Growing up we lived in the mountains, far away from the hustle and bustle of town; all we had was each other. Now do not get me wrong, my parents did work for every extra penny and my brother and I had more than our fair share of fights, but we also had more family time than we could count.
Our winters were especially rough and when we had a lot of snow or ice, we would lose power. Sometimes our power would be out for days at time. While most families would be going crazy, when our lights went out, we came together.
If it was dark, Mom would light candles and oil lamps, then we gathered around the dining room table to play games. From board games to cards, we always had plenty to chose from. I was never very good myself, but I like to think I gave some competition to them when I was old enough to stop trying to cheat.
However, sometimes it was a little too cold to play games if you didn’t want your fingers to turn into pop-cycles. When those times came around, we would share stories instead. I would curl up in a fuzzy blanket with a warm cup of cocoa on the couch with my brother. Dad would sit in front of the gas fireplace. Mom would sit in her chair with a steaming cup of black coffee. She could always make us laugh. My favorite story was about a very hungry worm named Hermie that would eat everything and by the end burped it all back out. She could tell it better than anyone. I still remember it and cannot wait to tell it to my son.
Our family has grown up and spread out, but our hearts remain as close as ever and I think it’s because all those times the lights went out.