Teach your child to embrace “Plan B.”

We had an unexpected weekend filled with Plan B’s and sometimes C’s, D’s and E’s.  At 3:30 Sunday morning we were awakened to our son sobbing that his lizards would die because the power went out.  Sure enough, the house was quiet and completely dark. Usually there are the random LED glows around the house from various equipment. Our trailer doesn’t get this dark.

We assured him we would get the lizards warm.  Then my mind flew to thoughts of very cold tropical fish – the FISH TANK!  This is when Plan B went into action.


Many times plans change, unexpected things happen, stores are closed, friends cancel, dinners burn, your out of whatever it is do to whatever you wanted to do.  How do you handle it?  Whatever you do at those moments signal the rest of your family how to react.  EMBRACE Plan B.  We have had more joy during Plan B’s than we would have with the initial Plan A.  This power outage was no exception.

By 6:30 a.m., it was about 58 degrees in the house.  The fish tank was at 68.  We have hot water, but no furnace (electronic igniter), no stove – also electric.  We have a grill, camping equipment and imagination.

Hot water, thermometer:  Gradually swap out cold fish tank water for warm, do it three times to not freak out the fish. Temp:  78.  WHEW.

DSC05708 Fire in fireplace: heats house, gets lizards back up to 80. WHEW.

No coffee – this is a problem.  French press is in the trailer. Can’t get to it.

Breakfast: cereal  – QUICKLY – get in and out of the fridge. Think of all that you need for the first part of the day: dog food, juice, 1/2 and 1/2 if you FIND coffee.  Grab ice out of freezer, fill cooler.

(KNOCK, KNOCK) – Gabby’s here – THAT’S RIGHT, we have a friend joining us for church. They have power. We don’t.  Kids don’t care.  She just left her jacket on inside until it was time to leave for church.

Church saved us for the morning.  I don’t mean in a church way, just in a scientific, physics kind of way.  It’s warm in there.   They had hard boiled eggs, donuts, awful coffee.

After church and Dutch Brothers (whew, again), back home, fish tank routine again.

More wood.  We played a lot of cards throughout the day.

DSC05695 Savannah and I walked through the neighborhood picking up what little trash was around and to enjoy the day’s colors in the leaves. It was an amazing day mixed with rain and sunshine; typical Oregon. Children broke out toys they’d neglected for a while and we had the best toys that arrived from Hoffman Fabrics – BIG cardboard boxes!  THE toy in Kid-dome.

Nighttime got more interesting.  Offers came in for the lizards to sleep at a friend’s, our daughter was invited to spend the night at another friend’s and ride the bus in with them. I wanted to enjoy Plan B and kept us all here.

DSC05711We had the light of the Coleman lantern, many candles throughout the living room, LED lights from IKEA in the bathrooms to avoid CANDLE incidents, and a generator to filter the fish tank for a while.

We grilled leftover tuna noodle casserole for dinner, read a lot, tried sponge curlers for the first time in Savannah’s hair, wrapped up the pets with extra blankets, swapped out the tank water, and called it a night.  We read stories in Savannah’s room while the tank was still “running” and I took a shower by candlelight.  Perfect night.

By 2:30 or so, we were awakened to the house coming back to life.  This gave me comfort and a good night’s sleep.

I’m grateful for Plan B and that our children actually enjoy it. They call it out before it happens, “OK – PLAN B!.. what’s plan B this time?”

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