When the lights go out

1valchloesmall
Anne here pondering about weather and power and light…

Recently it seems like people all over the world are having extreme weather, often accompanied by power blackouts. In North America it's blizzards and ice-storms; in Australia, it's record heat waves, lightning strikes, bushfires, cyclones or floods, depending where you live. And no power…

We're so dependent on electricity that we take it completely for granted — until it goes.

And then, suddenly, you realize how very dependent we've become on it for all sorts of things and I don't just mean for serious things, though one friend of mine was without power in below freezing conditions, another lost several weeks worth of food that thawed and spoiled, and another was flooded and couldn't phone for help as her cordless phone battery had gone flat and there was no way to recharge it. The power failures caused really serious problems for many, many people.

But not for me. I wasn't in any danger or even seriously inconvenienced. I was just hot. It was our third day of 45º heat (that's 113º F) and the house, the dog and I were hot. But in the city people were stuck in lifts for hours in the heat, and stuck in packed trains, unable to get the electricity operated doors open. For them it was truly dreadful. 

But not for me. My only problem—and it wasn't really a problem—was that I was bored. It was too hot to do housework or anything physically active. I couldn't listen to music, work on the computer, do the washing, or do anything useful (I told myself.) So I did what comes naturally — I started reading a book.

All well and good, you say, but then the light started to go, and the print started to fade. Simple, I hear you say — light a candle. I did, but still found myself squinting at the print. Light another one, you say — yes, but it was 113ºF and I wasn't going to add to the heat if I could help it. Candlelight

So I sat there, pondering my problem, doing nothing useful, and thinking how not so long ago, we lived without power. For me it's a living memory. When I was born, my parents were in a "back to the land" phase, and living in an area where the electricity grid hadn't yet reached, so until I was four, we didn't have electric light. My mother came home from a full days teaching in a hot army hut school building, teaching 40+ little kids, none of whom spoke English. At the end of the day she came home, cooked a meal for a family of six on a wood stove, did all the washing by hand, boiling the sheets up in a big copper kettle and who knows what else? 

Of course she was clearly barking mad, doing all of this when we could have lived in town and had electricity and all the mod cons, and by now you're wondering why I'm telling you this, but I'm taking you through my very slow thought processes at the time (After 3 days at 113ºF  the synapses fire slowly.) So, I was reading a good book and didn't want to put it down and the light was fading and it was, I felt, too hot to light two candles.

And thus my mind turned very naturally to the sweat shops of London, where hapless women were crammed into rooms to squint over a seam or a hem or fine, delicate embroidery, for which they were paid a pittance. The conditions were appalling and the light was worse because, of course, candles and lamp oil were expensive. The cheap candles threw, at best, a feeble light and were smelly and smoky. Fine sewing for long hours in poor light ruined the seamstresses' eyesight. As finishing this book in the fading twilight was likely to do to mine (see, there is a point to all this.)

As I considered my problem, I remembered that seamstresses used to put a candle behind a glass globe filled with water, which acted as a lens. Would this work for me? I wondered. So I experimented. 

I lit a candle and took a photo of a book – that's it, above. No flash of course.  Then without moving the candle or the book, I put a bowl of water in front of the flame and took another photo from the same position. Thirdly I tried using a large plastic bottle of water to see if that could be a lens, too. It could. It made an appreciable difference, as you can see.   Bottlelight

It was a bit tricky for reading; you had to move the page around a bit to get the best light, but it was clearly a workable alternative. 

Then the power came back on, so I experimented no further.

When it came time to write this blog, I did a search for some nice historical images of hapless seamstresses. There is a distinct lack — mostly there are paintings of a nice middle-class woman sewing by the window of a large, well lit room, or sitting outside in some idyllic setting, in the grass or on a rock. (You can tell the artists never had to get grass stains out of white cotton!) I could find no images of women in a sweatshop bending over a sputtering tallow candle, catching its light through a bowl of water.

DeCampSeamstress

But I did find this account by a Mrs. Roberts of Northamptonshire of how light was provided for a large number of lacemakers, in the school she attended in the early 19th century: 

"In the evenings eighteen girls worked by one tallow candle, value one penny; the 'candle-stool' stood about as high as an ordinary table with four legs. In the middle of this was what was known as a 'pole-board' with 6 holes in the circle and one in the centre. In the centre was a long stick with a socket for the candle at one end, and peg holes through the sides, so that it could be raised and lowered at will. In the other six holes were placed pieces of wood hollowed out like a cup and into each of these was placed a bottle made of very thin glass and filled with water. These bottles acted as strong condensers or lenses, and the eighteen girls sat round the table, three to each bottle, their stools being upon different levels, the highest near the bottle, which threw the light down on the work like a burning glass."

[Quoted in Findings By Mary Carolyn Beaudry. p157 Published by Yale University Press, 2006]

Anyway, I finished my book in bright electric light, basking in a cool air conditioned breeze and feeling very grateful that I wasn't born a seamstress in a sweatshop in the early 19th century.

What about you? Have you had any extreme weather or power blackouts recently? What problems did it cause? Tell us about it.


95 thoughts on “When the lights go out”

  1. I am in Kentucky, and due to the recent ice storm, our power went out on day three or so of the storm! Luckily we had kerosene heaters to keep warm, and later we acquired a generator to run a few things. We only had one day with no power before we had the generator, and we both read by candlelight-we had many candles though, no heat issues to deal with for us! I sent my three-year-old to my mother’s house, and we snuggled to keep warm at night. Our power came back on after about four days. The sense of relief I felt at seeing the electricity pop on is indescribable!

    Reply
  2. I am in Kentucky, and due to the recent ice storm, our power went out on day three or so of the storm! Luckily we had kerosene heaters to keep warm, and later we acquired a generator to run a few things. We only had one day with no power before we had the generator, and we both read by candlelight-we had many candles though, no heat issues to deal with for us! I sent my three-year-old to my mother’s house, and we snuggled to keep warm at night. Our power came back on after about four days. The sense of relief I felt at seeing the electricity pop on is indescribable!

    Reply
  3. I am in Kentucky, and due to the recent ice storm, our power went out on day three or so of the storm! Luckily we had kerosene heaters to keep warm, and later we acquired a generator to run a few things. We only had one day with no power before we had the generator, and we both read by candlelight-we had many candles though, no heat issues to deal with for us! I sent my three-year-old to my mother’s house, and we snuggled to keep warm at night. Our power came back on after about four days. The sense of relief I felt at seeing the electricity pop on is indescribable!

    Reply
  4. I am in Kentucky, and due to the recent ice storm, our power went out on day three or so of the storm! Luckily we had kerosene heaters to keep warm, and later we acquired a generator to run a few things. We only had one day with no power before we had the generator, and we both read by candlelight-we had many candles though, no heat issues to deal with for us! I sent my three-year-old to my mother’s house, and we snuggled to keep warm at night. Our power came back on after about four days. The sense of relief I felt at seeing the electricity pop on is indescribable!

    Reply
  5. I am in Kentucky, and due to the recent ice storm, our power went out on day three or so of the storm! Luckily we had kerosene heaters to keep warm, and later we acquired a generator to run a few things. We only had one day with no power before we had the generator, and we both read by candlelight-we had many candles though, no heat issues to deal with for us! I sent my three-year-old to my mother’s house, and we snuggled to keep warm at night. Our power came back on after about four days. The sense of relief I felt at seeing the electricity pop on is indescribable!

    Reply
  6. I actually loved it some years ago when the entire northeastern quarter of the US was without power for four days. Quiet, calm, no one was in a hurry, life just seemed…nicer.
    Yes, I know it was warm out at the time, but when I was young, we used oil heat with a tank outside and every winter, sometimes for a week or more, the oil line would freeze and that meant of course, no heat. Then, because of no heat, the waterline from the well to the house would freeze in the crawl space…it was the trickle down theory 😆
    We still had electricity, but it only served to let us watch ourselves freeze at night.
    Now we have a huge fireplace and an open floor plan so if the power goes out in winter (which it does, too often!) we stoke up the fireplace and spend the evenings in front of it. 🙂

    Reply
  7. I actually loved it some years ago when the entire northeastern quarter of the US was without power for four days. Quiet, calm, no one was in a hurry, life just seemed…nicer.
    Yes, I know it was warm out at the time, but when I was young, we used oil heat with a tank outside and every winter, sometimes for a week or more, the oil line would freeze and that meant of course, no heat. Then, because of no heat, the waterline from the well to the house would freeze in the crawl space…it was the trickle down theory 😆
    We still had electricity, but it only served to let us watch ourselves freeze at night.
    Now we have a huge fireplace and an open floor plan so if the power goes out in winter (which it does, too often!) we stoke up the fireplace and spend the evenings in front of it. 🙂

    Reply
  8. I actually loved it some years ago when the entire northeastern quarter of the US was without power for four days. Quiet, calm, no one was in a hurry, life just seemed…nicer.
    Yes, I know it was warm out at the time, but when I was young, we used oil heat with a tank outside and every winter, sometimes for a week or more, the oil line would freeze and that meant of course, no heat. Then, because of no heat, the waterline from the well to the house would freeze in the crawl space…it was the trickle down theory 😆
    We still had electricity, but it only served to let us watch ourselves freeze at night.
    Now we have a huge fireplace and an open floor plan so if the power goes out in winter (which it does, too often!) we stoke up the fireplace and spend the evenings in front of it. 🙂

    Reply
  9. I actually loved it some years ago when the entire northeastern quarter of the US was without power for four days. Quiet, calm, no one was in a hurry, life just seemed…nicer.
    Yes, I know it was warm out at the time, but when I was young, we used oil heat with a tank outside and every winter, sometimes for a week or more, the oil line would freeze and that meant of course, no heat. Then, because of no heat, the waterline from the well to the house would freeze in the crawl space…it was the trickle down theory 😆
    We still had electricity, but it only served to let us watch ourselves freeze at night.
    Now we have a huge fireplace and an open floor plan so if the power goes out in winter (which it does, too often!) we stoke up the fireplace and spend the evenings in front of it. 🙂

    Reply
  10. I actually loved it some years ago when the entire northeastern quarter of the US was without power for four days. Quiet, calm, no one was in a hurry, life just seemed…nicer.
    Yes, I know it was warm out at the time, but when I was young, we used oil heat with a tank outside and every winter, sometimes for a week or more, the oil line would freeze and that meant of course, no heat. Then, because of no heat, the waterline from the well to the house would freeze in the crawl space…it was the trickle down theory 😆
    We still had electricity, but it only served to let us watch ourselves freeze at night.
    Now we have a huge fireplace and an open floor plan so if the power goes out in winter (which it does, too often!) we stoke up the fireplace and spend the evenings in front of it. 🙂

    Reply
  11. Fascinating about the candleglass. I’d not read about that, although I wish I’d known about it through some of our winter storms! We used to live in the country in an all electric house, and we always lost electric–ice, snow, lightning squirrels–you name it, we got hit with it. Reading by candles is sooo not recommended! Ultimately, we built up a very good battery and flashlight collection. And to this day, I keep booklights.

    Reply
  12. Fascinating about the candleglass. I’d not read about that, although I wish I’d known about it through some of our winter storms! We used to live in the country in an all electric house, and we always lost electric–ice, snow, lightning squirrels–you name it, we got hit with it. Reading by candles is sooo not recommended! Ultimately, we built up a very good battery and flashlight collection. And to this day, I keep booklights.

    Reply
  13. Fascinating about the candleglass. I’d not read about that, although I wish I’d known about it through some of our winter storms! We used to live in the country in an all electric house, and we always lost electric–ice, snow, lightning squirrels–you name it, we got hit with it. Reading by candles is sooo not recommended! Ultimately, we built up a very good battery and flashlight collection. And to this day, I keep booklights.

    Reply
  14. Fascinating about the candleglass. I’d not read about that, although I wish I’d known about it through some of our winter storms! We used to live in the country in an all electric house, and we always lost electric–ice, snow, lightning squirrels–you name it, we got hit with it. Reading by candles is sooo not recommended! Ultimately, we built up a very good battery and flashlight collection. And to this day, I keep booklights.

    Reply
  15. Fascinating about the candleglass. I’d not read about that, although I wish I’d known about it through some of our winter storms! We used to live in the country in an all electric house, and we always lost electric–ice, snow, lightning squirrels–you name it, we got hit with it. Reading by candles is sooo not recommended! Ultimately, we built up a very good battery and flashlight collection. And to this day, I keep booklights.

    Reply
  16. Recently installed a backup generator here.
    Local power company is proposing to shut off power during fire season to the back country. To prevent starting a fire during high winds.

    Reply
  17. Recently installed a backup generator here.
    Local power company is proposing to shut off power during fire season to the back country. To prevent starting a fire during high winds.

    Reply
  18. Recently installed a backup generator here.
    Local power company is proposing to shut off power during fire season to the back country. To prevent starting a fire during high winds.

    Reply
  19. Recently installed a backup generator here.
    Local power company is proposing to shut off power during fire season to the back country. To prevent starting a fire during high winds.

    Reply
  20. Recently installed a backup generator here.
    Local power company is proposing to shut off power during fire season to the back country. To prevent starting a fire during high winds.

    Reply
  21. My husband has one of those headbands with a light, which is very useful when the power goes out. We have no alternative heat source other than the oil furnace, and two years ago had to go to a motel when a bad fall storm knocked out power for two days. I wouldn’t have minded staying home and sleeping in my coat, but the lack of TV drove my husband insane. Spoiled brat, LOL.
    I often think about how very dark it was back in the day. So grateful to live now.

    Reply
  22. My husband has one of those headbands with a light, which is very useful when the power goes out. We have no alternative heat source other than the oil furnace, and two years ago had to go to a motel when a bad fall storm knocked out power for two days. I wouldn’t have minded staying home and sleeping in my coat, but the lack of TV drove my husband insane. Spoiled brat, LOL.
    I often think about how very dark it was back in the day. So grateful to live now.

    Reply
  23. My husband has one of those headbands with a light, which is very useful when the power goes out. We have no alternative heat source other than the oil furnace, and two years ago had to go to a motel when a bad fall storm knocked out power for two days. I wouldn’t have minded staying home and sleeping in my coat, but the lack of TV drove my husband insane. Spoiled brat, LOL.
    I often think about how very dark it was back in the day. So grateful to live now.

    Reply
  24. My husband has one of those headbands with a light, which is very useful when the power goes out. We have no alternative heat source other than the oil furnace, and two years ago had to go to a motel when a bad fall storm knocked out power for two days. I wouldn’t have minded staying home and sleeping in my coat, but the lack of TV drove my husband insane. Spoiled brat, LOL.
    I often think about how very dark it was back in the day. So grateful to live now.

    Reply
  25. My husband has one of those headbands with a light, which is very useful when the power goes out. We have no alternative heat source other than the oil furnace, and two years ago had to go to a motel when a bad fall storm knocked out power for two days. I wouldn’t have minded staying home and sleeping in my coat, but the lack of TV drove my husband insane. Spoiled brat, LOL.
    I often think about how very dark it was back in the day. So grateful to live now.

    Reply
  26. LizzyBee, three days without power in winter would be awful. Thank goodness for the kerosene heaters, and your Mom for your three year old.
    Ingrid, thank you so much for those links — they’re excellent — exactly what I’d been searching for. So much easier to understand the principle with an illustration or two.

    Reply
  27. LizzyBee, three days without power in winter would be awful. Thank goodness for the kerosene heaters, and your Mom for your three year old.
    Ingrid, thank you so much for those links — they’re excellent — exactly what I’d been searching for. So much easier to understand the principle with an illustration or two.

    Reply
  28. LizzyBee, three days without power in winter would be awful. Thank goodness for the kerosene heaters, and your Mom for your three year old.
    Ingrid, thank you so much for those links — they’re excellent — exactly what I’d been searching for. So much easier to understand the principle with an illustration or two.

    Reply
  29. LizzyBee, three days without power in winter would be awful. Thank goodness for the kerosene heaters, and your Mom for your three year old.
    Ingrid, thank you so much for those links — they’re excellent — exactly what I’d been searching for. So much easier to understand the principle with an illustration or two.

    Reply
  30. LizzyBee, three days without power in winter would be awful. Thank goodness for the kerosene heaters, and your Mom for your three year old.
    Ingrid, thank you so much for those links — they’re excellent — exactly what I’d been searching for. So much easier to understand the principle with an illustration or two.

    Reply
  31. Theo, I agree, it was amazing the quiet that settled over the house. It was peaceful. I suppose we tune out all the white noise of humming appliances and only notice it when its gone.
    Pat, my experience and the likelihood of it being repeated in the near future has certainly got me investigating good alternative light. In fact I went and retrieved my old gas lamp and stove from the camping equipment I’d lent a friend.
    Louis, that’s an extraordinary step to take. Makes it very difficult for those who are affected. I suppose the people affected would have to get generators.
    There are on-line sites that advise people how to prepare for power outages:
    http://howto.wired.com/wiki/Survive_a_Power_Blackout
    http://www.ontariotenants.ca/apartment_living/blackout.phtml

    Reply
  32. Theo, I agree, it was amazing the quiet that settled over the house. It was peaceful. I suppose we tune out all the white noise of humming appliances and only notice it when its gone.
    Pat, my experience and the likelihood of it being repeated in the near future has certainly got me investigating good alternative light. In fact I went and retrieved my old gas lamp and stove from the camping equipment I’d lent a friend.
    Louis, that’s an extraordinary step to take. Makes it very difficult for those who are affected. I suppose the people affected would have to get generators.
    There are on-line sites that advise people how to prepare for power outages:
    http://howto.wired.com/wiki/Survive_a_Power_Blackout
    http://www.ontariotenants.ca/apartment_living/blackout.phtml

    Reply
  33. Theo, I agree, it was amazing the quiet that settled over the house. It was peaceful. I suppose we tune out all the white noise of humming appliances and only notice it when its gone.
    Pat, my experience and the likelihood of it being repeated in the near future has certainly got me investigating good alternative light. In fact I went and retrieved my old gas lamp and stove from the camping equipment I’d lent a friend.
    Louis, that’s an extraordinary step to take. Makes it very difficult for those who are affected. I suppose the people affected would have to get generators.
    There are on-line sites that advise people how to prepare for power outages:
    http://howto.wired.com/wiki/Survive_a_Power_Blackout
    http://www.ontariotenants.ca/apartment_living/blackout.phtml

    Reply
  34. Theo, I agree, it was amazing the quiet that settled over the house. It was peaceful. I suppose we tune out all the white noise of humming appliances and only notice it when its gone.
    Pat, my experience and the likelihood of it being repeated in the near future has certainly got me investigating good alternative light. In fact I went and retrieved my old gas lamp and stove from the camping equipment I’d lent a friend.
    Louis, that’s an extraordinary step to take. Makes it very difficult for those who are affected. I suppose the people affected would have to get generators.
    There are on-line sites that advise people how to prepare for power outages:
    http://howto.wired.com/wiki/Survive_a_Power_Blackout
    http://www.ontariotenants.ca/apartment_living/blackout.phtml

    Reply
  35. Theo, I agree, it was amazing the quiet that settled over the house. It was peaceful. I suppose we tune out all the white noise of humming appliances and only notice it when its gone.
    Pat, my experience and the likelihood of it being repeated in the near future has certainly got me investigating good alternative light. In fact I went and retrieved my old gas lamp and stove from the camping equipment I’d lent a friend.
    Louis, that’s an extraordinary step to take. Makes it very difficult for those who are affected. I suppose the people affected would have to get generators.
    There are on-line sites that advise people how to prepare for power outages:
    http://howto.wired.com/wiki/Survive_a_Power_Blackout
    http://www.ontariotenants.ca/apartment_living/blackout.phtml

    Reply
  36. Maggie, you commented: “I often think about how very dark it was back in the day.”
    When I was a very young teacher I worked in a high school in a very poor inner suburb. A new system of grants came in for disadvantaged schools and we got a grant to take a group of kids camping in the bush. These kids had spent their entire lives in the city, in a high rise housing development. We went to Wilson’s Promontory, a lovely National Park with a camping area, set up our tents, explored, cooked on an open fire and generally had a brilliant time.
    While the younger the kids were being bedded down for the night, we took a small group of older kids on a night walk and once out of the camping area (which was adequately lit) we teachers took their flashlights from them so they would stop clowning around, be quiet and listen to the sounds of the bush.
    They were quiet, all right – it was a cloudy moonless night, and we gradually realized these tough teenagers were scared. Until that point, not one of them understood that ‘the darkness of the night’ had a literal truth to it — nights in big city housing developments are *never* dark – even in a blackout security lights come on…

    Reply
  37. Maggie, you commented: “I often think about how very dark it was back in the day.”
    When I was a very young teacher I worked in a high school in a very poor inner suburb. A new system of grants came in for disadvantaged schools and we got a grant to take a group of kids camping in the bush. These kids had spent their entire lives in the city, in a high rise housing development. We went to Wilson’s Promontory, a lovely National Park with a camping area, set up our tents, explored, cooked on an open fire and generally had a brilliant time.
    While the younger the kids were being bedded down for the night, we took a small group of older kids on a night walk and once out of the camping area (which was adequately lit) we teachers took their flashlights from them so they would stop clowning around, be quiet and listen to the sounds of the bush.
    They were quiet, all right – it was a cloudy moonless night, and we gradually realized these tough teenagers were scared. Until that point, not one of them understood that ‘the darkness of the night’ had a literal truth to it — nights in big city housing developments are *never* dark – even in a blackout security lights come on…

    Reply
  38. Maggie, you commented: “I often think about how very dark it was back in the day.”
    When I was a very young teacher I worked in a high school in a very poor inner suburb. A new system of grants came in for disadvantaged schools and we got a grant to take a group of kids camping in the bush. These kids had spent their entire lives in the city, in a high rise housing development. We went to Wilson’s Promontory, a lovely National Park with a camping area, set up our tents, explored, cooked on an open fire and generally had a brilliant time.
    While the younger the kids were being bedded down for the night, we took a small group of older kids on a night walk and once out of the camping area (which was adequately lit) we teachers took their flashlights from them so they would stop clowning around, be quiet and listen to the sounds of the bush.
    They were quiet, all right – it was a cloudy moonless night, and we gradually realized these tough teenagers were scared. Until that point, not one of them understood that ‘the darkness of the night’ had a literal truth to it — nights in big city housing developments are *never* dark – even in a blackout security lights come on…

    Reply
  39. Maggie, you commented: “I often think about how very dark it was back in the day.”
    When I was a very young teacher I worked in a high school in a very poor inner suburb. A new system of grants came in for disadvantaged schools and we got a grant to take a group of kids camping in the bush. These kids had spent their entire lives in the city, in a high rise housing development. We went to Wilson’s Promontory, a lovely National Park with a camping area, set up our tents, explored, cooked on an open fire and generally had a brilliant time.
    While the younger the kids were being bedded down for the night, we took a small group of older kids on a night walk and once out of the camping area (which was adequately lit) we teachers took their flashlights from them so they would stop clowning around, be quiet and listen to the sounds of the bush.
    They were quiet, all right – it was a cloudy moonless night, and we gradually realized these tough teenagers were scared. Until that point, not one of them understood that ‘the darkness of the night’ had a literal truth to it — nights in big city housing developments are *never* dark – even in a blackout security lights come on…

    Reply
  40. Maggie, you commented: “I often think about how very dark it was back in the day.”
    When I was a very young teacher I worked in a high school in a very poor inner suburb. A new system of grants came in for disadvantaged schools and we got a grant to take a group of kids camping in the bush. These kids had spent their entire lives in the city, in a high rise housing development. We went to Wilson’s Promontory, a lovely National Park with a camping area, set up our tents, explored, cooked on an open fire and generally had a brilliant time.
    While the younger the kids were being bedded down for the night, we took a small group of older kids on a night walk and once out of the camping area (which was adequately lit) we teachers took their flashlights from them so they would stop clowning around, be quiet and listen to the sounds of the bush.
    They were quiet, all right – it was a cloudy moonless night, and we gradually realized these tough teenagers were scared. Until that point, not one of them understood that ‘the darkness of the night’ had a literal truth to it — nights in big city housing developments are *never* dark – even in a blackout security lights come on…

    Reply
  41. I live in a Los Angeles condo, and every once in a while the power goes out for anything from a few minutes to 5 or 6 hours. The last time it happened I was sitting in the dining room reading a paperback (an old Margaret Westhaven, I believe it was) and didn’t feel like watching a movie (battery powered DVD player) or listening to the radio (batteries again); I wanted to read. How appropriate, I thought, to read a regency by candlelight. How dim, actually. I found it took 5 candles before I could see comfortably, and the glare of the bare candle flames was a bit hard on the eyes. I was about to go get a booklight when the power came on again.
    The time the transformer in the alley blew (sounded like a bomb), power was out all night. We very sensibly pooled our wine stocks and sat outside getting better acquainted. Fortunately it was August and nobody froze.
    It is tremendously dark in the complex without lights, even though it’s in the middle of the city. Lots of stuff to fall over, and break some important bone in my body. I know why those kids were scared – dark is dark! I’ve kept a flash on my keychain ever since. What it would be like to live in a world lit only by flame, and never have sufficient light at night, and never any hope of any, I can only imagine.

    Reply
  42. I live in a Los Angeles condo, and every once in a while the power goes out for anything from a few minutes to 5 or 6 hours. The last time it happened I was sitting in the dining room reading a paperback (an old Margaret Westhaven, I believe it was) and didn’t feel like watching a movie (battery powered DVD player) or listening to the radio (batteries again); I wanted to read. How appropriate, I thought, to read a regency by candlelight. How dim, actually. I found it took 5 candles before I could see comfortably, and the glare of the bare candle flames was a bit hard on the eyes. I was about to go get a booklight when the power came on again.
    The time the transformer in the alley blew (sounded like a bomb), power was out all night. We very sensibly pooled our wine stocks and sat outside getting better acquainted. Fortunately it was August and nobody froze.
    It is tremendously dark in the complex without lights, even though it’s in the middle of the city. Lots of stuff to fall over, and break some important bone in my body. I know why those kids were scared – dark is dark! I’ve kept a flash on my keychain ever since. What it would be like to live in a world lit only by flame, and never have sufficient light at night, and never any hope of any, I can only imagine.

    Reply
  43. I live in a Los Angeles condo, and every once in a while the power goes out for anything from a few minutes to 5 or 6 hours. The last time it happened I was sitting in the dining room reading a paperback (an old Margaret Westhaven, I believe it was) and didn’t feel like watching a movie (battery powered DVD player) or listening to the radio (batteries again); I wanted to read. How appropriate, I thought, to read a regency by candlelight. How dim, actually. I found it took 5 candles before I could see comfortably, and the glare of the bare candle flames was a bit hard on the eyes. I was about to go get a booklight when the power came on again.
    The time the transformer in the alley blew (sounded like a bomb), power was out all night. We very sensibly pooled our wine stocks and sat outside getting better acquainted. Fortunately it was August and nobody froze.
    It is tremendously dark in the complex without lights, even though it’s in the middle of the city. Lots of stuff to fall over, and break some important bone in my body. I know why those kids were scared – dark is dark! I’ve kept a flash on my keychain ever since. What it would be like to live in a world lit only by flame, and never have sufficient light at night, and never any hope of any, I can only imagine.

    Reply
  44. I live in a Los Angeles condo, and every once in a while the power goes out for anything from a few minutes to 5 or 6 hours. The last time it happened I was sitting in the dining room reading a paperback (an old Margaret Westhaven, I believe it was) and didn’t feel like watching a movie (battery powered DVD player) or listening to the radio (batteries again); I wanted to read. How appropriate, I thought, to read a regency by candlelight. How dim, actually. I found it took 5 candles before I could see comfortably, and the glare of the bare candle flames was a bit hard on the eyes. I was about to go get a booklight when the power came on again.
    The time the transformer in the alley blew (sounded like a bomb), power was out all night. We very sensibly pooled our wine stocks and sat outside getting better acquainted. Fortunately it was August and nobody froze.
    It is tremendously dark in the complex without lights, even though it’s in the middle of the city. Lots of stuff to fall over, and break some important bone in my body. I know why those kids were scared – dark is dark! I’ve kept a flash on my keychain ever since. What it would be like to live in a world lit only by flame, and never have sufficient light at night, and never any hope of any, I can only imagine.

    Reply
  45. I live in a Los Angeles condo, and every once in a while the power goes out for anything from a few minutes to 5 or 6 hours. The last time it happened I was sitting in the dining room reading a paperback (an old Margaret Westhaven, I believe it was) and didn’t feel like watching a movie (battery powered DVD player) or listening to the radio (batteries again); I wanted to read. How appropriate, I thought, to read a regency by candlelight. How dim, actually. I found it took 5 candles before I could see comfortably, and the glare of the bare candle flames was a bit hard on the eyes. I was about to go get a booklight when the power came on again.
    The time the transformer in the alley blew (sounded like a bomb), power was out all night. We very sensibly pooled our wine stocks and sat outside getting better acquainted. Fortunately it was August and nobody froze.
    It is tremendously dark in the complex without lights, even though it’s in the middle of the city. Lots of stuff to fall over, and break some important bone in my body. I know why those kids were scared – dark is dark! I’ve kept a flash on my keychain ever since. What it would be like to live in a world lit only by flame, and never have sufficient light at night, and never any hope of any, I can only imagine.

    Reply
  46. You do get sufficient light for a few nights a month. According to my calendar the moon will be full next Monday, and for a few nights before and after the full moon you will be able to see quite well. Or so I understand, I live in a well-lit town and hardly notice the moon. But I remember reading in Out of Africa that the narrator and her friends timed their parties around the full moon. That must have been an age-old practice everywhere before street-lighting.

    Reply
  47. You do get sufficient light for a few nights a month. According to my calendar the moon will be full next Monday, and for a few nights before and after the full moon you will be able to see quite well. Or so I understand, I live in a well-lit town and hardly notice the moon. But I remember reading in Out of Africa that the narrator and her friends timed their parties around the full moon. That must have been an age-old practice everywhere before street-lighting.

    Reply
  48. You do get sufficient light for a few nights a month. According to my calendar the moon will be full next Monday, and for a few nights before and after the full moon you will be able to see quite well. Or so I understand, I live in a well-lit town and hardly notice the moon. But I remember reading in Out of Africa that the narrator and her friends timed their parties around the full moon. That must have been an age-old practice everywhere before street-lighting.

    Reply
  49. You do get sufficient light for a few nights a month. According to my calendar the moon will be full next Monday, and for a few nights before and after the full moon you will be able to see quite well. Or so I understand, I live in a well-lit town and hardly notice the moon. But I remember reading in Out of Africa that the narrator and her friends timed their parties around the full moon. That must have been an age-old practice everywhere before street-lighting.

    Reply
  50. You do get sufficient light for a few nights a month. According to my calendar the moon will be full next Monday, and for a few nights before and after the full moon you will be able to see quite well. Or so I understand, I live in a well-lit town and hardly notice the moon. But I remember reading in Out of Africa that the narrator and her friends timed their parties around the full moon. That must have been an age-old practice everywhere before street-lighting.

    Reply
  51. A few times I’ve been without power for a couple of days at a time due to an ice storm or the fringes of a hurricane. But since we heated and cooked with gas and always had battery-powered radios and lanterns, the inconvenience was minor. I always liked sharing stories by candlelight.
    Now we are total electric, an ice storm would be a real problem. I’m hoping General Beauregard Lee was right, and we will be having an early spring. We lose power with thunder storms in the summer, but the outages are of short duration–from ten minutes to a couple of hours, and daylight lingers well into the evening. But we are spoiled. Doing without air conditioning even for half an hour in our steamy summers seems unbearable.

    Reply
  52. A few times I’ve been without power for a couple of days at a time due to an ice storm or the fringes of a hurricane. But since we heated and cooked with gas and always had battery-powered radios and lanterns, the inconvenience was minor. I always liked sharing stories by candlelight.
    Now we are total electric, an ice storm would be a real problem. I’m hoping General Beauregard Lee was right, and we will be having an early spring. We lose power with thunder storms in the summer, but the outages are of short duration–from ten minutes to a couple of hours, and daylight lingers well into the evening. But we are spoiled. Doing without air conditioning even for half an hour in our steamy summers seems unbearable.

    Reply
  53. A few times I’ve been without power for a couple of days at a time due to an ice storm or the fringes of a hurricane. But since we heated and cooked with gas and always had battery-powered radios and lanterns, the inconvenience was minor. I always liked sharing stories by candlelight.
    Now we are total electric, an ice storm would be a real problem. I’m hoping General Beauregard Lee was right, and we will be having an early spring. We lose power with thunder storms in the summer, but the outages are of short duration–from ten minutes to a couple of hours, and daylight lingers well into the evening. But we are spoiled. Doing without air conditioning even for half an hour in our steamy summers seems unbearable.

    Reply
  54. A few times I’ve been without power for a couple of days at a time due to an ice storm or the fringes of a hurricane. But since we heated and cooked with gas and always had battery-powered radios and lanterns, the inconvenience was minor. I always liked sharing stories by candlelight.
    Now we are total electric, an ice storm would be a real problem. I’m hoping General Beauregard Lee was right, and we will be having an early spring. We lose power with thunder storms in the summer, but the outages are of short duration–from ten minutes to a couple of hours, and daylight lingers well into the evening. But we are spoiled. Doing without air conditioning even for half an hour in our steamy summers seems unbearable.

    Reply
  55. A few times I’ve been without power for a couple of days at a time due to an ice storm or the fringes of a hurricane. But since we heated and cooked with gas and always had battery-powered radios and lanterns, the inconvenience was minor. I always liked sharing stories by candlelight.
    Now we are total electric, an ice storm would be a real problem. I’m hoping General Beauregard Lee was right, and we will be having an early spring. We lose power with thunder storms in the summer, but the outages are of short duration–from ten minutes to a couple of hours, and daylight lingers well into the evening. But we are spoiled. Doing without air conditioning even for half an hour in our steamy summers seems unbearable.

    Reply
  56. Wow. How clever. Would never have occured to me.
    We had a windstorm recently that knocked out power lines. Not too bad, since it was during the day and not bitterly cold. But we were staying in a cottage with water supplied from a well, with the pump controlled by power. Conclusion: being somewhere with three kids in winter with no power or water is not very amusing.

    Reply
  57. Wow. How clever. Would never have occured to me.
    We had a windstorm recently that knocked out power lines. Not too bad, since it was during the day and not bitterly cold. But we were staying in a cottage with water supplied from a well, with the pump controlled by power. Conclusion: being somewhere with three kids in winter with no power or water is not very amusing.

    Reply
  58. Wow. How clever. Would never have occured to me.
    We had a windstorm recently that knocked out power lines. Not too bad, since it was during the day and not bitterly cold. But we were staying in a cottage with water supplied from a well, with the pump controlled by power. Conclusion: being somewhere with three kids in winter with no power or water is not very amusing.

    Reply
  59. Wow. How clever. Would never have occured to me.
    We had a windstorm recently that knocked out power lines. Not too bad, since it was during the day and not bitterly cold. But we were staying in a cottage with water supplied from a well, with the pump controlled by power. Conclusion: being somewhere with three kids in winter with no power or water is not very amusing.

    Reply
  60. Wow. How clever. Would never have occured to me.
    We had a windstorm recently that knocked out power lines. Not too bad, since it was during the day and not bitterly cold. But we were staying in a cottage with water supplied from a well, with the pump controlled by power. Conclusion: being somewhere with three kids in winter with no power or water is not very amusing.

    Reply
  61. One of the few times my dad had any real foresight (and I still think it was due to caring for the horses and not US!) we had a hand pump on the well. Not a pleasant experience carrying it in through a couple feet of snow, but at least we had water. I can imagine how non-amusing it would be!

    Reply
  62. One of the few times my dad had any real foresight (and I still think it was due to caring for the horses and not US!) we had a hand pump on the well. Not a pleasant experience carrying it in through a couple feet of snow, but at least we had water. I can imagine how non-amusing it would be!

    Reply
  63. One of the few times my dad had any real foresight (and I still think it was due to caring for the horses and not US!) we had a hand pump on the well. Not a pleasant experience carrying it in through a couple feet of snow, but at least we had water. I can imagine how non-amusing it would be!

    Reply
  64. One of the few times my dad had any real foresight (and I still think it was due to caring for the horses and not US!) we had a hand pump on the well. Not a pleasant experience carrying it in through a couple feet of snow, but at least we had water. I can imagine how non-amusing it would be!

    Reply
  65. One of the few times my dad had any real foresight (and I still think it was due to caring for the horses and not US!) we had a hand pump on the well. Not a pleasant experience carrying it in through a couple feet of snow, but at least we had water. I can imagine how non-amusing it would be!

    Reply
  66. Annie
    I am not looking forward to the heat this weekend it is already way too hot for me I love winter but so far we have not lost power and the air con is working fine I am not sure how I would have coped in days gone by but what you didn’t have your weren’t used to I suppose to everyone in the southern hemispere stay cool and to those in the northern hemispere stay warm hope everyone has a good book to read.
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  67. Annie
    I am not looking forward to the heat this weekend it is already way too hot for me I love winter but so far we have not lost power and the air con is working fine I am not sure how I would have coped in days gone by but what you didn’t have your weren’t used to I suppose to everyone in the southern hemispere stay cool and to those in the northern hemispere stay warm hope everyone has a good book to read.
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  68. Annie
    I am not looking forward to the heat this weekend it is already way too hot for me I love winter but so far we have not lost power and the air con is working fine I am not sure how I would have coped in days gone by but what you didn’t have your weren’t used to I suppose to everyone in the southern hemispere stay cool and to those in the northern hemispere stay warm hope everyone has a good book to read.
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  69. Annie
    I am not looking forward to the heat this weekend it is already way too hot for me I love winter but so far we have not lost power and the air con is working fine I am not sure how I would have coped in days gone by but what you didn’t have your weren’t used to I suppose to everyone in the southern hemispere stay cool and to those in the northern hemispere stay warm hope everyone has a good book to read.
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  70. Annie
    I am not looking forward to the heat this weekend it is already way too hot for me I love winter but so far we have not lost power and the air con is working fine I am not sure how I would have coped in days gone by but what you didn’t have your weren’t used to I suppose to everyone in the southern hemispere stay cool and to those in the northern hemispere stay warm hope everyone has a good book to read.
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  71. I mentioned before on this site about being without lights when we were hit by an ice storm. The problem with the ice storm, beside the eerie silence, is it is so very cold. I lost a number of my house plants, I just totally forgot about them in all the hubbub. I feel so sorry for the people in Kentucky who are still without power. I think if one must be without electricity, summer is better than winter. It is just cold, dark and scary in the winter, my cats were even afraid without light. They didn’t like the weird shadows, they were both pretty spooked, as only cats can be.

    Reply
  72. I mentioned before on this site about being without lights when we were hit by an ice storm. The problem with the ice storm, beside the eerie silence, is it is so very cold. I lost a number of my house plants, I just totally forgot about them in all the hubbub. I feel so sorry for the people in Kentucky who are still without power. I think if one must be without electricity, summer is better than winter. It is just cold, dark and scary in the winter, my cats were even afraid without light. They didn’t like the weird shadows, they were both pretty spooked, as only cats can be.

    Reply
  73. I mentioned before on this site about being without lights when we were hit by an ice storm. The problem with the ice storm, beside the eerie silence, is it is so very cold. I lost a number of my house plants, I just totally forgot about them in all the hubbub. I feel so sorry for the people in Kentucky who are still without power. I think if one must be without electricity, summer is better than winter. It is just cold, dark and scary in the winter, my cats were even afraid without light. They didn’t like the weird shadows, they were both pretty spooked, as only cats can be.

    Reply
  74. I mentioned before on this site about being without lights when we were hit by an ice storm. The problem with the ice storm, beside the eerie silence, is it is so very cold. I lost a number of my house plants, I just totally forgot about them in all the hubbub. I feel so sorry for the people in Kentucky who are still without power. I think if one must be without electricity, summer is better than winter. It is just cold, dark and scary in the winter, my cats were even afraid without light. They didn’t like the weird shadows, they were both pretty spooked, as only cats can be.

    Reply
  75. I mentioned before on this site about being without lights when we were hit by an ice storm. The problem with the ice storm, beside the eerie silence, is it is so very cold. I lost a number of my house plants, I just totally forgot about them in all the hubbub. I feel so sorry for the people in Kentucky who are still without power. I think if one must be without electricity, summer is better than winter. It is just cold, dark and scary in the winter, my cats were even afraid without light. They didn’t like the weird shadows, they were both pretty spooked, as only cats can be.

    Reply
  76. Janice, I find it interesting how, when things like the power fails, community connections are made — like you and your neighbors sharing a wine. The same thing happened here some years back when the gas went out in winter and those who had electric hot water invited the neighbors in for showers, (my neighbors were all gas, so we braved cold showers) and people got together to share barbecue meals. I suppose the classic example of this is the way so many Londoners shared and helped each out during the Blitz. The village reforms for a while.
    Ingrid, if the night sky is clear of clouds it’s almost always possible to see, even with a crescent moon. In the summer I often walk my dog at night, and though there are no streetlights in the park we go to, she still manages to see and fetch a ball.
    Janga, we’ve had gas and electric stoppages, so I don’t think I’d ever go for one or the other. I like to hedge my bets. And gaslight and candelight are lovely… for a short time And it’s also a good reminder, I think, of how dependent we are.
    But this is where readers of historicals are better off — if it came down to it, most of us could fashion a rushlight, I expect. Might have to raid the ornamental water gardens at the local university … all for the sake of experiment, of course. 😉

    Reply
  77. Janice, I find it interesting how, when things like the power fails, community connections are made — like you and your neighbors sharing a wine. The same thing happened here some years back when the gas went out in winter and those who had electric hot water invited the neighbors in for showers, (my neighbors were all gas, so we braved cold showers) and people got together to share barbecue meals. I suppose the classic example of this is the way so many Londoners shared and helped each out during the Blitz. The village reforms for a while.
    Ingrid, if the night sky is clear of clouds it’s almost always possible to see, even with a crescent moon. In the summer I often walk my dog at night, and though there are no streetlights in the park we go to, she still manages to see and fetch a ball.
    Janga, we’ve had gas and electric stoppages, so I don’t think I’d ever go for one or the other. I like to hedge my bets. And gaslight and candelight are lovely… for a short time And it’s also a good reminder, I think, of how dependent we are.
    But this is where readers of historicals are better off — if it came down to it, most of us could fashion a rushlight, I expect. Might have to raid the ornamental water gardens at the local university … all for the sake of experiment, of course. 😉

    Reply
  78. Janice, I find it interesting how, when things like the power fails, community connections are made — like you and your neighbors sharing a wine. The same thing happened here some years back when the gas went out in winter and those who had electric hot water invited the neighbors in for showers, (my neighbors were all gas, so we braved cold showers) and people got together to share barbecue meals. I suppose the classic example of this is the way so many Londoners shared and helped each out during the Blitz. The village reforms for a while.
    Ingrid, if the night sky is clear of clouds it’s almost always possible to see, even with a crescent moon. In the summer I often walk my dog at night, and though there are no streetlights in the park we go to, she still manages to see and fetch a ball.
    Janga, we’ve had gas and electric stoppages, so I don’t think I’d ever go for one or the other. I like to hedge my bets. And gaslight and candelight are lovely… for a short time And it’s also a good reminder, I think, of how dependent we are.
    But this is where readers of historicals are better off — if it came down to it, most of us could fashion a rushlight, I expect. Might have to raid the ornamental water gardens at the local university … all for the sake of experiment, of course. 😉

    Reply
  79. Janice, I find it interesting how, when things like the power fails, community connections are made — like you and your neighbors sharing a wine. The same thing happened here some years back when the gas went out in winter and those who had electric hot water invited the neighbors in for showers, (my neighbors were all gas, so we braved cold showers) and people got together to share barbecue meals. I suppose the classic example of this is the way so many Londoners shared and helped each out during the Blitz. The village reforms for a while.
    Ingrid, if the night sky is clear of clouds it’s almost always possible to see, even with a crescent moon. In the summer I often walk my dog at night, and though there are no streetlights in the park we go to, she still manages to see and fetch a ball.
    Janga, we’ve had gas and electric stoppages, so I don’t think I’d ever go for one or the other. I like to hedge my bets. And gaslight and candelight are lovely… for a short time And it’s also a good reminder, I think, of how dependent we are.
    But this is where readers of historicals are better off — if it came down to it, most of us could fashion a rushlight, I expect. Might have to raid the ornamental water gardens at the local university … all for the sake of experiment, of course. 😉

    Reply
  80. Janice, I find it interesting how, when things like the power fails, community connections are made — like you and your neighbors sharing a wine. The same thing happened here some years back when the gas went out in winter and those who had electric hot water invited the neighbors in for showers, (my neighbors were all gas, so we braved cold showers) and people got together to share barbecue meals. I suppose the classic example of this is the way so many Londoners shared and helped each out during the Blitz. The village reforms for a while.
    Ingrid, if the night sky is clear of clouds it’s almost always possible to see, even with a crescent moon. In the summer I often walk my dog at night, and though there are no streetlights in the park we go to, she still manages to see and fetch a ball.
    Janga, we’ve had gas and electric stoppages, so I don’t think I’d ever go for one or the other. I like to hedge my bets. And gaslight and candelight are lovely… for a short time And it’s also a good reminder, I think, of how dependent we are.
    But this is where readers of historicals are better off — if it came down to it, most of us could fashion a rushlight, I expect. Might have to raid the ornamental water gardens at the local university … all for the sake of experiment, of course. 😉

    Reply
  81. Maya, I think any hardship is more difficult to cope with when you have kids. And not being able to get water is very worrying. Theo, I think all wells should have an alternative if possible — hand operated or electricity. Water is just too important to leave to external power sources.
    Never having experienced serious snow, is it not possible to fill a bucket and melt it?
    Kay, cold dark and scary sounds awful. I suppose that’s why in the past hearth fires were so important — apart from light and warmth, a fire is, in a way, company. A heater is more efficient, but not nearly so friendly.
    Helen, I hear you on the heat. Yesterday it was 118 ºF where I live — the hottest day on record, and because of that and the drought, the state is being ravaged by bushfires. There are major floods in north Queensland and the UK is having some of the worst weather in years. Friends in the US have also reported some of the worst winter weather events they can remember. Extreme weather is becoming the norm, I fear. Or is it? Who knows?
    Me, I’m going to stick my head in a book. Possibly one set in London in the winter of 1814 where it was the worst winter in living memory and the Thames froze…

    Reply
  82. Maya, I think any hardship is more difficult to cope with when you have kids. And not being able to get water is very worrying. Theo, I think all wells should have an alternative if possible — hand operated or electricity. Water is just too important to leave to external power sources.
    Never having experienced serious snow, is it not possible to fill a bucket and melt it?
    Kay, cold dark and scary sounds awful. I suppose that’s why in the past hearth fires were so important — apart from light and warmth, a fire is, in a way, company. A heater is more efficient, but not nearly so friendly.
    Helen, I hear you on the heat. Yesterday it was 118 ºF where I live — the hottest day on record, and because of that and the drought, the state is being ravaged by bushfires. There are major floods in north Queensland and the UK is having some of the worst weather in years. Friends in the US have also reported some of the worst winter weather events they can remember. Extreme weather is becoming the norm, I fear. Or is it? Who knows?
    Me, I’m going to stick my head in a book. Possibly one set in London in the winter of 1814 where it was the worst winter in living memory and the Thames froze…

    Reply
  83. Maya, I think any hardship is more difficult to cope with when you have kids. And not being able to get water is very worrying. Theo, I think all wells should have an alternative if possible — hand operated or electricity. Water is just too important to leave to external power sources.
    Never having experienced serious snow, is it not possible to fill a bucket and melt it?
    Kay, cold dark and scary sounds awful. I suppose that’s why in the past hearth fires were so important — apart from light and warmth, a fire is, in a way, company. A heater is more efficient, but not nearly so friendly.
    Helen, I hear you on the heat. Yesterday it was 118 ºF where I live — the hottest day on record, and because of that and the drought, the state is being ravaged by bushfires. There are major floods in north Queensland and the UK is having some of the worst weather in years. Friends in the US have also reported some of the worst winter weather events they can remember. Extreme weather is becoming the norm, I fear. Or is it? Who knows?
    Me, I’m going to stick my head in a book. Possibly one set in London in the winter of 1814 where it was the worst winter in living memory and the Thames froze…

    Reply
  84. Maya, I think any hardship is more difficult to cope with when you have kids. And not being able to get water is very worrying. Theo, I think all wells should have an alternative if possible — hand operated or electricity. Water is just too important to leave to external power sources.
    Never having experienced serious snow, is it not possible to fill a bucket and melt it?
    Kay, cold dark and scary sounds awful. I suppose that’s why in the past hearth fires were so important — apart from light and warmth, a fire is, in a way, company. A heater is more efficient, but not nearly so friendly.
    Helen, I hear you on the heat. Yesterday it was 118 ºF where I live — the hottest day on record, and because of that and the drought, the state is being ravaged by bushfires. There are major floods in north Queensland and the UK is having some of the worst weather in years. Friends in the US have also reported some of the worst winter weather events they can remember. Extreme weather is becoming the norm, I fear. Or is it? Who knows?
    Me, I’m going to stick my head in a book. Possibly one set in London in the winter of 1814 where it was the worst winter in living memory and the Thames froze…

    Reply
  85. Maya, I think any hardship is more difficult to cope with when you have kids. And not being able to get water is very worrying. Theo, I think all wells should have an alternative if possible — hand operated or electricity. Water is just too important to leave to external power sources.
    Never having experienced serious snow, is it not possible to fill a bucket and melt it?
    Kay, cold dark and scary sounds awful. I suppose that’s why in the past hearth fires were so important — apart from light and warmth, a fire is, in a way, company. A heater is more efficient, but not nearly so friendly.
    Helen, I hear you on the heat. Yesterday it was 118 ºF where I live — the hottest day on record, and because of that and the drought, the state is being ravaged by bushfires. There are major floods in north Queensland and the UK is having some of the worst weather in years. Friends in the US have also reported some of the worst winter weather events they can remember. Extreme weather is becoming the norm, I fear. Or is it? Who knows?
    Me, I’m going to stick my head in a book. Possibly one set in London in the winter of 1814 where it was the worst winter in living memory and the Thames froze…

    Reply
  86. Anne, you should set a book around the frozen Thames!! 😉
    And yes, it’s possible to fill a bucket and thaw it. Of course, the snow was much ‘cleaner’ when I was little. But with the horses, it wasn’t physically feasible to do. Plus, sometimes it was just cold, but no snow. So we’d fill the trough and then carry a bucket inside.

    Reply
  87. Anne, you should set a book around the frozen Thames!! 😉
    And yes, it’s possible to fill a bucket and thaw it. Of course, the snow was much ‘cleaner’ when I was little. But with the horses, it wasn’t physically feasible to do. Plus, sometimes it was just cold, but no snow. So we’d fill the trough and then carry a bucket inside.

    Reply
  88. Anne, you should set a book around the frozen Thames!! 😉
    And yes, it’s possible to fill a bucket and thaw it. Of course, the snow was much ‘cleaner’ when I was little. But with the horses, it wasn’t physically feasible to do. Plus, sometimes it was just cold, but no snow. So we’d fill the trough and then carry a bucket inside.

    Reply
  89. Anne, you should set a book around the frozen Thames!! 😉
    And yes, it’s possible to fill a bucket and thaw it. Of course, the snow was much ‘cleaner’ when I was little. But with the horses, it wasn’t physically feasible to do. Plus, sometimes it was just cold, but no snow. So we’d fill the trough and then carry a bucket inside.

    Reply
  90. Anne, you should set a book around the frozen Thames!! 😉
    And yes, it’s possible to fill a bucket and thaw it. Of course, the snow was much ‘cleaner’ when I was little. But with the horses, it wasn’t physically feasible to do. Plus, sometimes it was just cold, but no snow. So we’d fill the trough and then carry a bucket inside.

    Reply

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