Scrabble by Candlelight

Last Sunday, I shared photos from our beautiful but cold sunny walk on January 1st.
The very next day, everything changed when a blizzard moved in and left our little town without power.

The lights – and heat! – went out at suppertime while our macaroni and cheese casserole was still baking. That was okay, because it was almost done and there was enough heat  in the oven to finish it up. So we ate by candlelight in the living room.

With no other heat source and before the room cooled off completely, hubs and I covered ourselves in bathrobes, throws and blankets and decided to read to each other from my Kindle. We chose Treasure Island, which I’d forgotten I had, and read alternating chapters until we got too cold to continue.

We found out online that the power wouldn’t be back until morning at the earliest because of the ongoing blizzard. So we got the idea to go to the small spare room upstairs, light as many candles as we could find, and hopefully stay warm that way until bedtime.

It worked! We set up a game of Scrabble and the candles on my writing desk, poured some wine, and played while listening to digital music. You wouldn’t believe how much heat comes from candles in a small area!  We were toasty warm until it was time to blow them out and turn in – cats and all, of course.

Scrabble by candleight

Who won the game, you may be wondering? Hubs was in the lead the entire time, but my last play of all seven remaining letters clinched a win for me!
Neither one of us can remember what the word was – probably because of the wine. 😉

A couple of nights ago we took up Treasure Island again and read some more to each other. No, the power wasn’t gone, but we thought it was fun enough to continue reading it that way.

Have you ever come up with fun ways to enjoy a winter power outage?
Do tell!

Winter Woes and Looking on the Bright Side

Well, what a week it has been around these parts! Old Man Winter in Newfoundland, as it has been for much of the continent caught in the “Polar Vortex,” is baring his teeth and delivering a wallop to most areas, a wallop stronger than any in recent memory. It has made some of us wish we could hibernate until spring, and others long to escape down south for an extended vacation or even retirement.


But the weather has also made some people shine. Like the old expression about when the going gets tough, that is just what was needed when our version of a “perfect storm” arrived: record low frigid temperatures, record amounts of early snowfall, and lengthy bone-chilling blackouts, the like which has not been experienced since 1994. Add a blizzard and our inadequate power infrastructure for our needs today, and you’ve got real trouble.

photo credit: Newfoundland page, Facebook
photo credit: Newfoundland page, Facebook

Sometimes it takes a situation, (or a “crisis,” if I may, Premier Dunderdale) to see who the heroes are, to see who is willing to stop complaining, roll up their sleeves and help wherever help is needed. No matter where any blame lies that contributed to the power problem, I’m the sort of person who prefers to look at the positive side of things whenever possible. I have heard stories of gratitude for those who shovelled, plowed, or dug people out of their homes. I have seen good folks answer the call when warm food and shelter were needed, and still others with wood stoves and propane fireplaces open their homes and offer comfort. Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the Newfoundland Power maintenance workers and crews, the snow plow operators, and everyone who worked and is still working tirelessly to return everything back to some semblance of normal.

photo credit: Newfoundland page, Facebook
photo credit: Newfoundland page, Facebook

But it is the personal stories that warm me more than any wood stove can. Like the couple who went ahead with their wedding Saturday night in spite of the blackout and the freezing temperatures (link below). No, perhaps it was far from ideal, but they have quite a story to tell their children and grandchildren one day.

Even my daughter and son-in-law were up to the challenge this weekend, when they decided not to postpone our granddaughter’s sleepover birthday party at home, but went ahead with the event in the dark. Son-in-law even barbecued hot dogs outside in the freezing cold for them. And the party was a success! These are the things lasting memories are made of.


So whether this makes you think Newfoundlanders are hardy, or just plain foolhardy, that is entirely beside the point. All I know is the warmth of the human spirit is alive and well in our little corner of the continent.


Do you have any storm or power outage stories to share? How about one with an unexpected positive spin?