A couple of weeks ago a storm came through and we lost power for two days. Even though we really try to conserve electricity in our home - turning off the lights and not using the air conditioner - not having power really affected our life, more than I had thought it would. It was all of a sudden that I noticed the silence. No humming sounds or radio in the daytime, no lights at nighttime. The evening especially felt really long. We had dinner by candle and afterward we gathered around and talked. The candle was beside some dahlias in a vase, and so the light cast gigantic flower shapes on the ceiling that moved around. Our dog got scared but we were enjoying this free entertainment. As we talked we remembered when the kids were small and how we often played charades. We didn’t have a TV then so that was our entertainment, and I remember how fun it was. We still don’t have a TV but now after dinner everyone disperses to the various computers around the house. We don’t spend the time together like we used to and we haven’t played charades in a long time. During the blackout it felt so good to not have to make excuses about unanswered emails or letting the phone ring. It felt like I got back some of that freedom I had a long time ago. When we finally got our electricity back I suggested we power down every Saturday - not turn on the computer, leave the lights off, unplug the phone. Funny, but the idea wasn’t so popular with the kids.