.

We’ll catch up on some reading via candle-light.

We’ll go for walks and play outside more during the day. We’ll busy ourselves by being together.

It’s really the way it should be all the time.

We tend to forget it though, and too often our family gets sucked into the conveniences of our advanced techno life.

It’s nice to remember, sometimes, how lovely life can be without all that convenience.

Do you care to join us?

If you do, let me know how you plan on spending your powered-down days, and I’ll happily take inspiration from you . . .

5 thoughts on “Week 17 – Power Down

  1. Wow, you NEVER cease to amaze me!!! That’s an awesome idea! I remember our “no power hurricane days” fondly too. You’re right, it really puts family time in the forefront, where it should be. We just may join you, but I don’t know that we’ll be brave enough to do an entire weekend….I think we’ll try one day at a time (baby-steps)! You are awesome and good like chicken…..!

  2. It’s so funny that you chose this one today! I was just talking to my husband (yeah, you know who I mean) telling him that we really out to go to this remote cabin on a lake in the far north Canadian woods for a week–but then I had to ask him if he thought he’d go through withdrawals since there’d be no power, no internet, no iPod past whatever charge it had when we got there. The lack of running water didn’t seem to concern him!

  3. I love the freezer emergency idea! When I was a kid, my dad would break out the kerosene lamps when hurricanes took out the power. They were so cool, because we didn’t use them that often–felt like camping. He taught us morse code and other survival things. Maybe we’ll have a powered-down weekend and call it “Inspired by Grandpa.”

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