Time-Travel Experiences (of a different kind)

We have recently experienced time-travel. No, we have not joined a cult 🙂  You know that old saying “if the mountain doesn’t come to you, you must go to the mountain”? It turns out that the opposite can be true, too. It was in our case. We didn’t have a time machine to take us back in time, to be honest, we weren’t looking for one. But the ancient times came to us. In two waves.

First wave was a power-outage. Without power we were “teleported” to days of yore, pre-air conditioning. Pre-refrigeration. Pre-lights. Pre-tv. Pre-internet. Given our experience with long power outages (one of the reasons we’re searching for a new place to be), we knew not to open the refrigerator. Not even for a second. Without wifi, we had to rely on cell signal, which is unreliable at best where we are, so we mainly used it to check on the status of the outage repair. By of way of an update we learned that the outage was under investigation. Every time we checked. The only change, every couple of hours, was a pushing out of the estimated repair time out. They also had a follow-up that said that if we’re experiencing some type of inconvenience—clearly a big if at 3-digit temperature—they want us to know that they’re hard at work. The “if” in that sentence really made us feel better about this whole thing 😀

Horror of horrors, we worked out without air conditioning and without any tv to entertain us, and if you’ve sampled our lessons from our workouts, you know that tv watching is a core component of our workout!

In the sweltering heat, yes, even at night, we learned the advantages of a backlit book reader. Happiness, thy name is low battery consumption. We love reading, but that was not an enjoyable day/night.

Eventually, we recovered power, and most, though not all, of our joy of life. Some melted during the outage. It’s a scorching summer after all. It scorched some of our merriment. Maybe given enough time, that scar will heal. But we didn’t get the time.

In an unfortunate coincidence, the power outage was shortly followed by an internet outage. And if you think several hours is a lot to be without power, it turns out that an internet outage several times as long, is not much more fun. Yes, even though it’s “just” the internet.

We discovered we have no Amish in us. We use the internet for a LOT of things. Yes, the blogosphere, but also reading, listening, working (not in the rat race, but still), learning, playing, entertaining. Another day of working out without access to the internet. We saw some of our neighbors sit out on their driveways with their laptops, trying to get some signal through their cell phones: we live in a little enclave of poor cell signal. No, none of us had to go to the salt mines, but the bitterness permeated through all of us. And unlike the two negatives make a positive, two bitters just compound on each other.

What we learned is that life in modern times is actually amazingly good, better than any other time in the past. Despite the obvious bitterness that shines through this post. Despite the horrors we (humanity) regularly inflict on ourselves. Our lives are generally, and on average, good. And, as Hans Rosling shows us, even chimps “know” that life is better now than it was in the past. Hope will seep through the bitterness. You’ll see.

And so we remain hopeful in our search for a better place. What keeps you hopeful?

52 thoughts on “Time-Travel Experiences (of a different kind)

  1. How frustrating! We once were without power for 8 days after the transformer that powered 8 houses on our street and neighborhood blew a fuse or up. In the entire neighborhood only we 8 houses had no power. It was awful mostly at night.

    I just have faith that things will work out, and keep this motto in my heart and head all. the. time. ” Set backs are the stepping stones to come backs.”. It’s true!

    I hope you find a great place to move to and it’s exactly what you’ve been longing for.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Good grief. EIGHT days?! I feel for you. Our outages dwarf in comparison. How did you survive that? Did you have water? We were formally notified a few years back that prolonged power outages mean no water service since power is needed for the water pumps…

      And we learned it’s 8 times worse when “only” 8 homes are impacted since the larger the outage in terms of number of customers impacted, the faster the response is likely to be.

      What a wonderful motto, and so memorable, thank you for sharing! And should you have more ideas about a haven from the storms (and the outages)…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We had water, and my gas stove top worked not the oven, so I was able to do some cooking, but with kids who needed to do homework every night it was awful and it was late fall so getting cold. We spent every evening at the library so the kids would have resources if needed, and lights to do their homework and then books for entertainment or we’d go to the mall and stay until the library or mall closed. Driving home was so depressing. There were lights everywhere around us, and in the middle of our street our 8 houses were like a dark lonely island in a sea of lights!

        Yes, exactly because we were only 8 houses it seemed to us like they didn’t care at all.

        That quote/motto is a good one! I never have figured out who said it, but I’m glad I found it.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. A big warm hug to you, hopefully warming up those chilly memories of cold feet. Our power outages tend to be in the summer, but we’ve never had one that was 8 days long. Was all the food in your freezer/fridge destroyed? Did you manage to use it before that?

          I’m glad you had a library to support you, but EIGHT days. YOWZA! Or rather … SHIVER!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. 🤗 I think power outages in the summer are happening more more as we’re finding the grid isn’t big enough or up to date enough anymore.

            The library was our refuge!
            The kids didn’t like sleeping by themselves with the power out so we had them in with us. King size beds are wonderful aren’t they. 😀 So we were all toasty warm for sleeping, I used what I could of the food in the fridge and freezer, but we lost a good bit of it.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I’ve always loved libraries, still do. Now you’ve just given me another reason (as if we needed one…) to love them more. It’s sad to me to see how they’re becoming a shadow of their former selves. Think there’s a way for them to regain a footing in a new generation’s hearts?

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Me too, but I have gotten out of the habit of going since the pandemic. I need to change that!

                With everything digital who knows. He-Man thinks the pendulum will swing back one day so maybe they will. I hope!

                Like

  2. Thank you for the reference to Hans Rosling, a brilliant optimist who understood and based his optimism on facts. I love his thought – “stay open to new data and be prepared to keep freshening up your knowledge.”

    Liked by 3 people

    1. What a wonderful (and accurate!) way to describe him. He was also a brilliant educator, definitely need more people like him around. I’m glad he left all these talks, books, datasets, and someone who will continue to drive this legacy forward.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. About eight or nine years ago, our little corner of the country was without power for about ten hours due to a single operator error (kind of felt sorry for the guy responsible). Fortunately, it didn’t happen in sweltering weather and the outage was mostly in the evening and overnight. I was shocked (but maybe not surprised) how many people with solar – but no battery back-up – couldn’t understand why they didn’t have power at night.

    Sometimes it’s hard to remain hopeful but I see signs of the younger generations taking up the mantel and demanding change.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Our neighbors have solar, and we asked them why they didn’t get the battery backup. It turns out that all-in it’s cost prohibitive. Yes, we get probably 5-10 power outages a summer, and the longest one was just under 20 hours. But that’s nothing like people who we know a little way away from us who’ve had the same number of outages, but theirs stretched to 3-5 days per 🤯 Yes, they have generators now. Yes, a stable infrastructure is one of our must-have criteria, and one power outage in a decade sounds blissful! Any houses for sale in your neighborhood? 😁

      I added the Hans Rowling talk at the end because I love how he remained optimistic in the face of, and because of, all the data he sees. All the ignorance he saw. He managed to find hope not only at the bottom of Pandora’s Box, but all around it as well.

      Do you think it’s the new generation that’ll be the source of change?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow, that’s a crazy amount of outages! I’m not sure what makes our system more reliable – or yours less – but that many, especially when it’s very hot of very cold, would be hard to deal with.

        I sure hope the younger generations will make some substantial changes… we are leaving them a mess.

        Like

  4. Oh, what a great post. I love how you walk us through your story and intersperse it with so much wisdom! I’m sorry for your experience – that’s tough. It makes me think of when we expect to go without (like on a camping trip) versus when it’s foisted on us (like when the power/Internet goes out).

    Maya Angelou once said, “You may not control all the events that happened to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” So I love this post for how it shows that despite the inconvenience and disruption, you have created great entertainment from your recent hardship!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Glad you survived the Great Internet Outage of ’22. I’m sure it was touch and go for awhile there, but happy to hear you managed to still find the joy in everyday life.

    And very smart of you not to open the fridge.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Survived, though our spirits are not quite intact. Need to find a place that’s firmly entrenched in the 21st century with no visitations to Amish times 😀

      Sadly, it’s the experience of outages past that taught us it’s best to survive without anything from the fridge if we want anything in the fridge to survive 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  6. To know how good life is, we have to experience the bad. I love your last line in the comment above: the experience of outages past that taught us it’s best to survive without anything from the fridge if we want anything in the fridge to survive

    Liked by 2 people

    1. There’s a line from a book that echoes in my mind “only in darkness the light” — your words are wise, though when one is going through the less good experience, it’s mighty difficult to remember these words of wisdom…

      Like

  7. EW,
    Welcome back to the 21st Century. I’ve been hearing that solar flares and CME’s are the cause for some internet outages. Did you figure out the cause for why your internet went out? Here’s hoping that tech starts working again for you instead of…well…not working! Mona

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Mona! Believe it or not, it’s good to be back 💃 I did call our internet provider, and they “believe” it was a cut cable that had to be repaired. So I can’t blame/thank Apollo for our trip back to Amish times… I wonder if the Greeks had a god for technology 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m sorry for your unpleasant experience. It would be easy to dismiss it all by saying that years ago people survived even without electricity or the internet, but our lifestyles have changed and it would take a long time to readjust to the conditions of the past.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for making me feel less like a spoiled brat 🙂 During those long power outages, we’ve talked about how people managed to deal with the heat during older times, and it turns out that the world IS actually hotter than it ever was before. Pile onto that that we live in asphalt and concrete jungles that absorb heat, buildings that block relief from wind, and we think it is hotter now in more ways than one.

      Or maybe we’re just used to a different level of comfort 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Growing up, turning on or having air conditioning in the home was always a luxury. Now that I have my own home, I am still getting used to using air conditioning almost every day in the summer. Air conditioning is definitely one of the best gifts of modern times. The internet is also another awesome gift, but it is also a curse. We live in a faster paced society that feeds instant gratification. It’s always good to slow down and enjoy the different gifts of life, one step at a time 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. What a wonderful perspective you’ve shared! It reminds me of this old story of a king who had 3 daughters and wasn’t sure who leave his kingdom to, so he asked each one of them to tell him how much she loved him. The first daughter told him she loved him more than gold. The second daughter told him that she loved him more than diamonds. The third daughter told him she loved him more than salt. The father was disappointed with the third daughter’s answer and sent her away. The royal chef who liked the youngest daughter made that evening’s dinner without any salt. The king called him to find out what for the first time the dinner was not up to standards, and the chef told him, “You may easily be able to survive a week without your golden rings studded with diamonds, but even one meal without salt is hard to stomach.”

      Guess who inherited the kingdom? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. That’s the thing I always take away from sucky times (the one good thing I can find): you appreciate the good times that much more when you get them back! Glad you survived. The crazy heat would’ve done me in for sure. You still worked out?! I’m super impressed. When you move in next door to me, I will work out with you to keep me motivated to do so. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I like that! Those times are “experience builders” or “character builders.” I guess that means that I’m quite the character 🙃

      You know what the motto of the workout-for-health-ers is “neither snow nor rain nor heat nor power outages will stop us crazies from working out or from jujitsu!”

      Another point in the SD column, though I am concerned about your scouting missions to Texas, are they an omen of things to come? 😳

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Lol, I learned a long time ago that when in doubt, take whatever’s said as a compliment, so thank you 😀

          And now I’m curious, what job would take you to the airport and only the airport to then turn back home? 🙂

          And most of all: PHEW!!!

          Liked by 1 person

            1. Ah! And I had already imagined that you work as an airport designer, that you determine the features that guide the flow of Hama it’s through it, lowers our stress as we rush through, amplifies our happiness as we see the beauty of your design. And that’s why you went to a Texan airport and back home again. Or a layover. Ilsa, thy name is Occam! (Though I still like the idea that you’re an airport designer 🙂 )

              And, yes, life in my head is better 😁

              Liked by 1 person

                1. I was referring to Occam’s Razor, which essentially urges us not to overcomplicate things. For example, given two explanations to why you were in Texas, one involving a layover and the other complicated figments of my imagination, I should have gone with the layover, the simpler explanation that serves to explain it all. But in my heart of hearts, you still design airports, churros, and tshirts!

                  Liked by 1 person

                  1. You are so brilliant. Thank you for teaching me something new and cool. AND for thinking I’m way cooler than I am. Should you move next door to me, I fear I will only disappoint! BUT, I will happily supply ugly but delicious baked goods.

                    In between my trips to airports while wearing strangely designed t-shirts, that is. 😉

                    Liked by 1 person

                    1. I’m already familiar with the bruises and all, I only just learned about the creative baking side, that added another 8 🌟 s in the SD column, so I think any additional surprise would be a marvelous one 🥰

                      Just don’t get me started on strangely designed t-shirt 😜

                      Liked by 1 person

  11. What a complete horror: NO POWER AND INTERNET. It’s incredible how we’ve come to rely on such things…we’re sissies, aren’t we? I get the power part, but when the internet goes out, I feel my palms sweating. 😳

    I’m so glad all is well again in your neck of the woods.
    Call me Pollyanna, but I’m hopeful about every.damn.thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It did wake us up, too, to how dependent we are on so many things we take for granted. We also had ample time to discuss if we’re growing soft or if roads of black asphalt, houses that block wind, concrete that captures and reflects heat makes the heat harder to deal with. And being used to having the tv mumble something in the background has become a soothing sound. It is eerily quiet without it 🙂

      And optimism FTW!!!

      Liked by 1 person

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