When the power goes out, how long can you go before boredom sets in? For most American households, the television or some form of electronics is the go to for something to do. But when the power is out, so is your t.v. and once the batteries die, there goes the electronics.
If your power is out for only a few hours, this isn't such a big deal, but when it's out for days or weeks, you'll come to realize how much you did rely on said television or computer for entertainment.
My father remembers when the first television came to the valley where he lives. Everyone piled into see it, but it was years before most families had one. In face, when I was growing up (which wasn't that long ago) we had a television, but there was no cable (still isn't) where we live. If you turned the antenna just right and there was snow on the mountain, and the wind wasn't blowing, you could get a fuzzy show on one channel and sound. No joke.
I never had a Nintendo or Atari (really going back now, aren't we?). Which might be why I love Laura Ingalls so much. I related to her and adored her stories.
If we look at generations past, we see how folks used to spend their leisure time.
6 Things to Do For Fun When the Power is Out
1. Reading. Big surprise, but books were a treasure. Many people only had one or two and they would reread these treasures over and over again. How spoiled we are today, where we have millions of books at our finger tips.
Though I do love my Kindle, it's not best to rely on during a prolonged power outage. Besides, there's nothing quite like the weight and feel of a physical book in one's hands. Because I know many of you are pioneer and homesteading fans like myself, I thought it would be fun to share a few of my favorite novels and you can do the same in the comments!
Christy by Catherine Marshall. I can't believe I just now read this wonderful story. My grandparents lived in the gaps and hollers of North Carolina's Appalachian mountains and I felt like I'd traveled back in time to my grandmother's youth.
Emma of Aurora by Jane Kirkpatrick. This trilogy is delightful-and the paperback of all 3 books is on sale! This story ranges from Missouri to Washington (which makes it a fun read for a native like myself) and shows the hardship of the time along with the beauty.
Cadence of Grace series by Joanne Bischof. This series is seriously one of my favorite ever. I cried with Lonnie and Gideon and my feet trudged up the mountain and down into the twists of the hollers with them. You'll be enchanted with the homespun setting and love the twists and turns that develop.
Ways to become more self-sufficient of course, The Made-From-Scratch Life, not only life changing information, recipes and how-to's, but true stories of hope and humor.
2. Board and card games. This is one of our favorites and we frequently bring out card games to play. One word, make sure you have a print out of different card games and the rules, because you might not be able to look them up online… or you'll end up making our own rules, which can be fun as well. We like to play Spoons with the cards as it's a game all of the kids can enjoy and understand.
3. Handwork. Quilting, embroidery, crocheting and knitting are all ways to not only pass the time, but also create both things of purpose and beauty. While I sew, I give my daughter a small piece of scrap fabric to practice on. I've gotten many a Christmas presents done when the power is out.
Again, make sure your patterns are printed out or you have a physical book, for crocheting and knitting.
4. Music. Playing an instrument or picking parties were a thing of many weekend nights back in the day. There's something about music that soothes the soul and it can do wonders when you've been without entertainment.
It shouldn't be saved just for emergency situations, but something enjoyed all the time. If you know how to play an instrument, make sure you take out and keep in practice, along with maintenance care. If you don't know how to play, consider beginning lessons now. Life is too short to not have music.
My grandfather was an expert fiddle player. He actually played in Loretta Lynn's band and I miss listening to him make those strings sing! My mother plays guitar and I enjoy singing with her. I can play a little guitar, but I haven't kept up on my practicing, so I need to take my own advice there.
My husband is a sawyer for guitar tops and beings he cuts the tops for these, we're kind of partial to Taylor Guitars. They do make a fine guitar, if I do say so myself.
I play the flute and you'll want to make sure you have sheet music, and perhaps a few new songs to learn to keep busy as well, unless you're one of those blessed people who can play by ear. If that's the case, I'll do my best not to be envious, because that's just not nice…
5. Go for a stroll. There's something to be said for meandering for pure enjoyment. Many times we're outside when we're exercising, working on chores, feeding animals, and not that we can't have or don't have enjoyment in that, but there is something wonderful about just strolling. Find a wooded path, or an open field, along a river bank or the curve of a stream. Even one a paved street and watch the way flowers and clover creep onto the pavement, a silent statement that no matter what us humans do, nature and God will gently and persistently still exist.
6. Visit with your family and neighbors. How often do you have your neighbors over for a meal and visit? Our ancestors probably did a better job at this than we do, even though you'd think we'd have more time with all of our modern conveniences. But I'm not sure that's really true. There is nothing like a good conversation spent in the company of friends. It's amazing how swiftly time passes when we're visiting up a storm.
Even though I intended this to be a guide for entertainment when the power is out, I really think it could and should be a guide for every day living. I think we'd all be happier if we did these a bit more often, how about you?
More Posts You May Enjoy
- How Homesteading Can Help During a Crisis
- 30 Day Preparedness Resource Page
- How to Cook on a Wood Cookstove
- How to Use a Generator During a Power Outage
- 10 Ways to Keep Warm Without Electricity
- Off Grid Living: What You Need to Know
- 11 Ways to Cook Off-Grid Without Power
- Cast Iron & Dutch Oven Outdoor Campfire Cooking
- How to Make Beeswax and Lard Candles at Home
Really enjoying this series. We live on a 12 acre homestead. We have a ways to go before we’re doing everything we want to do but we’ve come a long way since we started. Great suggestions above. I especially love conversation. We’re so into our 3000 best friends on Facebook that we often forget the people around us. We don’t have tv but we do have 18,000 living books (I share our collection with the local homeschool community) a stash of board and card games. I play piano and my boys are quite advanced violinists. I’ve recently learned to knit. That plus all the work to be done…hopefully we won’t be bored. 🙂
That is an impressive library, and so nice and generous of you to share with others. And with running a homestead, it seems there’s always something to do, but during the long winter evenings it’s nice to have a project or a good visit. I bet there’s some good music going on over at your place, too!
I remember at Grandma’s house (60+ years ago) every time we said we were bored Grandma told us to go “find” something to help someone. I usually ended up crocheting a rug, my big brother would work on his trapping skills, my little brother was his accomplice, and the baby brother tore up the old sheets, clothes, etc. for my rugs.
We also learned to cook, sew, clean, iron, etc. Grandma said that if you were going to eat, wear clothes, or live in a house, “You durn well better know how to take care of it yourself.”
The The Homemaker’s Mentor [email protected] (I don’t know how to make a link) teaches many of the skills any child should learn.
So, if you are bored, it is your responsibility to find something that will help people, even if it is just your brother.
Your Grandma sounds like a great lady and a hard worker. I love the lessons she taught you, valuable on so many levels.
I learned early not to say “I’m bored” to my mom. She’d find something for me to do like polishing silver, vacuuming behind the refrigerator, etc. It’s amazing how resourceful you become in a case like that. Lol
I’m laughing Linda, because my kids learned this lesson again over Christmas break.
If you’re like me and love to see, invest in a treadle sewing machine. No power needed just hand, eye, foot coronation.
I love these ideas…But have to admit that I am really grateful that I picked up the Amazon Prime this year as I now can get those books. My five grandchildren live with me aged 4-12 and we occasionally make power-out nights, especially during lightening and snow storms. I have stood firm against the pressure from friends and family to install a generator for just this purpose. Now, I am anxiously awaiting another one so I can find a reason to make myself curl up with my lantern, fireplace and a good book that I just ordered. ?
I have a husband with sensitive skin, and there are ‘wool alternatives’ in camping stores which keep you warm and can be worn next to the skin. Synthetic I know, but not bad. They aren’t as good as wool at staying warm when wet, but they do a reasonable job of wicking away moisture (from sweat) and you can layer on top. I love wool like you!
Thanks for the info, Janine. While I’m with you on the natural, synthetic is definitely better than not being prepared. 🙂
I adore my Amazon Prime, too. Happy reading!
My mom has a treadle sewing machine, but I have to confess, I haven’t used it yet myself, I just love the way it looks in their dining room.
Before “homesteading” ever entered my personal vocabulary my husband and two daughters purchased our first home in the country. We had horses which were previously boarded and were looking forward to caring for them ourselves and learning a new way of life. As we were cleaning and bringing our possessions into our new home the cable to our antenna dropped through the floor and being it was June in the south neither of us was game to crawl under the house to retrieve it. We had a wonderful three months of no tv and got so much accomplished during that time I truly hated it when football season started. Our days of quiet came to a halt and I’ve missed it ever since! Love these suggestions. Makes me want to cut the cable…
I love your story. And I miss having horses, but it’s not in our season at the moment. I’m hoping in a few years to find a good mount for my daughter, preferably and older trail horse for her first one.
It’s funny how I’ve come to view power outages as a blessing now like you.