Sunday, June 11, 2017

Living in the 19th Century

So, dear hearts, how long was the electricity off at your house last week? In my neighborhood, it was out for almost exactly 53 hours. Give or take an hour. I woke up around 4 a.m. Monday when the power went out. That was the first day.
Fifty-three hours is a long time to go without my accustomed critter comforts. Yeah, I know, those of you who went longer are saying, “Poor baby.” Remember the Hannukah Eve storm when the whole island was out? We went five days without electricity that time. It  was tedious.
So here we were with no electricity, no internet, no hot water and therefore no laundry washed or dried, and ditto the dishes. The small stock of firewood I had was gone by the first night, and then I started buying bundles of wood at the grocery stores. It burned as fast as paper and put off about as much heat as paper.
Still, at least it was some heat, and I was able to boil water for coffee and for other uses. One of the plusses of my wood stove – I can cook on it.
There was a scary moment when a large branch broke off the big fir next to the house and crashed onto the roof. That sucker was a good thirty feet long and five inches in diameter at the trunk end, and took out parts of smaller trees as it came down. Yep, that was exciting. For some reason it did not knock the chimney over, for which I was grateful, and it didn’t break the window against which part of it came to rest. If you’re going to have big chunks of tree fall on your house, it was not so bad, but the impact made a big impression on my grandson and me, as well as the dog and the cat.
The hardest part for me was not being able to use my CPAP machine. I have sleep apnea, a condition in which I stop breathing. The CPAP machine blows a gentle breeze into my nose and mouth, and that keeps me breathing, and sleeping, and not dying. When I am unable to use the CPAP, I do not get much rest and drag through the next day fog-brained. I was unable to use the machine for two nights in a row.
Note: Next time I promise I will take my friends up on their offers to stay at their homes that do have power. I swear it. This time my grandson was coming down with a cold and I was reluctant to spread pestilence.
The second day we went up to town to charge our phones. Us and most of the rest of the island. I’ve never seen the library so crowded. I was so grateful that I got a 1997 Subaru named Belle back when I had the money to do so. Belle has served us well this week. Yay, Belle.
The third morning I was getting pretty fed up with living in the 19th century, even if I do have a Subaru now and we can go up to town to charge our phones. I was sitting on the couch close to the wood stove, sulking and feeling sorry for myself, when the lamp on the end table lit up.
Ah! Angel choirs singing, “Hallelujah!”
No longer powerless, my grandson and I plugged in all our electronic devices. To my astonishment, the internet was up, also. From the 19th century to the 21st century, just like that. So I got back to signing petitions and calling legislators, because I don’t care for the 19th century in my country and culture any more than in my living conditions.
I hope everyone is genuinely “empowered” now on the island, and that we all made it through without too much catastrophe.
A huge THANK YOU to all the repair people who were out day and night moving trees and branches and re-connecting wires and just generally getting us back into the 21st century. You people rock.
And I have the cold now, so that’s all I have to say.

No comments: