Reflections on a week without heat, electricity and internet

November 24th, 2015 by —

guest column by JEANNE ALGER JENSEN

(editor’s note: This is the story of one family that went through a full week without electricity in Spokane following the windstorm that made new records for power outage there and on the Palouse.)

“Roughing it” is really not that enjoyable without mountain scenery viewed around a campfire…

A “backup” fireplace (planned to be used during a power outage) is not at ALL adequate…

All heat from said old-fashioned fireplace burns through precious wood, hurries up the chimney and disappears in the outside night wind…

Four people and 11 animals huddled in one room for warmth, going “cold turkey” (no pun intended) on electronics usage is fodder for divorce courts…

Board games played in the dark can be creatively entertaining…

Listening to scary stories told in the dark/cold are twice as frightening…

An injured animal in the night of a power outage becomes a new sort of emergency…

Clean underwear and a hot shower are highly under-rated…

A good hardback book read by candlelight is an amazing adventure never found with an e-reader…

Seeing one’s breath while walking into your home’s kitchen is almost frightening…

Washing up spills with ice cold water just does not cut it…

The ear-drum piercing noise of the generator running next door is highly envied music…

Warm dirty socks are more comfortable on cold toes than the clean ones only found in a 40 degree bedroom, inside an even colder dresser drawer…

Strange sounds inside a cold, candle-lit house can be terrifying…

Stocking up on gasoline, “D” batteries, propane and egg McMuffins makes you a rich person indeed…

Nothing is more loving and grateful than a small shivering pup finally allowed to snuggle with his human under 5 layers of blankets. Cold, wet kisses were never so warm…

Frigid sandwiches eaten in an even colder home are just not that appealing after 2 days…

Throwing out hundreds of dollars of food after it thawed and re-froze and thawed again is disheartening, but less so that trying to guess what is still edible…

Stocking a refrigerator the day before a huge storm is not a bright idea…

Going into a dark, cold bathroom and forgetting your flashlight (and also forgetting the light switch does not work) continues to be a major frustration…

Toilets NEED self-warming seats…

The ability to eat out at a nearby restaurant is a blessing for warmth and hunger, but the pocketbook suffers just the same…

A friend who brings a hot pot of soup is an angel from heaven…

Nothing tastes better than a simple cup of cocoa or a bowl of hot broth sipped through gloved fingers…

Cell phones, internet, computers, TV and the like are true luxuries but not really necessities…

The world still goes on without talking politics or listening to the news…

Thanksgiving will take on a new meaning this year.