Should I Turn Off the Generator?

Dylan was alone at home when the power went out.

Our house is all electric. We don’t even have a gas line, let alone a gas cooking range. Without power, there is very little we can do.

It was mid-afternoon, so it was plenty bright. Dylan wasn’t worried about being able to turn on a light. But we always have a ton of food stored in both the refrigerator and the upright freezer. And Dylan was worried that, with the electricity out, the food might go bad.

So he went out to the garage.

He found the generator, and pulled it outside.

This first step – pulling it outside – is essential. An indoor-kept generator can asphyxiate the entire family. Personally, I would have missed this step, since I have no clue how to set up a generator.

But Dylan pulled the generator outside. He checked to make sure it had sufficient gasoline. Then he hooked it up to both the refrigerator and the freezer, making sure that the power cord wasn’t wet or near any puddles.

He turned the choke on. He made sure the power switch was set to “on.”

Then he pulled the cord, and started up the generator.

I didn’t even know he’d done it until he called me an hour later to say that the power had come back on.

“Should I turn off the generator?” Dylan asked. I almost fell over.

Later, my neighbor said, “I was over at my house, struggling to get my own generator started, and Dylan just came out and did it all!”

I have no idea when or how Dylan learned to set up a generator. But this kind of prowess makes me wonder why I even bother worrying about whether or not he turns in his homework on time.

He’s going to be just fine.

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