Saturday, September 25, 2010

Who needs electricity?

At one o’clock yesterday our power went out. Big deal. I just loaded up the two little girls and headed out to run errands figuring it would be back on when I returned.
It was not to be.
I began calling the power company and got a busy signal over and over. It was time for dinner and luckily my FlyLady-self had already thawed something out for dinner (no microwave). I cooked tacos and we had a wonderful feast. Surely the power will come back on soon.
Nope.
So far, here are the things I’d learned…
1. Keep cell phone charged at all times. Mine died soon after the outage.
2. Love my antique telephone on the wall because all phones are dead.
3. Maybe it isn’t too great that all telephone numbers are found on my cell phone, lds.org, or whitepages.com. I couldn’t call anyone on my antique phone.
4. Children play outside when there is nothing electronic to do in the house.
All hands on deck to do dishes after dinner. We boiled our water to wash and I had the opportunity to teach my children to wash glasses first, plates… onto pans last because they grease up the water. Why on earth would I have ever taught this before now?
Seven o’clock rolled around and we should’ve been at our friend’s house, the Coombs, at 6:30. I thought maybe their power was out but I never heard from them so we headed to their party. Hey! They had power. Something was fishy. They’re only a couple of streets away!
We left around 9:00 pm and watched all of the houses on our street. They ALL had power except our house and the one house across the street. Ugh. We used reading lights to get the kids to bed.
To make a long story short….er… We didn’t have power for THIRTY-THREE (yes… 33) hours! Our refrigerator was room temperature and my Rhode’s Rolls were beginning to rise in my freezer.
We spent all day harvesting our garden together as a family.  I felt impressed to stay home from the R.S. broadcast since I was going to have to be boiling water for my children to bathe for Sunday, which would take all evening. I could  watch it online tomorrow afternoon.
This was a preparedness wake up call for me. I had no problems feeding my family and could’ve done so for a long time but there were some SERIOUS inconveniences. Like…
1. No spouts on the water storage containers. Five gallons gets heavy to pour over and over again.
2. Need an easier way to flush the toilets. Chasing the poo’s down with giant buckets of water… seems like there’s a better way.
3. Washing dishes with no running water… over and over and over. It was fun the first two times. I found myself reminding everyone “be careful what you use. We have to wash that by hand.”
4. There were no pretty dishes on the table. If it was made in a pot, it was served in a pot. Again, who wants to wash more than you have to.
5. Clothes. How the heck do you wash anything? Ideas would be nice here.
6. Empty propane tanks aren’t helpful.
7. You have to have enough extension cords for the generator to serve it’s purpose.
8. The “popular” hand grain mill would be a joke for a family of eight. It was white flour everything at this place and I need to buy A LOT more!