Monday, January 23, 2012

Deep Snow and Ice 2012: Yay!

I LOVE IT when the power goes out.  It's so quiet!  The moment that electric nerve-wrap in the walls goes *blip*... it's just so peaceful. 
It's so lovely and quiet. 
It's like your day just wound down to a graceful stop, and now you have all the time in the world to do word puzzles and learn new embroidery stitches. 
Well... except for hauling buckets of snow inside to heat up for bathing and washing dishes, that is.  There's the backbreaking physical labor part... except for that, it's all good and no bad. 

I love using candles!  Candles are so romantic and friendly, you get a little warmth and personality along with your light.   I wouldn't let the kids take any to their rooms, though.  Poor things, they had to use cold, cheerless battery lights because of their nervous mother.   Oh well, go to bed. 

Of course you have "all the time in the world"... for a while.  Dark is going to come and nothing can stop it.  I love that, too.  There's an elemental quality, a more direct connection between work and life.  If you get water in, you'll have a bathie tonight.  If you get a fire going you'll be warm tonight.  Otherwise you'll be sitting in the dark wishing the power would come back. 

I don't wish the power would come back.  It's so lovely to go to sleep  in a warm little house, when it's utterly quiet inside and outside! 

And then, there's the dawn.  When you've slept in utter darkness, it's SO GREAT when it gets light outside.  Yay!  It's Day!  How often do we really appreciate how wonderful dawn is?   There's not much poetry written to the dawn any more.  Most of the time we sleep right through it. 

DH made me call the power company like five times a day asking for estimates.  According to the recording, the estimate is, "We have 47 separate outages, and here's a list of locations that are without power.  After you listen to the whole list, please appreciate that we are literally stringing up lines and then before we can restore service another tree falls.  We have crews coming from other states to help us.  So sit tight and shut up.  If there's anything else you want, press 1 to talk to a representative." 
The power came back on the first day, then went off again an hour later.  I had to call to make sure the power company realized it had happened, and the nice lady apologized for my inconvenience.  
I said, "Oh, don't worry, I actually love it when the power's out." 
She said, "Oh, I do, too!  It's so quiet!" 
DH said we'd probably get bumped to the bottom of the list now that I told them we didn't want it anyway. 
(But they supply us with power because we pay for it by the kwh, not just because we want it.) 

The power came back on just a few hours later, then went off again in the evening.  Yay!  If it goes off at six, it'll be off at least all night.  And that was before the big freeze; after piles of beautiful fluffy snow, we went out and stomped pathways around, went sledding, cleaned up the remains of our canopy carport that collapsed (on top of the mower and rototiller, which I couldn't get out; they'll have to wait 'til it thaws) and then we had a little bit of rain, then a deep freeze, then some more wet.  Then the wind started blowing.  No surprise that trees were flopping over right and left. 

Day 1 and Day 2: 

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DH says it was "at least a foot and a half" of snow.   

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Day 3:

snowstorm1201_41 snowstorm1201_42 snowstorm1201_54 snowstorm1201_56 snowstorm1201_60 snowstorm1201_67

For our last big snowstorm a few years back, the power was out for six days, so I know my limits.  After six days, one gets used to it!  I had to do laundry by hand.  DH said we could run down to the laundromat-- pffffhooey on that!  Laundromats are as gross as motels.  Who wants their laundry in the same machines as who knows what who else has been stuffing in there before?  Not me.  Anyway it's useful and educational to experience how our grandmothers did the laundry out on the prairie, having to haul the water in buckets.  Everybody should do that once in their lifetime. 

But after six days, I really, REALLY started to miss my email.  Checking it at the library just isn't the same.  

The high point was meeting a group of acquaintances in town and telling them my power had been out for six days, and no, I don't have a generator, but I look clean and happy just the same, don't I? 

This time the power came back on at 2:30 in the middle of the second night.  We had to suit up for the cold and run outside to finish installing the replacement water pump DH had been working on before the power went off   :-) 
It looked like a battle zone out there with all the big fir branches all over the yard, and you could still hear them falling.  They sound like a loud shot, then a cascade, then a big whump, and that sound comes at regular intervals from all sides.  In case of the sound coming from directly above, I put on DH's hard hat.  It caused him amusement, but that's better than a tree limb through the skull. 

When the water was back on, I figured I'd better run the washing machine while I could, just in case.  I ended up going to bed at five in the morning.  You can imagine my feelings the next day, "grumpy with headache".  

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