I normally try to avoid getting romantic about Old Times and Old Ways for no good reason. Though in many ways, life in the past was simpler and easier, I'm still so very grateful for the many wonderful things we tend to take for granted today. Reliable electricity, running water, easy transportation, social security systems, appliances that make laundry, food storage and kitchen work a breeze, instant communication, the Internet and modern medicine are all things I'm so happy we have in our world.
Still, sometimes we either need to or choose to do without some of those things, because of financial/practical considerations or because of a deep need for a simpler, slower life the human psychology seems to be best suited for in many cases.
So far, we've never had to live without electricity or running water consistently, but we have experienced some days with no water flow, and whole weeks in winter when electricity had to be used extremely sparingly by the entire neighborhood - an extra appliance by any family could easily mean a total cut-down of power. We used a gas heater because we aren't really into splitting wood, and we always cook using a gas stove anyway, as do most people in Israel. And, of course, plenty of candles for light.
Having said all that, I find the testimonies of these people so very inspiring:
Doing Without a Fridge - hard to imagine people actually manage that way!
Living Without Lights - this lady's blog is fascinating. The pictures and descriptions of her tiny house are simply charming. I intend to go back and read it all, bit by bit, as time allows. I encourage everyone to do the same, if you have the least interest in that sort of thing.