I do not ever remember hearing a generator going when we lost power growing up. I can honestly say I did walk a mile to school in the snow carrying my books and notebooks. I did have shoes on though.

Generators first came out in the 1800s. Honda put the first one out commercially made in 1965. This was 2 years before I was born. Why didn’t more people have them? We purchased our generator around 2010. It doesn’t get used much as thankfully we haven’t lost power long enough to need to fire it up. When you live in a place where the water functions on electricity you deem the generator as an essential appliance to have around. It isn’t pretty to look at but does the job it is intended for.

Owning a home requires us to think outside the box. What I might need is a generator for maybe something completely different for a neighbor. My reasons when we bought ours were:

  • Plugin the fridge and the freezer because we had a lot of people in the house which meant freezers were usually full
  • Being able to flush all 3 toilets and wash our hands
  • Making coffee
  • Connecting router so kids could play their video games and hubby could use the internet

I would say these were strong reasons at the time we purchased it. As time goes by, my reasons are simpler now. With kids grown, but freezer has a lot of filled water jugs in it to help keep the freezing feeling full and balanced. If we lost power, I wouldn’t need to open the freezer as the jugs would keep pretty much everything frozen. With 3 toilets and 2 of us, we can certainly let the bowl sit a while without a flush. Not ideal, but doable. The coffee is not as much of a push anymore either. I can drive to get a coffee somewhere. I can honestly say I could use a break from the Wi-Fi for a few hours now. Honestly, I do not think I need a generator anymore, but it is comforting to know I have it – just in case. We keep warm with a wood stove in the winter and have a battery-powered fan for the summer. Life is more basic and bare bones now.

Someone else may not have some of the abilities we have. They may have someone who needs electricity to breathe or small kids who need basic comforts. I try to remember that when making suggestions. At my age, it is easier to take a nap until power is restored than to fire up the generator and plug everything in.

When you live with a well all bets are off. We all need water to cook, flush, clean, and washer. I think this is why the popularity of generators emerged.

There are 2 different types of generators – AC or DC. Understanding the difference requires an education, lol. AC is Alternating Current, and DC is Direct Current Alternating is like what we have in the house already. Direct would be more like using a battery. To give you the full scope I will let my favorite This Old House guy, Bob Villa do the explaining:


Basically, you want to select one which will work best for your household. Keep in mind households do change over time. Some of the bells and whistles may only be needed for a short period of time. Make sure you get your basics covered for the lifetime of the generator and select the bells and whistles which fit your needs. Either way, I see a generator like a hammock. It is comforting to know I have it but don’t really have the time to use it much.