Monday, July 16, 2012

The Hearth Room Unplugged

Derecho:  Wind Storm.

I have always been fascinated by both the power and the beauty of weather.  I grew up on the Eastern Shore so I've experienced some very mild hurricanes, but somehow I had not even heard of a Derecho until now.

I have a new appreciation for the power of wind.  I also feel so much for the folks who live in areas that fall victim to tornadoes and other violent storms.  The fear can be gripping to hear something powerful coming towards you.  Yet you must maintain composure enough to protect your family in a state of unpreparedness.

We were very fortunate to have only some tree damage that requires lots of elbow grease to remedy.  I know many others were not as fortunate.  The wind was  powerful and made quite a mess, but we can clean it up.   Most of the corn is standing up again now.

Roads were blocked. 

Lots of power lines were down and damaged. 

They said it could take a week to restore power to everyone, but we were only 5 days without.

That was our biggest challenge, being without power, especially while it  also happened to be 102 degrees most days that week... But we were able to keep cool in our old house and slept in the unfinished basement.


Since we are on a well, that also meant no water for us.  Thankfully, I had a few gallons stored up for such an occasion, but it wasn't enough by any means!  We were able to go fill up our water supplies every day, but what a chore that is!  The things we take for granted really came to light that week.  Doing dishes was something that required planning and preparation.  As I was talking to my mother on the phone I had to tell her, "Mom, I have to go...  I have to wash dishes before it gets dark."  What a funny statement that was!

Because this was our new "kitchen" during the outage.  I had to boil water here to bring in to do the washing.  And it was quite dark, too!  So it was pretty important to get everything done before dark.  With that said, it was very cozy brushing our teeth and cuddling up at night by the light of a lantern.  There were definitely moments that were startlingly comfortable and made great lessons for the kids. 

Now, we did have our frustrations such as a hot toddler needing naps.  Hot babies don't sleep well.  And hot Young Man simply did not take the heat well. 

Yet the time spent sitting quietly, getting them to rest comfortably ended up being well spent.  For as much work that was involved in the extra chores and preparations, there was equally as much down time.  REAL down time, lol. 

We did spend a good bit of time in the mornings outdoors on our patio when it was shaded and cool.  Coloring and drawing and most meals took place here.  Tapping into that unplugged opportunity to be creative and use our hands. 

Something I have always done and have taught my son to do over recent years is to draw a random design with a black pen or crayon or marker.  Sometimes you just end up with a cool, random design, but often we color it in using one color per open space.  Sometimes a really neat image emerges, which is so fun because the point is to be completely random, unplanned....  So I recently was reading somewhere about Zentangles which I had not heard of before and was totally surprised to find.  It seems that this random drawing has become a therapy of sorts...  A way to relax the mind.  Apparently you can purchase books and patterns and everything!  I guess that really takes away the 'randomness' in the drawing process, but I can see where you still get the creative/relaxation benefits.  There are tons of pics of the tiles folks have drawn all over the web.  Very cool, but I think I like my random, whimsical scribbles.  They are free!

The kids also found lots of things to do around the house that would not normally get their attention with the electric  on!  Instead of asking to play video games or watch a cartoon, they decided to visit with a huge stuffed animal collection that ended up becoming a sea of critters to play in.  At this point, we were fortunate enough to have found a generator, so were able to run a fan and save the contents of our freezer, so things were a 'tad' easier to manage around  here. 

In the end as we look back it was a sweet time.  We were unplugged.  It was quiet and that was nice.  We cuddled and read books out loud.  We cooked outdoors and percolated our coffee on the camp stove.  We took it easy so as not to get overheated or over dirtied (due to lack of water!).  We played with toys long forgotten and used our imaginations.  I worked in some cool, summery crochet time while the kids played and I read while they napped.  I can't say it was easy without power and water, but I can say I was almost saddened by the power surprisingly popping back on.  Our sweet, quiet times were abruptly brought to an end.  Within 2 minutes the windows were closed and the air conditioning was on.  And probably the tv, too.  There were good lessons this week.  For me and the kids.  Everything in moderation, I know...  I always limit the amount of tv and screen time in the Hearth Room.  But it's different when it's just not an option.  I liked it.
I hope all of you are safe and sound where you are!  Now turn your computer off and unplug yourself for a few!  You'll surprise yourself with what you can do with the extra few minutes of quiet.



  1. Wasn't that an amazing wind? A first for this area. Glad you made it through okay. I imagine a child in the heat would have had some issues!
    Strongly suggest a generator so you can get water from the well.

    1. Yes, Hubby is very much ready to get that water pump hooked up to the generator!

  2. I remember when the wind tore through here last fall. Like you, I'm on a well but I had a much larger supply downstairs for the necessities. I was home alone and enjoyed the peace and quiet of 3 days of creating and reading. It was nice. I think my husband would have gone stir crazy, but for me, it was a step back in time I truly enjoyed. Glad you were all safe!

    1. Hi Kelly! Thanks... And yes I agree... All that quiet time could be put to good use! Glad you were able to enjoy it!


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