Friday, July 22, 2016

Scheduled power outage

Earlier this week, we got a note on our door from the electric company. They had to do some maintenance work and that meant shutting down power for my neck of the woods. We started preparing for the power outage.

The first thing I did was encourage everybody to eat as much of the food that was already in our fridge and freezer. I did this, too. I also made notes on what items would need to be replaced afterward.

The second thing I did was decide what we would NEED to save in an ice chest and what we could afford to throw out. Some things had very little left, like the milk, so we’d let that go and just get milk after the power was back on.

The next thing I did was remind hubby that we needed an ice chest for the things we would need to save.

After all that was settled, I prepared the kids. I reminded them that they would need to get done everything they had to do that required electronics – computer, TV, etc. – and to make sure phones were on chargers for the day of before the scheduled time of outage. I made a note of when the power outage would happen and I also worked on getting things done, too. (Like finishing up my short story for this week!)

Next, I made sure we’d have everything we’d need for when the power was out: Flashlights with extra batteries, candles and lighters for the candles, and extra bottled water.

I have to admit, I was a little worried about this happening at night. Of course, I was glad it was not during the day when we’d need the fans on in the house, but I was just uneasy about it happening at night. That’s when the crazies would take advantage of the situation! So I had to mentally prepare for that kinda thing. Still, I had a bad dream about something happening when the power was out.

But fortunately, we got through the night okay. We’re still alive!

And thankfully, it was not hot outside, so we managed okay without the fans.

Another concern I had was Jesse getting scared when the power went out. I was sure to explain to him why this was happening and I also made sure it was a fun time for him. No, we didn’t make shadow puppets on the walls, but we did hang out together and I also played a game of chess with him. We played chess by candlelight! That was awesome. (I also played chess with Jen after I played with Jesse.) Jesse got to learn how to light candles. He had trouble learning how to use a lighter but after some practice, he was able to strike the lighter for a flame. I told him sometimes it helps to turn candles sideways to get to the wick and light them. He also used a Q-Tip to light the wicks that were too low.

Jen wanted to camp out on the couch and Jesse camped out in the living room, too, using a sleeping pad, blankets, pillows and his sleeping bag to make up a bed for himself on the floor. It was like a camping event for them!

I did get the “food to save” stuff into the ice chest okay and kept my knife with me in case anyone tried to break in. But that was not what we had to worry about. Actually, the only thing we did have to worry about when there was no power was spiders! I had to squash two big black spiders running across the kitchen then the living room. (The second one was a big one!)

It actually turned out to be a pleasant evening. I had hoped Jesse would have fallen asleep before the power went out at 11, but I think he was too excited about it. I was sure to entertain him and hang out with him and he got through the night okay and not scared. I also used my phone to post pictures from this time on Facebook and there was actually someone online to see the pictures and comment on some of them. Additionally, I occasionally walked around the house to make sure the candles were still burning okay, nothing had caught on fire, there weren't any other spiders running around, and that the house was secure.

This morning I spent some time returning saved foods to the fridge and also throwing out the things that were no good anymore (like the milk, lunch meat and ice cream – there wasn’t much left of them, anyway). I took note of what would need to be replaced and put it all on today’s grocery list.

I am glad we got an early heads-up about the power outage but I guess we should be ready in case any unexpected power outages occur. Jesse knew what was going on and understood why our power was going to be out for 5-6 hours so he wouldn’t have suddenly freaked out when the power went out. But maybe I should prepare him for when we don’t expect it to go out. (There was one time a fuse blew and our power went out, but that was during the daytime. It’s a different situation at night and all of a sudden there’s nothing but darkness everywhere!) So maybe I should prepare him for if an unexpected power outage happens at night. One thing I told him yesterday was to keep a mental picture of the room you are in in your head and just follow it as you walk through the room. I guess I could share with him other ways to be prepared. I am just glad I have a lot of candles everywhere in the house!

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