Sunday, December 17, 2006

It was a dark and stormy night....


One of our Northwest storms blew in Thursday, with high winds and heavy rain. These storms are a recipe for power outages, as branches break free and tree roots in saturated soil give up the fight and crash down on power lines - and sometimes on buildings and cars. We have some big Douglasfir trees along the south edge of our property, made more vulnerable this year by logging right next door. I prayed that none would come down on our farm buildings, housing our camper, horse trailer, sheep and horses. The electricity (and the trees) held all day, and when Rick got home we decided to all take showers or baths, just in case. I managed to get my hair dried just before the lights flickered and went out.

Having lived in this area for 13 years before building this house, we made use of our experience when designing it and included wood heat along with our heat pump, and a generator feed in our fuse box. So after the power went out Thursday night, Rick set up the generator outside and hooked it up for the first time. (In the one other significant outage we've had, our power was back on within 24 hours and some friends of ours were in the dark for five days, so we let them use our generator.) Well, the electrician didn't do his job very well. We had agreed that the refrigerator, freezer, well pump, woodburning insert blower, and an outlet should be on the generator feed. Instead, we got the frig, freezer, and Brian's bedroom and bathroom - AND it was wired backwards so the electricity would backfeed and run the hot water heater unless we switched it off! Well, that's not quite correct. For whatever reason the well pump didn't work the first time we ran the generator, but after lending it to a generator-less neighbor for a few hours, it ran the well pump when we hooked it up again. Ah, flushing toilets!

Nothing crashed at our house during the stormy night, and we stayed warm enough with the wood heat even without the blower. I had errands to run in town the next day, so we ate a hot lunch while there. Even in town, where there is more shelter from the wind, there was a lot of damage visible.

We spent another evening in quiet candlelight. Saturday morning we got up early so we could get everything done and get ready for church on time. I am proud to say that I can take an adequate "bucket shower" using less than two gallons of water! I pulled some things out of the freezer and cupboard so we could stay for potluck and enjoy another hot meal. When we got home Saturday afternoon, our power had been restored.

These episodes always make me reflect on how blessed - no - how SPOILED we are by all our modern conveniences and utilities. I know there are many in other parts of the world who do not have such things, or even access to clean water or adequate (much less HOT) food. As another way to look at it, my little sheepies have life better than many people in the world today! May we never take it for granted, or forget to share our comparative wealth.

That's it for now at . . .

1 comment:

Kathy L. said...

Amen, Michelle!

We DO take alot for granted now that many do without. When I think of all the advancements made in just my lifetime (50+ years) it boggles the mind
We live in a Land of Plenty. Is it any wonder why we're viewed by some as glutonous? Most of us (but not all, sadly) don't go to bed hungry and can get medical care when we need it, let alone good drinking water. We could very well go on and on....

I am so glad that everyone is OK at your place! Did Emma do OK too?