Twice in the last two winters, we’ve lost power for about 36 hours.

You: You should just pay the damn electric bill.  I know you like to negotiate everything, but you’ve got two little kids –

Massive ice storm last year.  Massive windstorm last weekend.  My write-up of the December 2008 event:

Visiting Boston during an ice storm – Like most New Hampshire residents, we lost power for at least two days earlier this month due to an ice storm.  No way we were going to ride it out at home when the inside temperatures were expected to (and did) reach the thirties – we have an infant!  So we planned on heading to a hotel 20 minutes away.  Then my wife and I chatted: Why not make lemonade out of lemons?  If we’re forced to use all these hotel points (I travel a lot for work), why not go somewhere fun?  So off to Boston we went.  Now we have family memories of being tourists in Boston (riding the subway, going to the Aquarium, pressing buttons to go up and down on the elevator) with two little kids instead of hanging out in the confines of a breakfast nook in Dover, NH waiting for the lights to come back on.

The 2010 Version

When we awoke Friday morning without power and heard it might be a while before it returned, we contemplated doing the same thing – going to Boston on hotel points.  (After all, my four-year old daughter immediately suggested it.  My wife and I have learned that she now associates any reasonably lengthy power outage with an automatic trip to Boston.)

But this time my office, three miles away, had power.  No showers or beds, mind you, but it had the most important luxury:  heat.  So we decided to bank those hotel points for a future “real” vacation and hunkered down at night with the girls in an office building.  It worked, although arriving here this morning felt a little weird as things were just a bit “off.”

You: Forgot to throw away the dirty diaper?

Ugh – fortunately that didn’t happen.

Truth be told, we had fun and kept the costs to a relative minimum.  Of course, we went out to lunch and dinner (keeping the refrigerator and freezer closed at home saved a bunch of groceries from going bad) but went to fun, inexpensive restaurants.  For breakfast the next morning, I went to a grocery store and picked up some oatmeal packets (we have a hot water cooler at the office), yogurt, and some juice.  Lunch was deli meat and some wraps. All in all, we kept it fun, kept it inexpensive, and kept our sanity.

At 3PM, the power was on.  We were just about to cook dinner when friends invited us over. Together, we celebrated the little things. What else really matters?

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2 Comments to “Keeping it reasonably fun and affordable without power”

  1. Nora says:


    Sounds like you had some good family time – Bravo! Tiresome, inconvenient things happen (even in Southern California);that’s life! Being flexible and looking for all the ways to make the best of things is much better than whining about things you can’t change anyway. Your girls have a super Dad (and Mom)!


  2. Michael says:

    @Nora: We did have a great time! Thanks for your (very kind) words!

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