Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Black Out

A pretty serious windstorm blew through our region last week.  Winds were from 60-100 miles per hour, in our area (stronger in other places!), which is hurricane strength.  There is a problem with hurricane strength winds when you live in a forest. 

NOT my house. This is an example of what we saw.  Photo by Garth Davis
You see, pine trees do snow, they don't do wind.  They pulled themselves straight up out of the ground. 

Photo by Doug Clark
And when pine trees and power lines share airspace, things can get dicey!

We lost power, of course, but were prepared.
We had about a day to get ready because all the news stations were warning us about the impending storm.  We pulled out the oil lamps and candles, just in case.
I made dinner ahead of time.
We made sure we had water in pitchers and pots, in addition to the water we have stored long-term.

It was this girl's 10th birthday!  The power went out on her birthday a couple of years ago and I didn't get her cake made in time.  This year, I learned from my mistake and had her cake made well before the wind started coming through.

This picture cracks me up because, though we got a little cold, Justin's outfit may have been a tad overkill.

"What?!  I'm warm!" ha-ha!
We were without power for two days.  In many ways, the storm was a blessing for us.  We are in our new house, instead of the single-wide trailer still on wheels, we had no trees fall (I credit that to the slight valley in which we are nestled), and the fact that it never got really cold.  Being in a new house, it was a good practice run for us, since every house is different.  We discovered that we need to begin storing flushing water because, though we had plenty of drinking water, we didn't want to use that precious commodity in the toilets.  We discovered that having the foresight to build a wood stove CHIMNEY into the house is insufficient without a WOOD STOVE.  The plan all along has been to have that second heat source, but since building the house cleaned out our bank account, we were saving up.

We have two ways to cook during a power outage: our propane grill and our camp stove. We've had our camp stove since our first summer together (18 years now) and use it regularly.  There are several of the little green canisters stored in our camping gear and I really thought it would be no problem.
What we couldn't have foreseen, and certainly didn't expect, was that our camp stove didn't perform when called upon.  Justin opened the whole thing up and discovered the lines were filled with gunk.  Servicing the camp stove is a first priority before another storm hits!

Is it strange to say it?  I was a touch sad when the power came back on.
Everyone was together for 42 something hours.
No one was diverted by a video game, movie, YouTube, Facebook or other electronic distraction.
We played games, ate food, and read books (put book light on my list because reading by lamp light is too dim and a flashlight is too bright!).  There was a sense of togetherness and adventure, even though the Walmart had backup generators and the McDonald's never lost power; we weren't that far from civilization.

In all, it was a good trial run and we are grateful for how much we were spared.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing Emily! We've got some prep work to do here.