We got our power back on ~ YES!  

Some say that during a snow storm, if you listen carefully, you can hear the trees laughing between themselves when the heavy snow knocks one of them on top of a car or causes one of them to fall on a power line causing our lights to flicker then go out for days.  I can’t say for sure that that is true, but I could swear I did once hear a tree giggle as one of it’s branches fell down nearly missing me.

Ha ha, the trees think they’re so funny.  However, we don’t let falling trees and broken power lines get the last laugh.  No way!  Because when the lights go out, that’s our cue.  It’s PARTY TIME!  Yep it’s time to CELEBRATE another power outage. 

Trust me a PARTY is the ONLY way to handle having no heat, no light, no TV, no computer, no phone… no power!  In fact, a party is the only known antidote against being cold, in the dark and feeling lonely.  

Several years ago, my Gorgeous Man and I hosted our first “No Power Party” after a huge storm caused the trees to not only knock out the power, but block the roads so people could not leave the area until the huge fallen trees were cut and cleared away.  That first “No Power Party” lasted for five evenings.  Everyone brought food, candles and flashlights.   We even had music since one of our neighbors brought over a battery operated CD player!   

We took turns sharing our life stories, played games, laughed and had a great time.  But when we got our power back and the lights suddenly came alive; one little girl started crying, “Oh no!she wailed,  “The lights came on.”  She slumped in her chair dejectedly,  “Now the parties will STOP.”  

We all laughed and decided to have one more dinner together to cap off our celebration.  Ever since then, “No Power Parties” are a tradition in our neighborhood.  And now, it’s your turn!  YOU can start the lovely tradition of hosting an “after the storm celebration” in your neighborhood, too!

How to Host a “No Power Party”
Step 1:  INVITE
In a power outage, the phones are dead and cell phones work sporadically so my Gorgeous Man and I put snow boots on.  We go door-to-door (while it is still light outside) and invite everyone we see, to come over to our home for a “potluck dinner.”  We ask each neighbor to bring some food (whatever they have in the fridge) and if they want, they can bring something to drink, too. 

  • Tip:  Ask people to bring an extra lantern, candles or flashlight if they have it.  The extra lights are great if you all decide to play games; plus when people return to their homes after dinner; they will need that light to guide them back home.

 

Step 2.  PAPER PLATES, CUPS & PLASTIC SILVERWARE
We use paper plates because it’s easy.  I usually have them on hand but if for some reason I don’t, I just ask around and it always works out.  

  • Tip: I put a permanent marker out for people to write their names on the cups.  You know how it is, we get to talking and set our cup down… 

Step 3:  LIGHT THE DARKNESS
We light a ton of candles!  I use battery operated candles and regular candles.  

  • If we are experiencing high wind, we do NOT use open-flame candles or lanterns due to the fear of trees falling on the house and setting everything on fire.  (Plus we don’t want to give the trees any ideas…)

Step 4.  FOOD & DRINK
Whatever food we have; we fix it and set it out.  I fill up several pitchers of water and place those on the table in addition to other drinks.  When people come over with their food, we set everything up buffet-style.  When it’s time to eat, each person helps themselves.  

It is amazing how much food everyone brings!  There is something for everyone.  I always have gluten and dairy free food, my neighbors bring fantastic ethnic dishes. It’s great food and great FUN!

QUESTION:  What if I have no way to heat food up?
     
ANSWER:  Don’t let that stop you!  I’m sure you have something in your kitchen, and remember everyone will be bringing some food!

  • Tip:  Pick up a few “emergency party foods” at a grocery store BEFORE a storm hits and stash it in your pantry.  Doing that “one little thing” will give you peace of mind.  Below are a few gluten and dairy-free ideas: 


EMERGENCY PARTY FOOD IDEAS

 

  • Wild Smoked Salmon
  • Canned pears, pineapple or other fruit – Add fresh, cut-up fruit and you have a lovely fruit salad.
  • Nuts – almonds, peanuts, pecans, cashews, etc.
  • Canned fish, chicken or meat.  Add a little mayo from your fridge and you have an instant sandwich spread.  If you have salad greens you can top a salad.
  • Canned beans (rinse the beans first) are a great addition to a green salad or mashed up with a bit of hot sauce; serve with tortilla chips.
  • Chocolates or some “special sweet” that you love.
  • Dried fruit or dried fruit bars.
  • A variety of gluten-free crackers, chips or cookies.
  • Corn chips and salsa.
  • Check your fridge:  Veggies and hummus or dips.  Salad makings.  Cheeses.   Pickles.  Olives.  Fruit.  Gluten-free Hot Dogs or sliced meats. Leftovers. 
  • Check your freezer:  Frozen fruit. Gluten-free bread or desserts.  Cooked food that you could thaw.
  • Quick ~ Before the power goes out ~ Bake some gluten-free cookies such as:  My Favorite Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
  • Special drinks.  Make it fun! 

 

A power outage can bring you JOY instead of frustration if you celebrate it!  
A “No Power Party” is a great way to connect with old friends 
and a fantastic way to make new friends!  Hmmm, you could host a lovely “Potluck Dinner” even if you don’t have power outage.  ENJOY!
Big hugs to you!  Lynn

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