A Dozen Ways to Keep Busy During a Power Outage

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A few weeks ago, I lived by candlelight. No electricity, no internet, no running water, no refrigerator, no heat, and no oven. It was fun for a while; it was like living in the past! However, after continually trying to get things done and failing miserably for four days, life got very frustrating, very fast. So, I’ve put together a list of fun things to do to keep you busy during a power outage!

1)      Collect candles. Gather every candle and lantern that you can find in the house. Also, for more light, gather some empty glass jars, put tea lights inside, and place them all on a big metal tray (not plastic) and carry it around from room to room for some extra light. Just be cautious and extra safe about where you put flames and never leave them unattended.

2)      Play a board game. Gather your family and use candles or a flashlight to illuminate the room. Scrabble, Clue, and Life are some fun games to try!

3)      Make music. You could sing or play an acoustic instrument. If it’s too dark to read music, try playing by ear.

4)      Play hide-and-seek (or sardines). Make special rules like: you can only hide on one level of the house, or only the seeker can have a flashlight. It can make the game so much more thrilling when the seeker has to go through a pitch-black house searching for everyone! Do not use any real flames when doing this! (p.s. no one is ever too old to play a game of hide-and-seek)

5)      Do a coloring page. Get some colored pencils and a coloring book. A power outage is a great excuse to do something you wouldn’t have time to do ordinarily, like coloring. I personally like this book!

6)      Read these verses. 

John 8:12 – “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

Psalms 119:105 – “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”

John 9:5 – “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

Psalms 139:12 – “Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.”

Ephesians 5:8 – “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:”

7)      Write in a journal. Document everything that happens and write down how life is different with and without electricity.

8)      Play the story round game. Set a flashlight on the floor facing up and gather around it, (maybe with blankets and snacks). Have one person begin a story with one sentence. Then have the next person in line continue it, and so on until the story ends. Make it as wild or as mild as you wish!

9)      Make shadow puppets. Use a flashlight to cast shadows on the wall. There are so many different animals to do, you could make up a whole show. Make it a game by casting a shadow and having the others guess what it is.

10)  Read a book. It only takes one candle to illuminate a page. You could even read it aloud to someone, if you wanted.

11)  Make a list of all the things you have to get caught up on once the power is back on, things like, reset all the clocks, dispose of thawed out food in the refrigerator, and recharge all electric devices.

12)  Remember the olden days. Electricity is one of the world’s more modern discoveries! Up until the late 1800s, every family had to live without running water, electric lights, and heaters. They used candles or lanterns for light, wood or coal for warmth, and hand-drawn water every day! Thinking about it this way can even make us feel spoiled by all the many “luxuries” we’ve all been given, like flipping a switch to brighten a room, not to mention cell phones, computers, or toaster ovens!

Living in the past for a while has certainly made me more appreciative of what my ancestors once lived without, and I feel very thankful that I do not have to continue without power permanently. What are some other fun things that you could do during a power outage?

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Which board game is better: Scrabble, Clue, or Life?

Have you had a power outage yet this winter?

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Megan Joy

What My Bicycle Taught Me

What My Bicycle Taught Me - simplymeganjoy.wordpress.com

The other day I went biking with my brother. It was the first warm and dry day of the week, so I was quite excited to head to the seven-mile trail with my backpack filled with water bottles, an ace bandage, and a handful of bandaids, just in case. I don’t even know where in the world we could have gotten Barbie bandaids! I have a feeling that my brother would rather bleed to death than to wear a Barbie bandaid!

The first half of the trail was rocky and covered with bumpy tree roots. The dirt path was set on a hillside with woods and a field above and a bluff and train tracks below. The best part was when we peacefully rode through the edge of the forest while listening to the soundtrack of Anne of Green Gables on my phone, which was wonderful!

The trail consisted of hills, many hills. They stretched up and down, then up, then back down again. It was scored with rocky slopes and miniature mountains. When we were at the top of a hill, we would peddle and coast all the way down in the hope that we could make it to the top of the next hill.

If we were lucky, we didn’t have to peddle at all and instead just rode up the hill with the ease that comes with momentum. Nevertheless, in many other cases, the uphill climb was just too tall and far for us to make it to the top without a struggle, even with the gears set.

You know the feeling; your bike starts to slow down, you peddle as hard as you can and wonder if you’ll make it to the top. The wheels spin slower and slower yet you’re using all your strength and energy. Then you have to decide; should I keep on peddling or get off and push my bike up to the top? You know that the wheels are barely even moving anymore, but you still want to keep on trying and stay on that bike. It would be your last resort to surrender to the hill and give up. But when do you know when it’s time to give up? You know you can’t continue like this forever, so you must choose to keep on or give up.

This story can also be related to our lives. We all have hills to climb and we all want to get to the top without a struggle, but when we begin to lose our speed, momentum, and strength we wonder if we’ll ever make it to the top. It’s hard to know when we’ve given all that we can give, and it’s even harder to know when to quit. To get off the bike and push it up the hill may seem like a failure, to give up. But sometimes we need to say, “that’s enough,” get off the bike, and truly accept that we have given all we that can.

You can only give so much!

When we have to use up all our strength, power, and energy to peddle up that hill, eventually we can’t give anymore and our bike will slowly come to a stop and simply fall over! It’s okay to take a break and say “no” when you’ve done all that you can do. Knowing when that time is can be difficult. How long should I keep peddling? The only person who knows that answer is you, so don’t let anyone talk you into giving more than you can give. You are allowed to get off the bike, slow down, and walk to the top. It’s not giving up, it’s saying no to “falling over.”

Don’t breakdown, take a break!

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Do you enjoy bike riding?

Have you ever biked uphill?

Do you need to say, “that’s enough” to something in your life right now?

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Megan Joy