So it’s not like I have any complaints. Considering the tornado-induced devastation across several southern states, me and mine fared pretty well. No power for six days is pretty light compared to losing friends, family, pets, jobs, homes and vehicles.
With the help of our friends and neighbors, we ended up creating a pretty fantastic setup, complete with two propane grills, yard games, a fire pit, cooler upon cooler of food, battery-driven music and even (gasp) glow sticks.
Cold showers were not preferred, but weren’t that bad, either. If you turn on your Jedi mind and tense all of your muscles, you can pretty much take a full shower (and shave) with no problem. After that, grab a chair and sit in the sun sipping a beer while watching a game of ladder ball.
After about two days, I had gotten used to it and actually preferred the slowed pace of life. With no A/C, we were forced to raise the windows. We woke with the birds and the sun and by 9 or 10 PM we were ready to hit the hay (except for the first couple of nights where we couldn’t tear ourselves away from a game of glow-in-the-dark bags (or corn hole, for us southerners). I was also introduced to spider hunting. Let me tell you, the old addage of never being 3 feet away from a spider is pretty spot-on. Our yard was covered…literally.
By day 5 I was considering succeeding from society altogether and forming my own little commune. I liked the way I had acclimated to nature. I enjoy the outdoors, but don’t generally spend 15+ hours a day sitting outside. Somehow, this power outage had reset my brain. I felt more creative and more alive.
I preferred sidewalk chalk drawing to staring a hole in the TV. I reacquainted myself with the art of clover flower jewelry making. I painted my nails…twice. I played board games and card games and silly “Would You Rather” games. There were always people around to talk with and our conversations were always funny and engaging. I learned more about my friends than I had known before and realized that my life is pretty darn good. Who needs expensive things, fancy cars and diamond rings? Isn’t that a song lyric?
When the power came back on, I was actually disappointed. My extended yard vacation was over…back to creature comforts and eventually being sucked back into the world. Back to fighting traffic, back to dependence on my cell phone and my laptop, back to flip flip flipping through the channels, back to boring life that humans have created all around them by shielding themselves from the great outdoors.
Lucky for me, our little commune has decided to get together once a month and have a “Power-Out Party” (except this time, we won’t have to wonder what that rotting smell is coming from the fridge).
As for me, today I plan to go home (with my laptop and music) and sit in the back yard until the sun goes down. I’m excited already!
Arcade Fire – “Power Out”