March 15th, 2010

Little House on the Cul de Sac


We’ve been experiencing wild weather here in the Northeast for the past several days. The old adage about March coming “In like a lion and out like a lamb” isn’t quite ringing true.  For us this year March came in “like a lion, then was a little lamb-ish, then was downright puppyish and is now like an alligator biting us in the butt.”

But I digress.

Last night we had the inevitable power outage.  Fortunately it was in the middle of the night, so only the mom who suffers from periodic insomnia felt the effects.   We generally face power outages with a sense of adventure.  We bring out the oil lamps and candles, set some games up on the table, start up our crank-powered radio and revel in our ability to face adversity.  We even go so far as to suggest that we do more “voluntary power outages” – turning the lights out and spending some quality time with one another.

This lasts about five minutes.

After that it becomes a series of increasingly frustrating dead ends.  No stove? No microwave?  No running water?  No heat?  Like in a Bugs Bunny cartoon we begin to eye one another greedily, imagining the children as giant hot dogs or turkey legs. Or, in my case, my facebook page.

It’s in these moments that I marvel at all that pioneer moms endured.  Were it up to me and my ilk the western expansion never would have happened.  I don’t posses the pioneering spirit. We might have set out with the best of intentions, but I can’t imagine how it would have lasted.  Wolves, or at least very aggressive squirrels most certainly would have eaten us.

“We’re on our way to find a new life for ourselves in the heartland! Everybody in the wagon!  Where are we? New Haven? Good enough - everybody out and let’s get a pizza.  I am starved!”

“We’ve got to plow the back 40 and get that corn in before the rain comes, or we’ll starve come winter.  Will do.  Wait - what’s that? Oprah’s giving away butter churns to everyone in her audience - I’ve got to see this!”

So I’m grateful to those adventurous women who made my admittedly cushy life possible.  Now that the power’s back on, I will use every appliance in my house today in honor of them.

More from this Author

This Weeks Tip

Dreading that trip to the grocery store with the kids? Before you leave, have them each string a necklace of Cheerios or Fruit Loops. They then get to wear their art to the store, and snack on it while shopping! (Thanks to Courtney H. for sharing this great idea with us on Facebook)