Monday, August 3, 2009

We Lost It.

Power, that is, and we lost it good. You know a power outage is going to be serious when you are standing in the kitchen after church and you actually see what looks like lightning coming out of an errant electric wire. The crash so loud, it feels like it hit the next room. The lights go out, the refrigerator stops humming and the dimness descends over your day. So you find a few low tech things to do while the monsoon blows outside. You clip coupons. Read the paper. Take a nap. Wish very hard that you could wash your hands. Eventually, your husband gets restless and starts poking around with a flashlight, even gets into the car and drives up and down the road you live on to take an informal census of who has power and who does not. Then, the prophesies start setting in as you begin to make good guesses of when power might be restored based on previous power outages.

But then the hours go by and by, and you hear of some neighbors whose power has gone back on, but it does not happen to you. Maybe it will be return by the time you return from evening Bible study? But the closest sign of life when you come back is your neighbor telling you that his store got power back, but not his house. And the electric company claims everything should be fixed. And that is your first sign that maybe you have been forgotten. So you go to your in-laws to bathe, your in-laws who lose power all of the time but are smart enough to have a generator. And when you return home again, the house is at it's darkest because it is indeed night, so you are the designated flashlight holder while your husband call the electric company, again. And they give you the cheery news that a thousand people are still without power, so they are not sure when they can get a truck back to your neighborhood. And then you go to sleep, worrying about whether you will lose the food in the freezer. And are more grateful than ever that you can a lot of food so you are not completely dependent on a freezer.

Finally, a huge truck arrives at one in the morning, stirring the dogs and awakening you with its lights and noises. All your windows are open, so you are not phased when a man shines a powerful light at one and asks about your power situation. The dogs bark the whole time as your husband stands out front explaining what happened twelve and a half hours ago. And that is when you find out that lightning struck the transformer in front of your house. For the next four hours, you will try to sleep through the long replacement process all the while still worrying about the food in the freezer.

Our lights came back on around five, and I groggily surveyed the contents of the fridge and the freezer. Everything was still frozen solid except for some soft ice cream. The real damage came later in the morning to find that one of our computers no longer worked, the phone was down, and we have no internet. The phone company has told us that they can have it repaired within a week. Inconvenient, but it could be worse.

Around the Home: Most of our corn has been harvested, husked and processed. I am very grateful that I was able to get that done before the black out hit us. There now just stands some lonely stalks that were planted later for our corn-on-the-cob eating pleasure. I am done with pickles for the year, and look forward to tomatoes, having only recently used my last jar of salsa from last canning season. It's such a nice feeling to see our shelves filling up with fresh food for the year.

In the Garden: Sunflowers are blooming, and a fragrant pot of lavender greets me at the front door. I have to say, all the rain has been helpful but the long wet grass is not treat to walk through.


  1. Hi Monica.. It's been awhile I've been so darn busy getting this new business up and going.
    About your power we have been there but the good thing is we have gas lights a must.. we also have a generator but we never use it. We lost power once and the same thing happen to us in the winter and to find out it was our pole.. I worried like you will the freezer be ok Ray said Brenda its winter.. Then you want a drink of water no problem down in the root cellar I keep a jug on water just in case.. Didn't have to worry about heat the wood feels good..
    Glad you made it through ok..
    And for the garden seems like you had a good harvest..
    Looking forward to spending some time reading here to get caught up.
    Blessings Sister Brenda

  2. Oh honey, I feel for you. A couple years ago, we had 3 power outages in one year - and I mean more than a day long! Every place around was out of ice, batteries, and water (when it was summertime). No matter how prepared you think you are, something always comes up, like even storing water - did you know water has an expiration date!? Our stove is electric so I couldn't even cook, except BBQ. I'm so glad everything is starting to work for you again!! And no phone? Enjoy the peace! ha ha

  3. Yes, enjoy your time of no phone. We have a generator that we bought our first winter here after we learned we are on the edge of the grid. It has enough power for the fridge and freezer and small appliances.

    It is amazing how much your sleep gets interrupted by various noises. Do you have any ear plugs on hand? I used those when I had a neighbour who enjoyed rap (music?). I was single at the time. I still take them along for travel.

  4. CWJ-I do have ear plugs, but I keep them where I need them the most. In my desk at the library!

  5. Funny, funny! Now go and get you a set for at home. They come in such pretty colors. Purple, neon orange. I am sure there is a sunflower yellow out there. ;)

  6. glad your food stayed frozen. i really don't mind power outages once in a while, as long as i can pick the day, how long it will last and make sure i am well prepared. but it never happens that way!

  7. Ahhhhh, ear plugs - I sleep with them every night. Between a snoring husband and 3 young adults (plus friends) coming and going, I just can't sleep otherwise. I ran out of them the other day and forgot to buy some so that night I put cotton in and covered it with a band-aid. Guess what - it didn't work and it hurt getting it off!! Oh well. And yep, mine are neon orange. Hope you're back to normal now, girl ~

  8. I found your sight through the Imperfect Housewife. I'm a librarian too (high school) and your header cracked me up! Lost arts--critical thinking. And I love your 'google' librarian logo. Where did you get it?

    I enjoyed reading your posts. Nothing adventurous like losing your power!


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