Our Friday Fox asked, “If a weather-related reason caused you to have unexpected guests stranded at your house, how would you keep them entertained? What would you do if the electricity was also down?”
I don’t often have overnight guests, but if people were forced to stay with me, their entertainment would depend on the time of year and ages of my guests. Up here in the frozen tundra, our wintertime activity differs greatly from that in summertime.
During the winter, younger people might enjoy sledding. If there’s a blizzard, we’d have to stay indoors while the snow is blowing, but once that’s done, it’s fun to be outdoors. Roads would probably be blocked for a day or so until the plows get through, so I could send everyone outside. Behind my condo is a large church with a huge parking lot. Snowplows keep the lot cleared off, and the snow is piled all around the outside edges, creating some nice hills. I don’t have sleds, but they can use cookie sheets to slide down. Cross-country skiing is something else people could do. There’s a place nearby that rents the equipment and we could get some great exercise plowing through the snow. We could make snowmen or have a snowball fight, followed by hot chocolate.
During the spring, we often deal with flooding, since the Grand River cuts through our county as well as several neighboring ones. We’ve also got lakes and other bodies of water that rise during the spring thaw. Sometimes, roads are impassable, bridges are damaged, and trees and powerlines fall and block the roads. The ground gets pretty soggy, so unless the “entertainment” includes a mud fight, we need to try and stick to paved areas. The aforementioned church parking lot behind my condo would be a great place for kids to ride bikes, have races, or play hopscotch. The high school is a quarter mile away, so older ones could walk there to play basketball or tennis, or run laps around the track. Last fall, I walked laps around the outside edge of the church parking lot.
Tornadoes hit Michigan during the spring and summer. While they’re in the area, we’d be in the basement, of course. Fortunately, my basement is finished. I have a full bathroom, a seating area, cable TV, and a bedroom. There’s even a kitchenette. As long as it’s not too many people, we’d be fine. I have an electric griddle, so we could cook.
If electricity is down we’d have to be creative about cooking, since I don’t have any camping gear. I have a freezer full of food, so I wouldn’t worry about that, but as far as prep, I imagine someone nearby would have a charcoal grill. I’ve seen them in various public parks, so maybe we could find one. My family loves board games and we all have a variety of them. Battery-operated flashlights and candles would enable us to continue our fun after the sun goes down. This would be true regardless of the time of year. There are also lots of books around, and in a pinch I could pull out some old photo albums and ask the kids if they recognize any of the people in them. I remember one spring when we lost power for three days, my daughters and I played charades for almost an hour.
To sum it up, I guess I wouldn’t be too upset about hosting people during a weather event. People who come here are either related to me, or long-time friends, so it would be fun to have them here for an extended visit. It’s been pretty quiet around here.