Power Out

30 Dec

Today’s Plinky-inspired post has been quite relevant lately: what would you do with yourself during a power outage? The reason it is relevant is because the power frequently goes out at my house. I have no idea why, but on a fairly regular basis, I come into my room only to find that my clocks are all flashing incorrect times. Then there was that huge, freak storm in October which knocked our power out for days. It’s already been an unusually snowy winter here, leaving us powerless for a few hours. And then there was the day a curious squirrel blew up the transformer across the street (we know this because he was still lying at the bottom of the telephone pole an hour later). So, I’ve had to find things to do with myself in these instances, which is proving more and more challenging as I become more addicted to technology.

When the power goes out, the things you can do rely heavily on what time of day it is, and what time of the year. When it is winter and it gets dark at a ridiculously early hour, you are fairly limited on the things you can do. If you have enough flashlights or candles, you can read a book or maybe even play a board or card game, but that’s unusual. Most of the time you just have to go to bed, to sleep off the dark until you can see again in the morning. When it’s still light outside, your options are a lot more varied. You can fall back on the book reading and board gaming, but you can do other things as well. Those are my typical choices, but I also like to clean something. Like take a drawer that’s been neglected and use that electricity-free time to organize it. Or maybe to pick up that scarf I’ve been knitting for a year and haven’t finished.

Of course, you always have the option to leave the house, timing permitting. It’s a good time to call up a friend for coffee, or to see a movie. If you’re in the middle of something important, it’s nice to take your computer to Barnes and Noble or somewhere similar and finish your work. Although, having the power out is a nice excuse to unwind from all these screens we usually have thrust in our faces. Ordering pizza is always a great option, as well as going out to dinner. We have a gas stove, so we can still cook when the power is out, but it’s not fun to deal with the warm leftovers in a refrigerator that’s off.

If the power is out long enough, we must load up our soap and towels and shower at the gym. My mom and I had to exercise this option back in October, because we were smelly and out of hot water. I remember one day, in eighth grade to be exact, that the power and the water were out in the morning. Of picture day. Needless to say, I did retakes that year, and did not buy those school pictures.

Most of the time, if I’m not reading, or playing on my phone, I just sit around and think about how bored I am, and what I could do to entertain myself. Excellent use of time, no?

It’s funny how much we rely on electricity and technology during the day. Almost to the point where you don’t know what to do with yourself when you have no access to it. It really puts your powers of creative thinking to the test. It’s nice to have that reminder every once in a while that, really, we’re powerless without power. Well, obviously. But we forget what a luxury it is, that we just take it for granted.

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