When I was a kid, I loved it when the electricity would go out. (How many kids today would say that?) I know it’s odd. It’s probably a little selfish too at its root when I tell you the reason.

My parents worked at home editing and designing nostalgia magazines for a publishing company and my sister and I were homeschooled. (By the time I was old enough for school, my brother had transferred to public high school to play baseball.) The main problem with both of these is that there is no specific off switch because you are never physically away from it. Our evenings were usually just spent doing more of what we did throughout the earlier part of the day. Papa had an office in a smaller building off from the house and there were some days that meals were the only time I would get to see him except when I needed something. He worked very long hours at times due to hectic editing schedules. Mama’s office for most of her design work was in the house so she oversaw our school work.

Getting back on track though, their work required electricity because it was all on computers. Of course, this was before smaller, battery-equipped computers could do the same things as bigger ones. There was no working some more while the battery lasted. Once power was out, work was over. Power went out on a regular basis due to our area. Most often it was in the evening when a storm moved through and knocked it out. When this happened, we got undisturbed family time.

The power would go out and the oil lamps would get lit. Sometimes, we would sit in the living room talking. Other times, we would end up around the cleared-off dining table playing a game by the light of Mama’s biggest oil lamp. We’d frequently play Yahtzee. No matter what we did though, it was always a lot of fun and refreshing to give each other undivided attention.

I still enjoy spending an evening by lamp light. Electricity doesn’t go out as often or stay out for as long as it once did. It makes me a little sad, but I will always be thankful for all the times that it did while I was growing up. Maybe I’ll occasionally throw the breaker while Savannah is growing up so she can share in the experience…

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