Our free Sunday (see previous post) did not go as planned. Firstly, it was barely “free”.
I made it through the first part of the day just fine. No computer, no air condition, no lights turned on….but it wasn’t long before things fell apart. As I was vacuuming the living room, I suddenly realized – hey, this uses electricity! We were tracking in dirt and bugs with our bathroom reno project, and I decided to finish vacuuming.
The youngest son and I spent some time in the garden pulling up the carrots and some beets. The plan had been to serve them raw, as I was not going to use any energy to cook. But the boys wanted roasted veg, and the man about the place was too busy to get a fire in the grill going, so I caved, and roasted them in the oven. Weak as water I found myself!
(We grew a variety of carrots this year.. some bright yellow more than orange. They were yummy. )
(An interesting carrot couple…they grew around each other.. I took them apart to wash them, the put them back together to cook them…very funny)
My younger sons were complaining about how hot it was.. which was a bit unusual. After all, they play outside almost all day, running and biking. They are used to our warm house, because we keep the thermo about 80 – 83 most days. But they complained and whined and began picking on each other and I finally had to take the small one in my arms where I discovered he was really HOT!
101 fevers for both of them, followed later in the afternoon by throwing up. Which prompted me to look up tick borne illness on the internet because several friends have had tick borne illnesses recently, and we have been pulling ticks off right and left around here lately. SO, the air conditioner was turned on to help make them more comfortable.
Then a massive set of thunderstorms started to roll through the area…. so we checked the weather forcast on the internet, and watched the radar. Lights were turned on, air was running, we had a fanb blowing in the bathroom to keep the new tile drying.
I laughed to myself at how pathetic our ability to do without electricity for the day really was, as I DROVE to the grocery store. The plan had been to leave early the next day for 3 days in DC.. the man about the place had meetings there, and the younger boys and I were planning to do museums and such. But with the fever and stomach troubles, it was apparent I would be staying home, and needed groceries. SO doing without the car didn’t work either.
I did remain strong concerning my time on the computer.. I checked no blogs or email… but with sick kids, and a bathroom reno, of course I really had no time. BUT I really questioned my intent and my sincerity.
Groceries stowed, make shift sick beds made up, and the evening stormed on. And then it happened… a large lightening bolt took out our internet. We have been without it for three days.
And, because of all the illness, the bathroom, the only one we have, did not get finished. So we have been making do with bucket flushes.. which is ironic because the one thing I knew we could not do without was the pump that flushes the toilet. I knew that would be the one use of electricity we would not go without. But we did, for three days.
I believe the gods have been having fun with me!
So what have our last three days been full of?
Well, no computer for one thing. And then the storm ushered in a cool front that allowed us to go Mon – Wed without the air conditioning! No air in July is a gift in the southern US. The illness quickly faded with the boys, so there was plenty of time to work on projects. And with tummies better, but not quite right, we managed to go the last few days without cooking.. just simple meals of yogurt and berries from the yard, and leftovers eaten cold, etc.
Tonight we hope to grout the bathroom so the toilet can be officially hooked up again.
We will try again this next Sunday.. I come from a long line of people who have always made do – reusing, reducing and recycling, living with thermostats set higher than normal (or lower) etc. We’ve grown our own organic food for generations, and been “green” well before it was popular or easy. But I think we could still do better, do more. And it also helps to appreciate what we do have.. and going without for a day, and seeing how difficult that really is, helps to do that. We have had ice storms and hurricanes that have left us without any power, and we know how to survive that… but doing it voluntarily one day a week will help us remember on a daily basis not to abuse the gifts that energy gives us.
Anyway, it has been a funny few days!