Steeves: Life without power is still life

It’s just symbolic, but if that’s what it takes to startle people into appreciating what we have, then I’m all for it.

It’s just symbolic, but if that’s what it takes to startle people into appreciating what we have, then I’m all for it.

I spent plenty of evenings in the dark when we lived in our log home on 40 acres in the Caribou—miles from the nearest power pole—and I can’t remember that it did me any harm.

And, I sure appreciated electric power when our generator was on.

We didn’t have many appliances that plugged into the wall.

Our waffle iron fitted directly over the fire where the stove top circle was removed to put more wood in, and it had to be twirled part-way through to brown the other half of the waffle.

The sewing machine was sturdy and sewed right through several layers of denim so I could make our jeans, but it required my feet to work as well as my hands and it was quite an old Singer machine.

We heated the iron on the wood cookstove, and it wasn’t used as a doorstop as it is today.

Coal oil lanterns weren’t particularly romantic—they were just what we used to provide light at night to read by.

I’ll remember that Saturday night as I turn my lights off at 8:30 p.m. for Earth Hour, an initiative of the World Wildlife Fund to encourage people to display a commitment to benefit the environment, not just during that one hour, but with a pledge to continue changing how they live.

Turning out the lights certainly would save a lot of energy if we all did it more often, so it’s definitely a good place to start.

And, there’s a friendly challenge amongst local communities to see who can garner the most support.

Those participating must pledge their support on the FortisBC website at

Participants have an opportunity to win a weekend getaway at Manteo Resort, and the community has a chance to win up to a $5,000 energy savings upgrade for a worthy non-profit organization in the community, the Kelowna Gospel Mission here.

Support Mayor Sharon Shepherd and see if we can win.

If I had my way, I’d probably be joining Roseanne Van Ee swishing through the snow on snowshoes at Silver Star to a candlelit dinner in a backwoods cabin, then back by horse-drawn sleigh.

Book by calling 250-558-4292.

Another way to keep fit for the coming summer is to join the regional district’s Tracks Walking Club, a free, 12-week graduated walking program along the Mission Creek Greenway Monday and Wednesday mornings.

Go to the website at: for information on that and other programs or contact the EECO at 250-469-6140.

Judie Steeves writes about outdoors issues for the Capital News.



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