Living in the Dark Ages: Life Without Electricity

©Edgar Colomba via

We have all been there; it’s been storming all night, and you wake up to find out the electricity is out. You may first think of what a bummer it is that you can’t start your morning off with some coffee, but then you quickly go down the rabbit hole of realizing you now don’t have a TV, working appliances, or lights! But what if you did it on a purpose? Would you be able to adapt as easily as you may think?

As many of our close family and friends know, our house turns 100 years old this year. As you can imagine, living in an old house means a continuous number of projects, both big and small. We have lived in our house for almost five years, and we (correction: my husband) have taken on 99% of the projects in our home.

Recently, we have decided to start focusing on our basement in hopes that it will be ready in a few years so we can start sending our growing kids down there for some extra space and a parental break. Due to the nature of his project, the power was shut off for 24 hours.

So, what do you do with three small boys, two cats, and a husband without power?


Ha, just kidding; we roll with the punches around here and decided to make it a fun day as long as everyone was warm and safe. 

Board Games

All the kids grabbed their headlamps, and we set up flashlights and played endless amounts of board games. As we lost track of time, we laughed and our time was uninterrupted with phones, TV, or switching the laundry. We were able to get lost in the moment and focus on spending quality time with each other. We played some games we had not played in a long time and truly enjoyed each other’s company. 


The easy answer here would be to go out and grab a pizza or eat out. Truly the logical choice. Instead, we got out a stash of glow sticks, hung the headlamps and flashlights from the dining room light fixture, and enjoyed sandwiches, raw veggies, and whatever fruit was on the counter that needed to be eaten. Glow sticks turned into dance parties, silly games, and creating the best necklaces, headbands, and bracelets. And once dinner was over, the rave started as the kids danced around the house in the dark, looking like the glow stick dances you’ve seen on YouTube or on reality TV shows. 


As the evening was winding down, we all got on the couch, snuggled up with blankets, and read a few extra books as a family with the headlamps guiding us through the pages. We were able to give our kids the attention I long to throughout the busy hectic weeks. With so many different things to juggle between kid’s extracurricular activities, our own work obligations, and just the basic management of the house, we often long to have these moments together uninterrupted. The quality time that we all live for, and it’s funny to think that electricity was getting in the way. 

What I Learned

No, I am not going to be shutting off my electricity on purpose in the middle of winter to have these moments with my kids. But it did make me realize that you can make the biggest moments in your life and your kids’ lives with minimal effort. Our evening didn’t cost anything extra. We didn’t go out and buy hundreds of dollars of entertainment for our kids. We used what we had, and to this day, our kids still talk about the funny dances they did with their glow sticks. We created memories. That’s what we should all long for. More memories. 


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