Terrible weather has been rolling through the country with snow, ice, and tornadoes causing all sorts of problems and power outages. As I’m writing this we’re expecting a mix of snow, rain, and ice to hit us throughout the night and into the morning. Here’s hoping we have power when this post goes live!

These days, a power outage is something I dread. But I have fond memories of the power going out when I was a kid growing up on our farm in WV.

I was reminiscing with my mother about one winter outage when I was particularly delighted because we got to play cards by lantern light, kept a fire going in the fireplace ALL day, and slept in the living room wearing toboggans to keep our little heads warm.

Can you say, FUN??

Mom laughed. She has different memories of that particular outage. Here are the parts I didn’t remember:

  • We’d just finished butchering a hog. Mom and Dad finished packaging the meat and left it on the porch to freeze since the chest freezer wasn’t working.
  • Hot water had to be heated by fire. Imagine a kitchen after processing a hog. Pig fat and other unmentionables everywhere and on everything. Mom had to wait until the power came back on to clean up properly.
  • That cheery fire blazing hour after hour? Every so often we had to let it go out, remove the hot ashes, and dispose of them safely. By “we” I mean Mom and Dad. Not to mention all the firewood that had to be hauled into the house.
  • And let’s be honest, sleeping on the floor with wiggly, giggly children holds MUCH less charm for me as an adult. I’m guessing it was the same for my exhausted parents.

We laughed together over the disparity in our memories. Mom said she finally gave up and packed us off to Grandmas while Dad stayed at the farm to keep the pipes from freezing. That was probably fun for us kids, too!

This is why I appreciate my parents so much. That power outage wasn’t any fun for them. As a matter of fact it was deeply frustrating. But until Mom told me her version, I had no idea. Maybe I was just oblivious, but I like to think Mom and Dad simply put a good face on it and simply did what was needed.

Reality is something we all need to face. But when you’re a kid it sure is nice to have parents who let you revel in sleeping on the floor beside a crackling fire. Safe, and warm, and loved.

How have you handled power outages?