Living with no electricity

It’s a rough day here in the northeast. Rain. Howling winds. We lost power hours ago. It’s the kind of day I like to pretend we’re settlers trying to survive on the unforgiving wilderness. We (Wife) made coffee outside by the grill. Slugger went outside to gather firewood for when darkness covers us. He made three trips. I think there are five or six logs for us.

Wet firewood on a rack.
Our store of firewood

The Oppressed and The Boy are at a friend’s house. That leaves us with only three kids for now. They now have eight, I think.

Being a history buff, I like these brief episodes without electricity and the other modern conveniences. It’s our own chance to camp in. We have shelter and a healthy supply of non-perishables. It’s easy to “rough it” for a day or two. No electricity. Light a couple of candles. Read by candlelight. Write by candlelight. In the meantime, there’s daylight.

Wife made some coffee for our neighbors. I drove up to them with the coffee and checked on our own children. I charge my phone for the short drive to keep the battery full. I get back home and return to my reading and writing and continue to pass the time.

A book, notebook, pen, and glasses on a wooden table.
Passing the time

Slugger has resumed his firewood duty. He’s winded after one trip. All of the children are suffering, really. Nintendo Switches didn’t get charged. WiFi is spotty. I tried to convince The Boy and The Oppressed to play an unplugged game of something. That was when they booked it to the neighbors.

I’m googling how to boil water. There’s another mountain of dishes to be washed and we’re running out of space on the counters again.

A girl standing on the street with no jacket in the rain.
The future of our country.

I’m not saying I’m going to wash dishes today. I’m saying I want to be prepared if I will. I don’t see power coming back any time soon. What did come back was The Oppressed… without a jacket.

“Where’s your jacket?” I asked.

“I forgot it.” 🤦‍♂️

It’s dark. We have candles lit all around the house. Flashlights for moving around. Lovie takes the flashlights and puts on a light show. We have a fire in the fireplace. Still no power. I may pour a beer and pretend I’m a traveler in a tavern.

A fire in a fireplace behind a screen.
Nighttime at home.

Neighbors brought us dinner. They have a generator and we’re able to cook with electricity. Dinner was great. I was planning the evening with the children. They’ll be home, I’m sure. We have cards. We have board games. I have a case of beer. This is going to be great. A fire and some games with the kids. I find out The Oppressed and The Boy are staying over the neighbors. Oh well, a man can dream.

On the plus side, The Oppressed and The Boy are away tonight. Two kids down, three to go.

We’ve had dinner. I’m having a beer and just grabbed a book. Children are going stir-crazy because their phones are losing power. They don’t know what to do with themselves.

A book and a bottle of beer on a table with lit candles.
My night.

The Valley Forge Death March

Wife needed to travel to Pennsylvania during a long weekend. I, being the history buff, was excited to know we would be relatively close to Valley Forge. I had never been and my favorite excuse for visiting somewhere is: “It’s there.”

The cherubs (The Oppressed and The Boy) and I dropped Wife off and continued to a local place for breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and when you’re going to spend your morning walking around, it’s that much more important.

We filled up on the local fare and proceeded on to Valley Forge. I was excited. Not only was I going to a place that had made me curious for years but I was also doing this with my children, one of whom would be learning about the American Revolution soon enough in school.

Breakfast before Valley Forge

The cherubs’ enthusiasm waned before we got to the second cabin on the land. The Oppressed wanted to know when we would be leaving and The Boy wanted to know what time it was. He was fairly certain the hotel pool was open by then and he didn’t want to miss it.

I was hoping to make it to the top of the hill where we would see the house where George Washington stayed while the soldiers built the cabins in the ice and snow. The Oppressed was done. She had gone far enough and she was hungry. She demanded more food. I reminded her there were people who were here during the winter with nothing on their feet in the middle of winter. She said I was lying and, if I was telling the truth, they were luckier than she was for not enduring such harsh treatment as her.

The last straw was when she saw a car driving up the hill to the destination I was hoping to reach. She was furious at me for making her walk all this time when we could have driven. She immediately laid down and informed me she wasn’t going anywhere until I agreed to take them back to the hotel so they could swim.

We never made it to the house.

Log cabins that housed the Continental Army. I would liked to have visited them all.