Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Winter Storms and a Reality Check
Yesterday I wrote about how wonderful it was to have a snow day, and I still think that overall, but a winter storm last night has given me a new and frightening perspective. My power went out last night, and I had to get out to the garage to find my emergency flashlight and phone since my stuff has been stashed away because of the remodel. It was bitter cold last night and I was very glad that the power outage was only for 15 minutes. I headed off to bed, but around 3:30AM my power (and all the island's) went out for good, or at least the foreseeable future. I had no desire to head out to the garage in the cold and dark so I snuggled down in my bed and waited until morning. In theory, all I was supposed to have to do was open the overhead garage door, turn on the generator, and adjust my circuit breaker box to have the circuits I needed on. So along about 8AM I headed out to my garage only to find out that I couldn't get the door to move--I pulled the little red handle but it didn't release the catch. This meant, of course, that I couldn't turn on the generator. My dear friend Kathy called to check on me, and when she heard my plight, she said that Loyd would be right over. And Loyd and two of his workers did manage to get the door up, but then the generator wouldn't start up! Meanwhile, my home was getting colder and colder! Loyd, bless his heart, got me a new spark plug and got the generator up and running. By this time my home was down to 50 degrees in my bedroom and 54 in the living room and my teeth were chattering and I was shaking all over. I quickly got a couple space heaters going, made myself a hot cup of tea, and sorted things as well as I could. I'm certainly hoping, since I live in an all electric house, that the power outage won't be as severe as it was my first winter when I was without power for 4 days. At that point I had a wood-burning stove, even if it was faulty, but now I don't. And I can't leave as I have 5 pets to care for in the first place, and in the second place there really isn't anywhere else to go since the entire island is without power. It has made me realize another way in which I (and obviously I'm not alone in this) am very vulnerable, and that without power, especially on the coldest days so far of this year (a low of 16 last night and it is to be colder tonight), life is very precarious. However, at the moment, my living room has gotten "up" to 59 degrees and my bedroom has gotten to 52 degrees, and I've had hot tea and a hot amaranth/cinnamon/raisins breakfast, and I'm watching Ballykissangel on my computer on Netflix streaming, so things are looking better. And I'm hoping that when the new utility pole finally arrives later on today by ferry (the wonders of living on an island) that its installation will result in power, although I'm told there is another spot with major wires down, so I'm not holding my breath. It looks as if I shall have another "snow day" tomorrow as well, since the roads are extremely icy, the temperatures are staying below freezing, and we are to get more snow before Thanksgiving. Life is wondrous and special and at the moment, rather cold!