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How Did The Power Outages Affect Your Family?

Lack of technology can bring out everyone’s true colors.

I’m all about livin’ it up “Little House” style, or at least I thought I was, but when the power clicked off at midnight Sunday morning, fear spread over me.

I thought I was ahead of the game – laptop charged, iPhone ready to go, four pitchers of water in the fridge, and a few headlamps if needed. I was especially excited about my secret stash of strawberry wafer cookies.

What hadn’t occurred to me was the lack of Wi-Fi. My laptop doesn’t do a whole lot of good without that lifeline to the rest of the world.

All of a sudden I had no idea what was happening to my friends and family. I had no Facebook to follow. My phone began to do strange things … no signal, no Safari connection.

I went to bed with the assumption that all would be fixed by the time I got up. I awoke Sunday to dim morning light as rain continued to fall and trees swayed. The clock was still off -- that meant trouble.

By 9 a.m. the arguing started. My two boys (9 and 4) found it difficult to get along, stranded in the family room in their “hurricane shelter,” which was composed of blankets, pillows, and stuffed animals.

I became grumpy because I couldn't watch the Accuweather radar. I might have even gone into certifiable Facebook withdrawal.

One thing that occurred to me was how critical it was for families to work as a unit. In a different era, it would be necessary for each family member to play a specific role from the moment they awoke.

I envisioned my boys getting dressed and going to the springhouse for the morning’s water, then collecting eggs from the henhouse.

In the meantime, I’d fire up the wood stove so we could wash our faces and make coffee. Bacon would be frying atop the stove, while my husband would be caring for the animals in the barn. There would be no other choice.

These daily responsibilities were a part of the family unit, bringing everyone closer.

Kids weren’t going off into their own rooms to build a new habitat on Zoo Tycoon. They weren’t debating which game to play on the Wii. They had to work together to keep the household going.

It made me realize why families aren’t as close as they once had been. There’s no longer a need to be a unit. Everyone can live separate lives and still maintain a household. Modern conveniences have taken us in a new direction.

So we pretended we were living in the old days, bringing a new vibe into our “off-the-grid” home.  

Maybe we should all go “off-the–grid” once in a while, just to see how well we could get along. I’ll tell you from recent experience, you might be surprised.

Sharon Robertson August 31, 2011 at 01:38 PM
Well it is frustrating to realize that your home owner's insurance policy doesn't cover ANYTHING! Residents on my block (including me) had 18 inches to 4 feet of water in the basement and alot of clean out to do afterwards. I guess the only thing I can say about that is, I did some delayed spring cleaning, or early fall purging! And lastly, it is great to see how a community pulls together to assist in bad times.
Cheryl Saul August 31, 2011 at 10:58 PM
We didn't think our homeowner's insurance would cover our flooded basement but because we have a sump pump system that failed because of the power outage we are covered for some things. Will it be enough? I won't know until we have the claims team tell us, but at least we know we have some coverage. Our furnace and our drywall are our biggest concern.

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