5 Questions About a Power Outage Lead to a Story

The power is out. That always makes for a family story. Next time you get together with family, ask them if they have a story from a time the power went out.

1.) How long was it out?

2.) What season was it?

3.) Was there a blizzard or hurricane?

4.) Was the cause some accident that left you in the dark?

5.) Who was there when the power went out?


You get the idea, power outages are story makers.

I recently visited a local Antique Shop and saw this yoke displayed, it powered up a story seed the second I saw it.

Yoke 2I grew up in an 18th century home. My parents collected antiques to decorate the house and make it look just as it had in 1751 when Captain Amos Richardson  of the Revolutionary War built it. By the cellar stairs one of these yokes was hung on a nail. This one is missing little leather straps at each end and long hook shaped stick that drop down from the leather tie. The yoke was put over your neck so you could carry two buckets of water in an “easier” way. Well I guess it is. When the power went out I was sent on many trips up the hill to a dug well to fetch two pails of water. We kept the toilets flushing and boiled some over the fire to cook with and  watered the animals. I can’t tell you how many trips I made, or even remember how long the outage was, just more than one day. The weather was nice, as far as I remember. The clearest memory, was of the weight on my shoulders. I loved the novelty of doing something that was common two hundred years earlier. The fact that other kids had no idea what these things were, made me a resident expert at school. If my name were Jill it would be more fitting. I will think about the yoke and see how this memory can be intertwined with a story like Jack and Jill for school children.

Looking to tell a family story, ask the 5 questions about a power outage. Then you can try an antique shop to find a story seed.

Another blog I wrote with questions to inspire story ideas is:





another of my blogs with story starting questions is here:






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