Monday, July 2, 2012

Soujourn in the Eighteenth Century (without leaving town)

Colonial Williamsburg, in Virginia, is located about a two and a half hour drive from us. One of its advertising slogans is "spend a day in the eighteenth century" in the restored colonial area with reconstructed builidings and costumed historical interpreters. If you have a chance to go (it's one of our favorite trips), be sure to catch up with the guy who portrays Thomas Jefferson. He's great!

Anyhow, with the severe line of thunderstorms that smashed through this area Friday night, we got to visit the eighteenth century when we lost power for about twelve hours. Now, let me say that we were very fortunate with what we experienced. As of this writing (Sunday afternoon), there are still 2.4 million people without power, there have been 13 deaths, and people have suffered millions in property damage. I feel for them all and pray for relief and comfort soon for all concerned.

We didn't have power or cell service for twelve hours, as I said, and a few branches and twigs in the yard.

I had several flashlights around the house so we used those when the lights went out. I wanted to listen to the radio, so I robbed a few flashlights of their "D" cells. Then I figured out I could listen to the glass-enclosed nerve center on WTOP-FM by going to their web site on my iPhone. Of course, I had no way to recharge the phone if the battery ran down. I don't have a car charger to drive around to recharge it as Amy's friend Kyle did when she lost power in a snowstorm in Massachusetts last winter.

We really didn't have the full eighteenth century experience, if I think about it. We have city water so we had running water, and enough hot water in the gas-fired (and electrically ignited) water heater to take showers. We were careful to open and close the refrigerator and freezer quickly and hope the power wouldn't be off long enough to thaw or spoil the food. And since we have a gas range top (with electric ignitors) we were able to light the burners with matches although we had only three of them. They were all we needed so I didn't have to use my flint and steel or fire sticks.

Our landline phone worked throughout, so maybe we shouldn't get rid of it after all.

The power came back on about 10 AM and we were back. Then I had to go around and reset all the line voltage clocks and timers. I tell you, sometimes technology is a curse...but one I can live with.


  1. How did you manage to lose power for 12 hours? We only lost it for 2! The hubby was so "bored" he decided to read a book on his Nook. But I also learned that before a storm, make sure your phone/laptop is charged!

  2. You'd have been far more authentic if you'd been wearing the clothing of the era....but much hotter...