Power Outages and Community

They closed the schools today here in Nashville because its cold out and they didn’t want kids to get frostbite waiting for the bus.  I remember times when the power was out in winter for 2 or 3 days in a row which meant we had no heat in the house and what’s weird is I don’t remember it getting cold in the house.  It had to since it was in the 20s outside but we were used to it and they didn’t think about closing schools until we had six inches of snow.  You see, I grew up in Levittown NY and I’m thinking of the early seventies.  There would be bad weather and the power would go out, so what would we do?  It didn’t matter what time it was, we would gather in the kitchen and pull out whatever cold-cuts and salads where in the fridge and have a feast.  I’m wondering if everybody knows what cold-cuts are so for anyone who isn’t sure they’re also known as lunch meat but not the prepackaged crap you get now.  I’m talking real roast beef, turkey and ham that they cooked at the store or deli and didn’t slice until you ordered it.  I’m sure Boar’s Head was already a major player (I just checked their website) but most places still made their own and they didn’t ask how you wanted it sliced they sliced it as thin as they could, showed you a piece and asked you if it was thin enough.

We would light some candles and an old-fashioned lantern, sit around the transistor-radio (if you’re young that means a battery powered radio), listen, talk and eat.  I mean what else was there to do?  The part that’s funny was that we would get up in the middle of the night to do this, how can you sleep when the power’s out, right? 

Eat; we don’t want the food to go bad…

The problem is that things work too well now, we need more power failures to build community.

Heavenly Father,
Thank you for all the great things you provide for us in this country, electricity that is reliable, well stocked supermarkets and running water.  Today we come to understand a little better that these things can be a two edged sword.  Lord, give us the desire to have true community with fellow believers and to be a light to draw others to you, in Jesus’ name we pray.


3 Responses to “Power Outages and Community”

  1. Maria Houpt Says:

    SO true!!!!!!!!!!!! Love it!!!!!!!!!!
    Our boys have been out of school for two days now, bc of the cold. WHY? There’s heat in the school building!
    Love the part about the ‘cold cuts’!!!!! Brings back memories!

  2. Ahh, power outages and New Yorkers…About a year ago we had a huge storm up here in Nor. Cal. Almost our whole little city lost power, some people for several days. We only lost power for about 12 hours, but it was the day Paul’s friends from New York were coming through town to have dinner with us. I’d never met them before, so it was a big deal. We had to light the whole house with candles, which made it very difficult for me to breath (I’ve got wimpy lungs), so we had to open the doors to the cold to keep me from passing out. I couldn’t use the oven, but was able to light the gas stove top and cook dinner that way. Everything came along nicely until I realized I couldn’t use my electric hand mixer to mash the potatoes – and no longer own a potato masher. So our guest from New York took a fork and mashed them for me, almost as smooth as the machine would have.

    The great thing about events like that is that they become landmarks. You never forget when things go crazy wrong – like the Christmas part of my fingertip ended up with the chopped onions (it didn’t occur to me much later, since I was more concerned with stopping the bleeding, that I’d never accounted for the missing piece of finger and that it had most likely ended up in the potatoes au gratin!) – or this Christmas when Paul spilled the turkey drippings in the oven and filled the house with smoke. It’s just more memorable when things go wrong, and it’s best, of course, when they’re not really bad things.

  3. Jim,

    I also have fond memories of power failures and dont mind them unless I have to work the next day and the house doesn’t get too cold. Take care and keep those flash lights handy…Chris

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