Arrggh, the Power is Out Again!!

Arrggh, the power is out again!! Sadly this is a phrase that is heard a lot in my house. With three power outages in the past week, and the most recent one so far being out for 16 hours (and still going), I am writing this from elsewhere. It has not only been frustrating, as well as confronting about everything that we do that requires internet and/or power.

I swear we must live in the most power-outage-prone place in the Adelaide Hills. Seriously it must attract power outages! Anyway enough complaining, on to something useful …

In the darkness of last night, I got thinking about all the things a genealogist can do when the power goes off, so as to use the time effectively. And assuming that the power goes off at night (so it is dark), and you’ve either got torchlight or candlelight to work with, here 5 suggestions:

1. Quality reading
Read the latest genealogy magazines by candlelight (ok, so it’s not great for the eyes, but it might get the backlog of magazines waiting to be read down a little)

2. Write your next blog post
Grab a pen and paper and start writing your next blog post. It might be a forgein concept to some to handwrite your blog post first, but in fact most of mine start out that way, as when I go somewhere and have to wait, I take my Blog Notebook with me, and start writing.

3. Create a timeline
Something I thought of that would be a very cool idea, and I must do this myself, was to get those in your house to think of 10 events or things in their life that really stand out (good or bad) – and when the power is back on make it into a mini-timeline. I’ve decided I want to do this for my extended family – maybe it’ll be an after Christmas Day question I’ll get people to ponder over ;-). As for the 10, feel free to make the number whatever. I also did wonder about making it “think of one thing relating to yourself to highlight for each year of your life”, then opted to start with the 10.

4. Reminisce
Well may not so much reminisce, as put yourself in your ancestors shoes, and think of what life would have been like for them. We have the comforts of home (which normally has power) and the internet at our fingertips. Our ancestors had to travel for days to get places, to wash by hand, and to cope without an airconditioner, and power, to labour hard on the land to grow fruit, vegetables and crops. These days we pop down to our local supermarket or grocer and pick up a few items.

5. Think of a project
Think of a creative way to display your family history, it’ll highlight your family, and make other family members more interested. I have come up with a project and have ideas on how I want to display it, and while i’m not going to reveal my Project to you just yet … I will tell you that it involves a whole lot of signatures. And I’m really looking forward to working on it in 2013.

So there you go, next time the power is out, now you have some ideas on things to pass the time effectively.

4 Responses to “Arrggh, the Power is Out Again!!”

  1. Catherine says:

    Those vicious storms & lightening strikes sure have played havoc with you guys, up in the hills, Alona. At least it generated (no pun intended) some great tips and suggestions from you.
    Now you’ve got me guessing… just what is this upcoming project of yours all about? … mmmhhh 🙂

  2. Crissouli says:

    Behind every dark night, there are a clutch of thoughts waiting to be released…
    some great ideas. Hope the power goes back on soon… I used to love power outages as a child, just as well as we had them often.

    Mum used to open the door on the wood stove which was almost always lit anyway and let us cuddle up and she would tell us stories or sing to us… wonderful memories.

    These days, I’m more likely to grab either laptop or iPad and read some of the emails or emags I have saved up.

  3. Alona says:

    Well, the power finally came back on 21 hours after it went off. That’s the longest one yet. But oh boy, modern life doesn’t prepare us for not having power, I’m far too accustomed to just flicking on a switch to make things work. It was a bit of a reality check.

    Catherine – thanks for your kind words. And as for the Project, all will be revealed in time.

    Crissouli – Your memory of opening the wood stove and huddling around, reminded me of my grandma’s wood stove. Not that we sat around it in power outages, but it was lovely to stand next to in winter 😉 But the stories or singing sounds like a wonderful memory.

  4. Pauleen says:

    21 hours is rather tedious Alona! The day I first read this story we’d had three outages in about six hours, but mercifully not for too long…almost the most tedious aspect is the lack of cooling in the Build-Up weather. With Darwin’s lightning strike rate (and unpredictable power) we’ve got strategies to cope with most issues but especially my mobile wi-fi. I like your strategies to cope and ways of making the time profitable.

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