This is submitted for the Daily Prompt

The Assignment:  Your life without a computer: what does it look like?

toshbook7This Diary Belongs to Maryann Holloway

July 28, 2013

Yesterday is just a memory.  The solar flares that hit the earth had widespread ramifications.  At first we couldn’t use our mobile phones as all communication equipment was destroyed and then we discovered that we also didn’t have any power for our computers or anything else.  I heard of life before computers when people wrote letters to each other but I never thought I would experience it.  I write this diary entry after my first day without computers.  Since my entry is not handwritten, you know I found a means.  I always meant to clean out the attic but life got in the way.  For me this was a blessing as I found an old typewriter that my aunt had used in college in the 1950s.  Would you believe it’s pink and there was a little box stored with it that had spare ribbons and they were still useable.  The typewriter is a Royal Quiet Deluxe with a tweed case.  The attic had an old Polaroid camera too and I took a picture of the typewriter to add to this diary entry.

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I woke up late this morning, as I didn’t have an alarm clock that didn’t depend on power.  I didn’t even have a travel alarm clock that used batteries.  Going to have to get something but I guess that is the least of my worries.

It was Sunday, so any concerns I had about my employment were a day away.

The first thing that needed to be done was to feed my family.  The stove was gas; however it had an electric igniter, so I am glad I had a lighter.  We had concentrated on keeping the refrigerator closed yesterday so the contents were probably good for at least breakfast this morning.  I boiled water for tea and we ate cereal.

My teenage daughter asked if she could watch a DVD on the portable player since it had a charged battery.  At first I wanted to say “No” as I wanted to conserve all battery power but then I thought what else were we going to do with a DVD player.  I did mention that she should think about saving such activity for the evening and do something that required sunlight such as read a book or clean her room.  Yes even in this disaster, I have to be the mom.

After breakfast, my husband and I took an inventory of our non-perishable food supply and water.  For water, we are fine for a while as we purchased several large bottles of water last fall when Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast.  We thought about going out to the supermarket but we didn’t know if stores were open or anything else about the world at large.

In the afternoon we began hearing a voice speaking loud out in the street.  When we went out to investigate, we found it to be a police cruiser driving down the street and a police officer was making announcements.  He encouraged residence to stay in their homes or at least on their residential street because all traffic lights were not working and the National Guard had been called out to keep the peace in the downtown area.  He told us that there would be announcements delivered in this format twice a day or when news of importance was available.  He advised us that Federal, State and local authorities were working to put a plan in place but there was no information yet.  He said that the mayor and council were organizing block captains to help with communication and to know when residents were in need of assistance.  We can expect the block captain information by early evening.

Next we planned out our food supply and figured out what to do to occupy our time.  For my husband and I, we knew what it was like before computers were such a large part of our every day lives, but our teenage daughter did not.  Although we are users of the Internet including Facebook and have used our fair share of electronic devices, the lack of them was much harder on her.

This is much different than we experienced with Hurricane Sandy last year.  During Sandy we lost power for about 24 hours as we don’t live on the coast and it was not the entire world without power.  We still had access to facebook via 3G devices and were able to communicate with family via these devices.  We dealt with cold temperatures, cold water for showers and no power.  We used our car a few times to recharge our mobile phones.   My employer closed for two days.  If the power had not come on when it did, my husband would have needed to find an alternative location.  He is a computer programmer who works from our home for a company in another state.  We located a hotel not too far away that had free WIFI in the room and had rooms available.  It was very difficult to find one that met both criteria.  We were packing to go when the power came on.  Hallelujah!

Well the day is done and we made it through one day off the grid.  We need to conserve our flashlights and candles so I will finish today’s diary entry.  Tomorrows another day where I expect we will have more experiences off the grid.

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6 responses

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  4. Sheryl says:

    The pink typewriter is awesome. I’m amazed that the typewriter ribbons were still usable.

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    • I guess in fiction writing you could make anything work. You’d be amazed at the number and variety of old typewriters being sold on the Internet. I found that picture through Google images but it came up among a large group available on EBay.

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  5. isaac says:

    Its difficult to find knowledgeable men and women on this subject matter, but you could be seen as you know what youre speaking about! Thanks

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