Sunday, January 31, 2010

Day 11 & Not a Flicker


Good afternoon.

When our power went out on January 21st, I never imagined that we'd be in this situation. It's day eleven without electricity at our home, and we're getting along okay at Colleen's cottage. We are extremely thankful for our "home away from home", and do our best to focus on what we do have rather than what we don't. But, in all honesty, there are times its not so easy.

According to the Slope Electricity website, about 450 members were still without power as of Thursday night. New outages are still occurring. If I could, I'd send a personal thank-you card all of the electric linemen who are working day and night in these conditions to restore power to more families every day. For an idea of the conditions they are working in, and the devastation of the infrastructure, click here.

A couple of things have become apparent to me as the days go by
1.) I'm a homebody. Each evening, after long and sometimes stressful days, my emotional energy is rejuvenated within our home. I'm just not myself when I don't experience that.
2.) I love my gadgets. Laptops, my nook e-reader, my cell phone, and of course a wide range of appliances permeate my existence. Not to mention my sewing machine, Ott lights, and Rowenta iron. Without these modern conveniences, I have a hard time putting one foot in front of the other.
3.) We rely upon our pets for comfort and pleasure. Currently, we're in a bit of upheaval, as Sox the dog lives in town with us, and the "girls" (Aimee, Abbie, and Kitten) remain at the farm. Sox roams around the cottage, sniffing and looking a little lost. He's used to protecting his 60 acre territory and doesn't know much about being a "town dog". The girls are just fine at the house, toasty warm beside the propane fireplace. They greet us at the door when we arrive, anxious for attention.

After dark last night, we drove out to the farm to check on the cats, the heat, and the water pipes. As we left the glowing lights of town behind, and drove past a few homes south of town, I felt my usual "electricity envy" toward the houses with power. We turned onto our gravel road and entered a world of darkness. No yard lights, no house lights. Just a few stars, a sliver of moonlight, and the headlights from the car.

We used flashlights to safely head into our home through the garage, then turned them off and stepped into the cozy warm, inky blackness. Out of habit, I reached for the light switch, in a futile attempt to turn on the kitchen lights. In the living room, the fireplace flickered, the only glimmer of light in the entire house. We snuggled up with the cats, scratching their ears and tummies, reassuring them that everything was alright. Ahhh... it felt so good to be home. We noticed the silence... no furnace running, no appliances humming, no television, computer, or music in the background.

Just the three of us, our three cats, and the comfort of being in our own home.

A little later, we returned to our comfortable cottage, and settled in for another night.

This experience is teaching me about the many things I have to be grateful for and reminding me about what I take for granted. I imagine the elation I will feel when I walk through our front door, reach for the light switch, and "Hooray, the lights work!"

Probably not today. Maybe not tomorrow. But, hopefully, someday soon...

Above photo by Clarice L. Kesler, posted on the Slope Electric Website, showing downed power lines near New England, ND