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41 Hours

January 28, 2021

I’m already feeling like, “ehh, it was no big deal.” Power out at about 12:30 am on Wednesday, restored 5:30 pm today (Thursday). Not counting the night/sleep time, we spent a full first day, plus most of a second day. I was pretty grateful the power came back on this evening just prior to nightfall.. spared us the dark part of the challenge.

But, as I started to say, now, with outage behind us, it feels like we weathered it pretty well. No big.

In addition to a gas fireplace insert that provided cozy heat over the two days, a gas stove that allowed us to cook (or at least heat soup, boil coffee/tea water, and even make toast) and ample light sources (mostly headlamps), today we added the amazing generator, which brought our refrigerator/freezer back from the dead and allowed us to fire up the water heater (showers! hot water for dishes!). Hell, I coulda taken a hot bubble bath if I’d wanted to. Waaay too easy, these power outages… with the right tools.

First off, here’s the main culprit in the outage that affected our neighborhood… a big old muscular branch — maybe the whole tree — that took down a pole and numerous of its attached wires. We think. This is at the Senior Center and it took them about 24 hours of non-stop attention to get this working again.

Here’s the generator that saved the day today… it operated on a gallon of gas for 4-6 hours. Noisy, horrible for the environment.. and effective in a pinch. The generator’s in the backyard. The extension cord plugged right into the back of the fridge. Voila. Later, Jim added another line to the water heater. Voila again.

And, from last night… a photo Jim took (I was unaware): Old lady in thick layers of poofy clothes warms self by fire (this was last night’s blog writing, the only time I opened my laptop in two days).

So here’s what we learned for next time:

  • Make sure pilot light is lit on fireplace, then let it rip
  • Have headlamps, flashlights (with fresh batteries) and candles (with matches) handy
  • Bring the large battery in from the garage for charging phones
  • If you think you might lose power, take that shower and wash that hair
  • Be ready with easy to fix (in the dark), heat-up-only meals
  • Get the generator out, get a gallon or two of gas and have your longest extension cord ready
  • Have sleeping bags ready (it was so cold in the bedroom, we slept in our bags)
  • Get a large lantern that can throw a lot of light (ours gave up the ghost a summer or two ago)
  • Pick a book or two, have a jigsaw ready
  • Batten down the hatches outside.. stow things that might fly away or get knocked down

And here’s what we learned for NOW:

You don’t need a power outage to:

  • Read
  • Spend downtime with your husband in front of the fire
  • Cut yourself off from the constant flow of soul-crushing news
  • Get 8 hours of sleep at night

To wit, I dove deeply and luxuriously into a book — quite engaging — by a writer who has an inspiring gift, who can craft stunning sentences that convey human experiences so precisely I just kept shaking my head. What a pleasure!

I got more sleep in two nights than I usually get in four. What a concept.

I got through my days just fine without a constant stream of hysterical news. Still managed to keep up with the main news stories.

And it was lovely and comfy to spend long hours in Jim’s company, even though we talked very little (because: books!).

2 Responses to “41 Hours”

  1. Vicki crescitelli Says:

    You and Jim get a A÷ ‘s for how you handled the power outage. Remarkable!


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