When the Lights Go Out

Kitchen table by candlelight.
Kitchen table by candlelight.

This is one Thanksgiving I will remember well. Approximately 180,000 people lost power in New Hampshire after a nor’easter struck the New England coastline. My husband and I were no exception. Thankfully the heavy, wet snow had stopped by Thanksgiving morning. Unfortunately, we were left in the dark.

Fortunately, my sister-in-law didn’t lose power, so we loaded our holiday fare into the car and had Thanksgiving dinner at her place. The day was saved and we were happy, full and grateful for each other. The hard part was going home to a cold, dark house.

Plenty of blankets, long underwear and a wood stove got us through the next couple of days. I kept reminding myself that this was nothing to what others are going through. I could be keeping vigil over a loved one in an intensive care unit, dodging bullets in a war torn country, or watching my child starve to death. I really am lucky for the life I have.

My husband and I took turns going to the gym for showers. One was always home keeping the wood stove going. He spent most of his time listening to a battery powered radio and I read by candlelight and wrote in my journal.

I am always amazed how simple life becomes when the power goes out. The telephone in the kitchen is silent and our cell phones are turned off to save the battery. There is no checking of email or surfing the internet. There is just conversation, books and thoughts. I went to bed early and awoke rested.

This afternoon, the power was restored. I rejoiced as the heat kicked in and the lights went on. After my husband went out for the afternoon, I turned off all the lights and placed candles around the living room and kitchen. I turned the computer on just to post on my blog and I kept my cell phone turned off.

I will remember this Thanksgiving as a time spent by the wood stove reading by candlelight and talking to my husband. I will remember the silence that the snow brought and the gathering of my thoughts.

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