Thursday, February 11, 2010

Weathering The Storm

Ah, line-dried clothes, how I've missed thee!

The above photo was taken at around 5:30 last night and features our clothesline.  Judging from its appearance you may be able to imagine what the power lines looked like.  Indeed, about an hour later, all our power went out with a bright, green flash.

Doesn't it look cozy?  It certainly was!

Fortunately, we were ready.  We had gathered candles, matches and flashlights.  We had moved some furniture (such as the foster love seat, above, which is still languishing in my house waiting for all the snow {3+ feet!} to melt before it can be moved to Mom's house) for optimum fireside game-playing access. We had even tidied up, nay, cleaned up as I had reasoned it would be hard enough to navigate through a dark, candlelit house without bumping into, stepping on or losing things in the clutter and mess.  I had literally put the last dish away and set down the dish towel when everything went black.

Once the power actually went, we sprang into action.  I went upstairs and shut all the bedroom doors.  We all put on warm socks and/or slippers and retrieved sweaters and sweatshirts to keep handy.  We placed candles and matches in strategic places like the kitchen and powder room.  Daria tacked a couple of sheets across the doorways out of the living room to help contain the heat.  And then Daria and I trudged out into the snow to bring the last of the wood pile (two laundry baskets full) in to dry out in front of the fire it would later help feed. 

I must admit, I had a few small worries about the cold.  We didn't have a lot of dry wood and there was no way of knowing how long the power would be out.  Also, we were trying to strike a balance between keeping as much heat as a possible in the living room and not letting the pipes in the outlying kitchen and bathrooms freeze. 

But, happily, we were just fine.  The pipes didn't freeze, the food didn't go bad (we kept the butter, milk, cream and other perishables on the cold kitchen porch), and we were all plenty warm enough.  We still had gas for the cookstove, so, by candlelight, Daria made a pot of tea while Redheaded Snippet made scones.  We enjoyed our feast by fire- and candlelight, listening to the winds howl around the house and then sent the kids up to bed in warm layers to bunk up together in Redheaded Snippet's room (the warmest upstairs).  Daria took the couch by the fire and I was warm as toast in my usual spot next to The Human Generator.

By 10:30 this morning, the power surged back on and we actually had mixed emotions.  Man-Cub was downright disappointed, if you can believe it.  The boy winds up with more than 3 feet of perfect fort-making snow and a grand total of 6 days off from school (when you factor in two snow days, one staff inservice, two days of the weekend and the Presidents' Day Holiday) and he's still finding things to complain about.  He wanted another night of candle- and firelight.

I had mixed feelings, too.  I was relieved about the fridge, freezer, furnace and hot water heater being back on, but had enjoyed seeing the kids having fun the old-fashioned way, without electronics.  Redheaded Snippet got out her origami kit.  Man-Cub played with Legos (not all the unusual for him), Nutmeg or Daria.  Daria, Redheaded Snippet and I had a mini hymn sing in the kitchen while the scones were being mixed up and then a discussion about Bible translations and a crash course in Russian history while waiting for them to bake and cool.  We all spent considerable amounts of time and energy keeping Man-Cub from pinging into one of the open flames.  Those things tend not to happen when the distractions of the television and computer are present.  Which leads me to think we desperately need to choose at least one day of the week and declare it as tv and computer free.  I think it will be good for us.

I have to confess, however, that I did have both the dryer and dishwasher running within 15 minutes of the power coming back on.  I know I could absolutely manage without them, but I do thank God for modern conveniences!

Hope everyone in the blizzard's path is managing (and digging out) well!

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