During a family dinner party this past Sunday, we experienced a 2-hour power outage. The lights flickered a few times and then went completely out. It wasn't dark outside yet, but dusk was setting in. Since one never knows how long the power will be out, I decided to locate some candles and our battery powered lanterns. The lanterns were easy to find in the front hall closet with our emergency supplies, and most of the candles were in the kitchen cupboard and others were scattered around the house as decorations. Even though scented candles in jars are occasionally nice, lighting several for power outages isn't the best idea. Kind of gives you a headache. I did have some vanilla scented pillar candles, which was a better idea. This Christmas I will pick up a few more and store them in the basement.
Without the power the air conditioner stopped working, so windows were opened. It was humid and somewhat stuffy because of the summer rain storm going on outside. But we endured. Just grateful winter had not set in.
The teenagers were playing Mafia in the living room, while the rest of us visited in our family room. They were excited when I lit candles on the sofa table because it added to the mystery of their game. Some of them kept commenting on how much "cooler" it was without the lights on. As conversation continued and darkness set in, I thought how wonderful it was that a family could still enjoy each another even without the power.
My little nephews, Mark and Luke, had been playing in the basement, and were somewhat disappointed that it was dark down there. I handed them a battery-operated lantern which they thought was very cool. Little 2 year-old Mathias continued wandering around the family room totally unaware of the event, but his wise mother moved the candles a little bit higher. One family member was caught in the bathroom when the lights went out; however, it was the one bathroom that I had a rechargeable light that is always plugged into the outlet. My teenage son later brought it into the family room commenting how great this little light was because it automatically goes on when the power goes out. So today I headed over to Target (also at Lowe's) to buy some Energizer Weather Ready Rechargeable LED lights for the other bathrooms; about $10 each. These also become a small handheld flashlight. Wouldn't want to be caught in the dark in the bathroom.
Fortunately this was a brief power outage, but each minor experience prepares us for future emergencies. If you are interested in a battery powered lantern, you may find these and other camping supplies on clearance later this month.