Beth Markel

Without power…

Posted on November 27, 2013 by Beth Markel

When you don’t have power for 4 long days, you begin to ponder strange things… walking into a room and flipping the light switch comes from muscle memory and habit, not relevant to the current no-power situation.

The hum of generators filled the neighborhood through long, dark nights.

What was it like to move into the Great Lakes area long before modern conveniences, including a power-grid, and how cut-off were you from other family members or other families?  If you lived out on a farm, you were isolated.  Not completely isolated, but relatively isolated until you went into town.  Oxen yoke are now displayed in a local cider mill, but what must it have been like to haul that bulky yoke over the ox heads and rig it up to plow?  Now I just admire the yoke for the lines that seem organic and lovely to me when hanging above pumpkin gourds.

Rochester Cider Mill

Rochester Cider Mill

After the 3rd day without power, and actually no cell phone charger that works unless you’re in the car, I really began to feel isolated.  Not bad, just not talking on the phone like I normally do.  No email, unless we went into town to the library, or used a hotspot at Panera Bread.  No real sewing or dying either, as laundry piled up, and a project I’ve been working on since early Spring, ground to a halt.

On the bright side, it was cold, but not bitterly so.

Without lights in the area, the stars were crystal clear.

We could cook with the gas top.

Our water is heated with gas, so our showers were smoking hot.

There was a lot of meaningful conversation without the distraction of phones, computers, TV, movies, and DVD’s.

We played Scrabble and laughed until our sides ached.

It was funny to watch my husband shave by candlelight.

All year long I’ve been looking for, and finding, inspiration in the everyday.  Two leaves fell at my feet while out walking – and they looked just like a yellow butterfly…  the meticulous rows of nail polish in a local pharmacy are almost art… the pungent/sweet smell of rosemary or Russian sage as your run your hands over it… the doe and growing fawn that crossed my path just this morning.

Deer on the Paint Creek Trail

Deer on the Paint Creek Trail

         After having no power for what seemed like a long time, I’m grateful that more people were not hurt or killed in the storms that took out our power.  I’m grateful for friends who kept checking in on us when we didn’t have power.  I’m grateful that our family can still laugh and play games like Scrabble.  I’ll keep looking for inspiration every single day, but I think I will be paying closer attention to the small things.  Not just the flowers I’ve taken so many pictures of, but the actual texture of the leaves and petals.  Not just the trees changing color, but the whole palette, as the whisper of Fall fades into winter.


Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!






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