06 September 2011

So Not 18th Century?

Remember that hurricane last week? I lost electricity for a day and a half. (It was bad but could have been much worse.) Here are some reflections written when I was semi in the dark...


I have a confession. Thanks to Miss Irene I've come to the conclusion that--when it comes down to it--I might very well be So Not 18th Century. It's 4PM on Sunday. I've been without power for six hours--a personal record. In four hours it will be dark and I don't know what I'm going to do. It will be too dark to sew or read. Can't watch the latest Gordon Ramsey show. Agh!?! Which makes me presume that I couldn't cut it as a colonist.

I ask myself, "If it was 1770, what would I think about this day?" I would probably write a letter...

Tis a day that is more in keeping with March or the winter for the wind is terribly strong. There has been rain but tis not a storm. Many branches have fall from trees and a walk to the harbor shews the water's waves to also feel the heavy winds. 

I must confess, I am glad for the lack of sun and this cool wind. for during these late summer months I oft long for the stark cold of winter.

It's true. Hurricane Irene hasn't brought my island in Southern New England a lot of rain. It's the wind that's proving problematic. The whole island lost electricity due to a tree that fell on a power line. We're trying to eat everything from the fridge but most will be wasted.

I feel lost without the breaking news. I can't visually follow Hurricane Irene's path up the East Coast. I can't follow everyone's facebook updates and learn how the storm is affecting them.

How did colonists manage receiving news so slowly?

I have limited cell phone coverage. I can text my sister who lives downtown, feet from the flood zone. She's drinking strawberry milk. I can text my mom vacationing in Florida. She's shopping for my baby's upcoming birthday. Yet I still worry about my loved ones.

How did colonists handle not hearing from family for weeks / months at a time?

On the other hand, maybe it wouldn't have been that bad. If this storm had hit in the 18th century I wouldn't have known it was coming. I wouldn't have spent days in advance worrying about it or preparing for it. This would just be another gloomy Sunday.


  1. Funny you should mention that - Tyler and I were talking about the same thing -- how early Americans (well, anyone who lived before fast-paced, far-reaching information technology came on the scene)wouldn't have realized how severe the storm was (or that it was coming) until they had corresponded with others or read about the storm occurring around the same time in newspapers...I wouldn't have had to worry about so much stuff getting ruined, either, as I would not have had all that much!

  2. Elizabeth.. I would have been lost without my IPAD.. made sure I had it all charged up and have a portable battery charger to boot..will never be without a battery operated radio for the next storm, went out in the middle of the storm to listen to the radio in the car, pretty pathetic, but it was so quiet!


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