Lesson #1 It could be so much worse
We can light the stove top. We can still use the bathrooms. We can leave in our car and find a place to eat, kill time, or warm up.
It’s not Haiti, it’s not Joplin, MO, it’s not rural Japan nor is it a war zone.
Lesson #2 I watch too much TV
I love TV. Not the crud on it as much as the insight it is into people, our culture, and the pulse of humanity at different times in history. Then, there’s the Food Network, which is about none of that.
It is my top fave because it somehow makes me think I can absorb great culinary acumen through osmosis.
I see now I can be doing other things with that time. (I knew that!)
Lesson #3 I only need four of my 12 rooms
Bathroom, kitchen, living room (fireplace), bedroom—That’s all we are using as we put the family in one bedroom to avoid freezing. I now understand the need for a hearth. If we had one, we could get rid of the wall between the living room and kitchen and be using only three rooms!
Lesson #4 Pioneer/Colonial people are heroes
Since I would never give up indoor plumbing, even to have a hearth, I now pronounce those early Americans as my heroes. How did those people do it? Finding/growing food, cooking it, sleeping on hay beds (or worse), rarely bathing, going to bed when there was no more light or otherwise reading by candlelight, and playing instruments to create their own entertainment.
On the uglier side, I can see where gambling, prostitution, and brewing liquor all came from. There were no life coaches and they had nothing to do after working all day!!!
Lesson #5 Matches are a girl’s best friend
I don’t smoke. I never carry matches. But, I do keep them in my house and I collect them from restaurants. YAY!!
Obviously, they light candles and stove tops but they also serve as powerful reminders of the significance of fire. Light, warmth, the ability to transform raw to cooked and also, the power to destroy.
Not being able to sleep well the other night, I could not resort to my usual TV viewing or internet to peruse, so I read the newspaper by candlelight. I felt like Abe Lincoln. I was painfully aware of how easily the corner of the paper could catch on fire if I got it too close to my light source.
Also, yesterday, my little son threw something into the fireplace that older son thought should not go in there. Older son grabs it out quickly, not realizing it had caught fire, and put it on the living room rug. Luckily, I was there and did see it so it was stomped out fast, but GEEEEZZZZ, imagine!
So, yes, I love matches. And have a new-found respect for fire.
Lesson #6 Laughter is a great antidote to boredom
As the day grew dark yesterday, little son and I cuddled on the couch with a blanket in front of the fire to get warm. We intended to nap. However, sleep did not come, but laughter did. Little son sang a line from a song I wrote for the upcoming Lurlene show and it struck me as so funny that he even recalled it. We were in stitches howling and crying with laughter for what must have been five minutes. Revisiting the moment later brought up another fit of giggles and then another and another. Oh it feels so good to just laugh sometimes!
Lesson #7 Solitary confinement could work for me
As I sat in the dark this morning before my family awoke (part of my usual routine), I did not have the benefit of ambient light and it made me think about solitary confinement. ( My mind works in mysterious ways!) How do people survive that? Darkness for 23 hours a day. No light to read bye. No one to talk to. Nothing to do.
For a moment, as I imagined that from my little hour of darkness I knew I would get through, I did not think I’d have the fortitude to survive it. Then, I remembered the long, sleepless nights with my infants and how I would sing entire scores of Broadway musicals to them until they finally fell asleep. That’s what I’d do in solitary confinement. I’d sing every show tune that ever got etched into the caverns of my brain. It would drive the guards nuts and I’d be free in no time.
Lesson #8 Starting a family was one of the smartest moves I’ve ever made
Although my eldest managed to avoid every powerless night by the kindness of his friends’ parents, the blessing of my family has been repeatedly washing over me. Thank you, thank you to the powers that be that made me break my teenage vow to NEVER get married and NEVER have kids. THIS is so much better for me than the alternative and the darkness has once again brought that into the light.
In conclusion, enough with the lessons! Someone turn on the lights!!!!!!
(and so they did about two hours after writing this)