Thursday, September 12, 2013

Living Like A Pioneer!

We came home from a vacation recently to a very unwelcome surprise. Our electricity was out. Being stuck in the Midwest, occurrences like that aren't uncommon, pesky weather always the culprit. But after sleeping in a hotel bed for several nights, I was looking forward to getting reacquainted with my own bed. Except it was, like, ninety degrees or something in the house. Grumbling, we unpacked, then repacked, prepared to head off to my mother's house, where the beds are lumpier than a sack of potatoes.

But I decided to take a stand.

"You know what?" I said to my wife while getting into the car. "I will NOT give into terrorism! Forget it. Let's rough it and stay. If the early pioneers lived without electricity, so can we!"

My wife agreed. So we cracked open a bottle of wine and sat out on the back deck. I do believe pioneers drank a lot of alcohol.

After the first glass of wine, I suggested to my wife that perhaps we could stream a movie on our Kindle Fire. Then when the battery ran dry on that, I had an elaborate back-up scheme in motion involving using several laptops to watch a DVD.

"Not very pioneer-like," was her answer.

Huh. How'd the pioneers do it again? Just what in the world did they do for entertainment? I mean, I know Daniel Boone wrestled bears or something for fun, but that's not really my style. And the bear-wrasslin' was no doubt an off-shoot of alcohol drinking. I mean my idea of roughing it is having a hot tub and cable TV in a cabin. Ooh, and air conditioning. I don't think we were meant to live outside. Bugs and sticks that walk and wrestling bears and Jason...

Soon, fatigue set in. We got out a card game, played it outside by candlelight, and the bottle of wine drained. The darker it grew, the more I missed electricity.

Finally, the power and light man strolled into the neighbor's yard. We cheered him, hoisted our wine glasses high. And we finally had something to watch, better than a movie, real bonafide entertainment! And just like the pioneers, we truly had a stake in the outcome.


  1. lol! I'm glad you all have power again and had good times roughing it :)

  2. It was tough, Meradeth. But we made it out of the wild frontier intact and unscathed.

  3. It reminds me of the times my grandfather used to tell me about having to use corn cobs as toilet paper in the outhouse and heating irons on the stove in cold weather to put under the quilts at night. He loved to tell us those stories whenever we complained about the power being out or bad TV reception in the country.

    1. Michael, my daughter used to freak out when I told her when we grew up we only had three TV channels! The look of horror on her face!

    2. We now have more stuff that you don't want to watch. Why is it the electricity never fails on a tranquil day?

    3. Jeff, there're a bazillion channels and nothing good on. Some day I hope we can do an "ala carte" channel choosing. One can dream. As far as why we lose electricity on crappy weather days? It's Time-Warner and their conspiracy to take over the world.

    4. I think ala carte channel choosing will require a constitutional amendment.

  4. Oddly enough, Jeff (and you probably know this), there's a bill currently put up in Congress right now regarding said ala carte cable. But I'm sure the cable lobbyists will squash it. They're nearly as bad as BIG OIL lobbyists. Um, uh-oh, am I waving my political flag?