Let me start by saying that our electrical company is top notch. We only have electrical hiccups a few times a year, and those generally only last a few seconds at worst. This morning, however, we’d finished breakfast and had just gotten through family chapel. The kids were hustling off to make their beds and do their chores, when I heard a pop and noticed the kitchen light go out. I looked outside at the meter, and sure enough – we were without power.

After about ten minutes, it became clear that the power wasn’t going to come back on immediately and I began changing plans. I was literally a few seconds away from sitting down to get some work done, but with no power and an old laptop battery, I’d only be able to get 10 or 15 minutes of work accomplished. I reached for the refrigerator and realized I’d better not open yet – no telling how long things would be down. As I went into the garage to get a flashlight for the basement, I heard Jesi telling the kids to pick up since she was about to vacuum – it’s incredible how quickly we forget the ways that electricity impacts us.

Our neighbor came over to see if it was just him or if the whole block was out – he was worried about his fish if the power was out for a long time. I was getting antsy to start working and I actually considered firing up the generator so that I could power the internet and our computers. Now, as things go, we’re pretty comfortable functioning without electricity. The house is heated with wood and the water is gas heated – the electricity is only needed for the freezers and the fridge – plus the kitchen stuff and lights. After about an hour, the power came back on and life resumed as normal – but I’ve been left thinking about how quickly progress was brought to a halt this morning. Granted, my biggest concern was that the coffee was getting cold, but I’m realizing just how appreciative I am that electricity flows freely from my wall sockets.

We’ve been considering having a “electricity free fun night” with the kids – throwing the breakers to everything but the food storage and camping out in the living room with flashlights and cooking on a camp stove. I’ve heard that these experiences can be invaluable for the real emergencies and ice storms – when those hit, your kids already think that no electricity is fun and not scary. Spending the evening camped out under a blanket tent with the wood stove cranking and flashlights sounds like a great way to spend time as a family and let the kids know that their world is much bigger than their local electric co-op…