Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Power Outage Adventures

I want to write about it while it is fresh in my mind. Its so easy to forget as soon as the power comes back on....
Last evening as I headed up the hill from my sister's, there were giant black clouds over the horizon. Storms for me are exciting and energizing, and living atop a hill they are even more so now. I stopped and checked all the veggie plants, and came inside to unplug the computer - just as the electricity went off. That was odd, because the storm hadn't even arrived yet.
The wind picked up (the paper says 48 mph, but it seemed much faster), and the air turned that sickly greenish yellow. I can see the horizon in a half circle from the back of the house, and lightning was striking 3 or 4 places simultaneously. The excitement was changing into something else as I headed for the basement, hearing things being blown around outside. From the basement, I could still watch, and this storm was a hum-dinger doozy.
Eventually, lightning struck so close that it effected my ability to hear for a moment. My sister told me later that particular strike made her filling tingle (!?!). It seemed entirely possible that the house had been hit, and I kept sniffing for a burning smell that didn't materialize. Whew! That was the worst of it, and the storm continued on it's way south.
It's hard to describe the way it feels when there's no power.
It made us think about the people in the Gulf States and how they must have felt - or even the people who were flooded in recent weeks. We had it pretty good, after all!
My daughter came home, and the lack of power baffled her. At least she'd had dinner..... She flopped around from sofa to chair, finally thinking a nap might make it all go away. Her first experience (at 3) with this sort of thing was so upsetting that it was the first time she was ever dosed with the magical elixir, chamomile extract - which was almost a miracle. At that time, she'd begged for "just one light... PLEASE Mommie!!!"
Anyhow, I read until the light became too dim. Then we lit candles, opened windows, and talked into the night while she practiced her guitar lessons. She chose to sleep in the living room for no particular reason.
At 6 this morning, the blessed guinea hens squawked me awake (windows open), and the power was still off. Last night while brushing my teeth before bed, I'd discovered that the water was gone too. Yep... standing there in the dark, feeling around for the flow from the faucet, with my mouth foamy from toothpaste, I realized that there was no water. My mouth was VERY fresh this morning.
Coffee!!! OH NO! I trudged down to Maryanne's for some contact with the world. As we sat talking about how it would feel to be in a large city with no news, no water, no food, no information, the power was restored and things started beeping and clicking and flashing.

So... I learned that pretzels aren't the best dinner in the world, but better than nothing. I'll be adding things to the larder that could be cooked without opening the fridge or using any appliances save the grill.
We need more candles. Some in every room, and a radio that works on batteries. Next time a storm like that approaches, I'll fill the tub with water.
AND... I'll be encouraging more and more wild foods to grow nearby. This was just a little glitch in the day to day, but a window to see what I need to do to prepare. Still haven't figured out the coffee thing yet, but there are a few ideas coming to mind.

2 comments:

Becky said...

We've lost power in our area so many times over the years that I lost track, but I can help you with the coffee thing, LOL!
We always keep a camp stove handy or you can build a fire if you're feeling adventurous, here's a link about making coffee this way-
http://coffeetea.about.com/cs/coffeemaking/a/campfire.htm

Becky said...

stupid blogger, makes it impossible to leave links, but you can google it, campfire coffee should work!

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