one family's yearlong dare to live their dreams

Life in the black


It’s a case of be careful what you wish for. In an earlier post I mentioned that we’d like to unplug for a while. Now look.

That’s what our house looks like inside at night. Yes, that’s an actual photo.

We’re five days since Hurricane Irene without power or water. I’m not complaining; other communities have it much worse.

Instead, we’re finding things to celebrate, like our neighbor’s brush-clearing bonfire. Last night I picked up some smoors fixings, Amelie got into her best party dress, and I took the kids over for a marshmallow roast. Then we told stories by the fire, with Amelie piping up most of all.


(Woodstockers lining up for dry ice at the community center.)

No way that would have happened if the TV and our computers still had power. Hopefully the beneficial effects of unplugging will last after power is restored.

Try it: turn out the lights. Start a fire or light a candle. Listen to what everyone has to say.

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3 Responses to “Life in the black”

  1. Jay says:

    My family has done this on occassion; we want to do it more, but it is hard to make yourself do it, even though it works. One thing that is interesting to me is that if it is dark, you go to sleep; insomnia seems to fade away with electricity,

    • Michael says:

      Jay, any suggestions for making unplugging a regular part of our life? Every once in a while we talk about stashing the TV in the shed out back so no one is tempted to turn it on. Is that what it takes?

      • My friends designate a week to unplugging on a regular basis. They treat it almost like a holiday (in our sense of the word, though it probably works in the European sense, too, now that I think of it) with preparations and daily countdowns. I’m still not sure the boys like it, but I think it at least renews their appreciation for what they have when they have it. You could always doing more frequent, shorter holiday sessions. I have contemplated it within our family, but I’m really the one who needs to be forced from screen-time the most, and I don’t think my clients would appreciate that. When our power was out for 2 days last week, I caught up a lot on my reading and sleeping, but not my work so much.

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