TITLE: Back in Time
By Tisha Martin
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Ever wish you could travel back in time to the days when people lived by the sun during the day and candlelight by night? Where life was simpler? With today’s technology, life indeed was not simple way back then! Any rate, living in a era before your time always seems more interesting.
Thanksgiving of 2004, my family and I had the chance to experience what life was like in the good old days.
I had a job in Bloomington, which was thirty minutes away from where we lived. Being the day before Thanksgiving, my boss had given the employees half the day off to travel to visit family. My parents picked me up at the office around noon, and we went to Lowe’s to get a few things before going home. The weather was bitterly cold with the snow blowing through the big town of Bloomington. Dad had to drive carefully in order to see the stoplight signals that were covered in a light frost. Snow flurries piled on the curbs, and cars had their brake lights on as their owners drove slowly down the road. By the time we made it out of the store, snow was coming down thicker and faster; I had to hide my face in my coat to protect myself from the wind and flying snow.
What took a thirty minute drive turned out to be an hour’s drive. Getting out of the city was compared to trying to maneuver a stubborn golf ball into a hole that was too small. Other drivers would automatically slam on the brakes, some would honk the horns, and others simply parked their cars on the side of the road, obviously scared stiff about advancing any further.
We finally made it out of Bloomington. Upon reaching the small town of Atlanta, Dad discovered he had to drive very slowly while keeping his foot on the gas pedal or else we’d end up in the snow-covered ditch. Trees, power lines, telephone poles, houses and cars were layered in an inch or more of ice. Icicles hung from the drooping boughs of pine trees and off of the roofs of houses.
Mom tried calling home on the cell phone to see if the other kids were okay, but she quickly hung up. “I bet we have no electricity at home; the phone doesn’t work.”
Great, I thought, sinking back into my seat, what a way to spend a four day vacation!
The wind continued to blow snow across the fields and the road, making it difficult for Dad to maintain control of the 15 passenger van. Several times we felt the vehicle slide to the left or right. It was ‘the effectual prayer of a [righteous] man’ that helped us get home! (James 5:16 b KJV)
Sure enough, a powerless house awaited us. No heat. No water. No lights. Nothing. Electricity had extinguished nearly four hours prior, and the kids (seven in total) had the kerosene lamps out on the island, already lit and glowing. Candles had been dispersed around the dark house, giving small rays of light. While we kids ran upstairs with flashlights (thank the Lord for those!) To gather enough blankets and pillows for everyone to be cozy and warm, Mom called Cilco to inquire about possibly sending someone out to fix the power line as soon as possible.
We were excited about being able to bunk out on the living room floor and ready to embark on this ‘great’ adventure to explore our imagination since we did not have TV, play station, computer. . . I brought my tape player down to the main floor and stuck some batteries in the back to listen to cassettes of “Old Time Radio” shows: Amos n Andy, and Fibber McGee and Molly.
The younger kids played outside during the day, and at night, we gathered around the tape player to listen to an old radio show by lamplight. When it got too dark to see in the house, even with the lamps and candles, we curled up in our blankets and dozed off.
On Thanksgiving Day, Dad took the turkey outside to the garage to deep fry it. Mom and we girls peeled potatoes, made stuffing, and anything else we could think of that would turn out all right when cooked on the stove. (We have a gasoline stove, which can be lit with matches.) It turned out to be a simple meal: deep-fried turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, rolls, and corn. But the memory of spending a Thanksgiving holiday being stranded with icicles and snow all around was the greatest opportunity for true Thanksgiving.
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