Lights Out!

shadow puppet

This week’s topic is “Stories from a Power Outage.” This is actually something I don’t have much experience with. I sort of remember losing power once in a while when I was young, and once or twice after I had kids. But apparently, going without electricity for an extended period of time is not a common occurrence around here. We rarely lose power even during severe storms.

I can remember only one occasion when the lights went out for more than an hour or two. My daughters were about eight and eleven years old. When they first went out it was late afternoon, so we didn’t worry much. I did make sure I knew where the flashlights were and I always have a few candles set out on the fireplace mantle. My husband, who worked an early morning shift at the factory, went to bed early, setting our battery-operated alarm clock before he went to sleep.

A few hours later, the skies darkened and the power still hadn’t come on. I lit a few candles and the girls and I settled in the family room. We shone a flashlight against a wall and made shadow puppets, and when that got old we decided to play charades. We snacked on chips and lukewarm lemonade and talked about school, hobbies, and boys until we got tired enough to go to bed. The girls weren’t comfortable going to their totally dark bedrooms, so we opened up the sleeper couch in the family room and the three of us bunked together. In the dark, we told stories and sang songs until one by one, we drifted off to sleep.

In the next few years, my daughters would grow into young women and would leave home. I would retire and find new ways to keep busy. But for one dark stormy night, the three of us enjoyed some “girl time” when the lack of outside distractions kept us focused on each other. I still smile when I think about that night.

Sometime in the wee hours of the morning the power went back on. The television turned on, the microwave beeped, and the dishwasher, which had turned off mid-cycle, went back to work. My husband woke and found us cuddled together and covered us with a light blanket. He turned off the television and re-set the clocks, and went to work.

Do you have any power outage stories?

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About Patricia Kiyono

During her first career, Patricia Kiyono taught elementary music, computer classes, elementary classrooms, and junior high social studies. She now teaches music education at the university level. She lives in southwest Michigan with her husband, not far from her five children, nine grandchildren (so far), and great-granddaughters. Current interests, aside from writing, include sewing, crocheting, scrapbooking, and music. A love of travel and an interest in faraway people inspires her to create stories about different cultures. Check out her sweet historical contemporary romances at her Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Patricia-Kiyono/e/B0067PSM5C/
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11 Responses to Lights Out!

  1. jeff7salter says:

    Love your story, Patricia.
    Not sure what I’ll come up with for Hound day but I do recall a lot of scrambling around looking for candles and batteries, and such.
    that’s one big point my wife made in building this house — we had to have alternate fuel (propane) for both the kitchen range and for two large propane heaters.

    Like

    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      It pays to be prepared! I remember scrambling, too. We have gas heat so that’s not an issue. Cooking would be a challenge, though, because the range and oven, even though they run on gas, have electric starters. I’m sure you’ll have some humorous and engaging stories for us on Thursday.

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  2. What a lovely way to spend a power outage. I am sure your daughters look back on that day with a smile.

    I’ll be sharing my story Wednesday. 🙂

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    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      Thanks, Angie. I’m afraid my daughters have inherited my need to be busy, so when we can spend time together it’s always a treat!

      Like

  3. Joselyn says:

    Such a sweet story. My fear is that though we have several flashlights, the kids will put them away on and when we need them, they won’t work.

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    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      I used to worry about that, too! I remember checking the batteries at the beginning of each season. We’d always have a battery operated radio, too, for when we had to spend time downstairs during tornado warnings.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I am a firm believer in being ready for such an ’emergency’ , (well, it COULD have been), that I did a series on my other blog about family emergency preparedness. Everyone should have just some basics; batteries,(hidden, if need be!), flashlights and safe ways to use candles, plus more, if the weather continues to be bad.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      Awesome, Tonette. Since I had to teach lessons like this in school (it was always part of the social studies curriculum), I tended to go home and make sure our house was ready too.

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  5. duffybrown says:

    A few years ago we got smacked with a mini tornado thing and no elect for five days. Big wakeup call! So now I had a gas fireplace put in and halogen lights what will live longer than I will and bottled water and cash…if the electric goes out so does the ATM and charge machines. Cash is king. Now I just hope I never have to use any of these things.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jeff7salter says:

      sounds very sensible. If everyone would be that well prepared, things would go a lot more smoothly when power drops for a time.

      Like

    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      Five days?? What a nightmare. No wonder you’re so prepared. I hope you don’t have to go through that again.

      Like

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