Looking Back 3: Nonelectric Entertainment


Mosquito Mountain Montana HomesteadWe get a lot of questions about the things we did for entertainment in those early years before we had electricity. Believe it or not, boredom was not a problem on our homestead. Even the long evenings of winter passed relatively quickly under the soft glow of kerosene lamps.

It helped that all of our children are avid readers. One major concern we had was the fire danger from the kerosene lamps we used throughout the cabin. Now to those who've never used kerosene lamps, it isn't like the movies. You will not light up a room with one lamp and the light is not that bright either. We do not use the Aladdin lamps with the mantles because we've found them prone to carbon build-up in the globe. In our experience, they take constant fiddling and attention and even though they give out a lot of light they aren't worth the hassle to us. We used the standard old wick-type kerosene lamps.

Our first experience with solar power was when we began using solar driveway and sidewalk lights for reading lights for the children. Those early lights were yellow, but they still worked as reading lamps. We had three times as many as we had people because it took two days to fully recharge them. We'd lay in bed with the light propped against our shoulder or neck when reading. That cut down the fire danger significantly and still allowed the children to read in the evenings.

We played board games and cards, drew pictures, wrote, made and decorated cookies and did school work (we home schooled our children). We even used a laptop computer by charging the battery up when we went to church.

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