Last Friday night we experienced typical Wisconsin spring weather. It was wet and rainy with various bouts of thunder and lightening, which just happened to coincide with dinner hour.
While reheating our vegetarian lasagna the lights flickered now and again in time with particularly bright bolts of lightening. Oooooooh! shrieked the older kids. Maybe the lights will go out! suggested Madeleine.
And then we started to reminisce about the time the lights went out for two (or was it three?) whole days on the entire south side of our village. It was fall, so heating wasn't really an issue, and it felt like a huge, fun adventure (well, OK, it was an adventure for the first day, then it just became a pain. But time in a salve, is it not? All we choose to remember is game playing by candlelight, eating by candlelight, inventing new ways to store and prepare food or, in other words, all the romantic aspects).
We waited awhile, but we never lost our electricity, so we decided to institute a self-imposed ban for the evening. We gathered all the candles we could find in our house, brought them to the dining room table and ate by candlelight. This is what it would have been like for Laura, Madeleine declared. We decided to pretend we were the Ingalls family, of The Little House on the Prairie fame. That lasted about two minutes, until which time Madeleine started complaining about the spinach in the lasagna. Now Mary, I said, you eat what's given to you with no complaint.
Mom, replied Madeleine, How about we don't play that anymore. Let's just be us with no lights.
After we ate, we decided it was a perfect, stormy night for a major book night (explanation provided in the first paragraph of this post). Shall we read by candlelight or the lamp? I asked.
We broke the no electricity ban to pop popcorn (well, technically, our gas stove doesn't use electricity except to ignite the flame, so we only sort of broke the ban) and then brought what felt like eight thousand blankets downstairs and settled in for The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis. We read really, really late because with the flickering of the candle, the violent wind, thunder and lightening outside and the warm and cozy blankets inside no one wanted the book night to end.
We still have about a third of the book to go. Who knows, maybe we'll be treated to another stormy night soon!