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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Power Outage Parties!

My kids won’t live through the apocalypse. They will die from hunger and cold… because I am a bad mother.
During the recent winter storms and power outages I have discovered that my children’s high-tech lifestyle has taken their survival skills away. I have only contributed to the problem because I am the one who keeps buying the electronics.
I am always “Power Outage Ready.” Believe it or not I have a fear of power outages. I have a plastic box in my basement full of candles, batteries, lighters and matches. I have a battery operated radio in my kitchen, an old-fashioned stove top kettle, propane stove and fireplace, and a stack of board games to keep the kids busy.
I am Survivor Woman!
During the outage I filled the kettle and put it on the stove. I asked my teenaged daughter to let me know when it was boiled. A few minutes later she called out to me and said “There’s lots of steam coming from it but I didn’t hear the click.”
The click? What’s “A click?”
The sound the kettle makes when it is boiled… the electric kettle. My daughter’s generation never had to boil water for tea on a stove. It got me to thinking; I need to educate this girl on the basics of life. I picked up a Bic lighter and said, “Light this stove with this lighter.” At first she protested until I said “What happens if you’re lost in the woods and need to start a fire to stay warm? You need to learn to survive.” She said she would use the GPS on her phone and get out, plus she would never get lost in the woods because she didn’t know where that was.
She tried and tried but couldn’t get the lighter to work. This generation is just not a “manual labour” type of generation.
Then I tried to teach her how to work a radio that runs on batteries. You wouldn’t know but I asked her to change the tire on the truck. It was a new world for her. “You have to unplug it from the wall then switch over to battery mode.” She had never seen this strange animal before. I know she longed for the continuous stream of info from Facebook to find out how her friends were all suffering from the outage. This listening to information from a battery operated radio and not being able to type “LOL” or “LMAO” after each comment the reporter made was killing her
Now at the same time, I couldn’t survive in her digital world. My phone died and I was willing to wait for the power to come back on to charge it. My daughter said “Mom, charge your phone in your car.” I never would have thought of that.
By day three she had enough “My hair is frizzy because I can’t use my straitening iron and all my clothes are dirty” she screams.
Still the Premier refused to call it a crisis!
I have been living in this province for 50 years. I know when winter comes there will be power outages. That’s guaranteed.
As a parent it’s my job to make sure my family is ready for one. We call them “Power Outage Parties.” We play Monopoly, go for drives and boil water on the stove.
I forgot how good tea tastes when the water has been boiled on the stove. We’ve had our power back for a week now and I am still using the “old-fashioned” kettle.
So calm down people. It’s not the end of the world. It’s a power outage. Have fun with it.