We spend so much of our waking hours connected, online, communicating via computers or just watching super short video clips, reading, no more like skimming through highlights, titles of online articles, it has become a global human addiction of the 21st century. So what does it take to unplug, you ask?
It took a wind storm to bring down a large dead tree, which in turn, brought down our power line and cutting off all electricity supply into the house completely. Until the local power company send its crew to fix the line, we could pretty much go about our daily routine as usual except for:
- cook, including making hot tea or coffee;
- watch TV;
- surf the net;
- check, read or respond to emails;
- use the washing machine to do laundry or dish washer to do the dishes;
- and most of all, for me, work, since I work full time remotely via VPN connection to the company network.
With a couple of camping lamp that runs on battery, flash lights and an old fashioned kerosene lamp, we can still read books and play board games at night. But of course, to endure one night and one full day without power is too much to ask a modern day family. Especially not since we had actually purchased a generator from Costco in 2012 which has been sitting in our garage for the past 2 years, just waiting for the rare power outage, so that it can finally be put to use. And by the time the power line was fixed, we had burned through nearly 7 gallons of gasoline to power the fridge over night and do some work the next morning.
I don’t want to sound unappreciative of what all I have and can count on:
- Reliable power supply for nearly everyday of the year;
- Same-day or next-day service to get the power back on;
- A handy husband who can get a generator working and knows the in’s and out’s of all the circuit board controls in our house
But at the end of day or following day of the power outage, I really enjoyed the one night spent reading hard-cover books under a flash light with the kids. Alex, my 13-year old boy and I took turn and read 5 books to my 4-year old boy. Then we also played a board game. For other wise, we’d each be sitting in front a separate screen, watching, playing different things, like now. It reminded me of “The Book Thief”, how in times of crises, people were gathered together by circumstance out of their control and yet something good, something enjoyable can be the turn-out because a girl brought a book to read.
I don’t think I will completely give up our connectivity, but it wouldn’t be bad to have a power outage once in a while. If nothing else, I took half day off from work…