Susan Speaks: The Night the Lights Went out


If you were trying to access West of Mars for an almost five-hour period last night, you were out of luck. While I was sitting at The Boy Band’s orchestra concert, the lights flickered. Then went out.

Here’s an article from the local paper about it. Anyone else a bit scared that they don’t know what caused such a massive outage?

Needless to say, the orchestra concert was cut short. We all raced home, although I’m not sure why. It’s not like any of us could get into our garages.

And, just as we did during the mega snowstorm of 2010, when the street hadn’t been plowed for days, all the cool neighbors (and some of the uncool ones, too. Really? Mowing the lawn at 7AM on a Monday?) gathered in the street. The kids ran wild. Dogs danced on their leashes, their walks abandoned in favor of the impromptu gathering.

It may seem heretical for someone who has built the bulk of her career online, but nights like last night remind me why unplugging is a good thing. I do wish for more of these nights when we tumble out of our big homes and reconnect, face to face, and chat about everything and nothing. You long-term readers know how much I love to be outside, camping and biking and with the family.

This is a good balance to strive for, I think. Shutting down the glow of the screens and instead seeking the glow of the stars.



  1. Ann (bunnygirl)

    May 25, 2011 9:57 am

    Mowing the lawn at 7 am on a Monday is no big deal in my neighborhood, where nearly everyone has an 8-5 job and is already up. What gets me is the ones who mow at 7 am on a Sunday. If my new neighbor tries that again, I’m going to have a talk with him, since Sunday is the only day of the week I can sleep in.

    I hear you on the value of getting away from the electronic toys for a bit. I was without electricity for a week after Hurricane Ike and once I got past the withdrawal symptoms (LOL) I found it was nice to eat dinner on the porch with my husband, talk to neighbors, and engage in creative pastimes that didn’t require being plugged in.

  2. Robin from Israel

    May 25, 2011 1:27 pm

    That’s kind of what Yom Kippur is like around here. Nice – for a day ;).

    My photography is available for purchase – visit Around the Island Photography and bring home something beautiful today!

  3. Melissa Luznicky Garrett

    May 26, 2011 7:58 am

    I’ll never forget that day one summer when the lights went out for much of the northeast. It felt strange – but nice – to actually be outside late in the evening instead of sitting in front of the TV watching HGTV. The only part I didn’t like was the mad scramble to buy ice so all the food wouldn’t go bad!

  4. Julia Smith

    May 26, 2011 12:13 pm

    ‘Nice – for a day.’


  5. Eli

    May 27, 2011 1:42 pm

    That’s how it is in the ‘hood when a house burns down. The entire zip code comes out. When the house across from us burned, there were hundreds of people there partying all night!

  6. Alice Audrey

    May 27, 2011 2:35 pm

    I get the unplugging thing. Now and then I do it even without a power outage.

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