Without power doesn’t mean without hope

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 1, 2005

Hurricane Katrina has come and gone and left a terrible path of destruction. Few in the Black Belt did not feel some impact from this terrible storm and all are hoping for a quick recovery. Unfortunately, most of that recovery may have to come in the dark.

Workers from Alabama Power and other power companies have been laboring around the clock to put their customers back under the lights, but often it is a house-to-house, neighborhood-to-neighborhood operation.

If we learned anything at all from Hurricane Ivan last year it is patience. In a situation like this it does no one any good to sit around and complain. It takes a widespread effort for a full recovery.

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Of course, without power, when the efforts are over and it is time to return home there is very little to do. Without cable and Internet service many of us are lost so I have compiled a list of things people may do to amuse themselves while the electricity is down.

Obviously, this time of year you can talk about football. With high school football in full swing and college football kicking off tonight there is plenty to talk about. Will Alabama finally put it together? Is Auburn ever going to lose another game? Will the Tigers, Bulldogs and Cougars repeat? There is plenty to talk about and as Alabamians we all have opinions on all of these topics.

If football is not your cup of tea there are several other options. The best way to pass the time is to break out old stories. We all have them and they can be the source of a great deal of amusement. Everyone has a child, pet, relative or friend who may have found themselves in an outrageous situation at some point in their lives. Breaking out these old stories can be more entertaining than anything you will ever see on cable. Talk about the time Uncle Frank fell asleep in the bed of a truck and woke up in Amarillo. Break out the old favorite about the time your nephew made a mud pie and tried to serve it with Thanksgiving dinner. These stories can entertain and embarrass their target, but most of all they are just plain fun.

On that same note, power outages are an excellent way to get to know the family again. In 2005 both parents are in the work force in most cases and children have so many activities going on it is hard to keep up. Now is the time to get to know one another again. You can find out what your kids are interested in or discover what mom or dad wanted to be when they grew up. It can be a great bonding experience and open the lines of communication significantly.

If you run out of stories and can rig the proper lighting don’t be afraid to break out the old board games. I can’t remember the last time I played checkers or Monopoly. These games have taken a back seat to Play station and other gaming systems. However, when those games are not an option, board games can be a lot of fun.

Passing the time will not be easy without the comforts we in the 21 Century have become accustomed to. On the other hand, we do get to see just how strong our imaginations are. Good luck during the recovery effort.