Living in darkness – a few days without electricity

I hope all of you on the east coast survived the storm without too much damage. Perhaps some of you have been spending the last few days like we have?

Our power went out Monday afternoon and it just came back this evening. No light, no heat, no internet, and no phones for a few days.  The first few hours of a power outage are pretty cozy and magical. All your candles are on, fires are lit, everyone gathers around the living room fireplace since it’s the only warm and light room. Suddenly people are present, family members don’t have their faces buried in their laptops, or staring at the news, instead they are conversing. (Luke was thrilled “we can grill hot dogs in the fireplace!”). You settle down and just enjoy the complete silence you so seldom hear, and let the peacefulness engulf you.

It makes me think of how people lived their lives before electricity…

…a time when house guests stayed for weeks, because it took so long to get there. A time when no conversation was interrupted by a cell phone call.  E-mails didn’t come in at a rapid rate awaiting your response, instead a messenger came on a horse, and you had all the time in the world to ponder your thoughts and feelings. It makes me think how useful all the Swedish candle sconces are in Gustav III’s castle with mirrored backs so you double the effect of the candle light.  It makes me chuckle at my favorite line in a Jefferson biography when he wrote in a letter to his mistress in London saying “why don’t you come to Paris? It’s only 4 days away”.

We surely live in a very fast world today.

However when you wake up cold the next morning with no running water, you can’t get a hot cup of coffee, and your cell phone is dead it suddenly doesn’t feel so romantic anymore.

Instead all I thought of was how dirty people must have been back then, and just how badly I want a hot shower.

After an additional two days trying to help with homework by candlelight, having to drive to a friend’s house to sleep…


So tonight I’m thoroughly enjoying our modern creature comforts, a long hot shower, warm air blasting, lights are on. As I’m sitting in front of my computer I realize just how much these comforts really affect our home designs. What powerful impact every invention has on how we live.

Sometimes I wonder what time period was the best?

What do you think?

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6 thoughts on “Living in darkness – a few days without electricity

  1. Awesome article, I am a big fan of this website, keep on posting that great content, and I'll be a regular visitor for a long time…looking for the next one….keep it up!!!

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