Winter Storms and a Reality Check

Yesterday I wrote about how wonderful it was to have a snow day, and I still think that overall, but a winter storm last night has given me a new and frightening perspective.  My power went out last night, and I had to get out to the garage to find my emergency flashlight and phone since my stuff has been stashed away because of the remodel.  It was bitter cold last night and I was very glad that the power outage was only for 15 minutes.  I headed off to bed, but around 3:30AM my power (and all the island’s) went out for good, or at least the foreseeable future.  I had no desire to head out to the garage in the cold and dark so I snuggled down in my bed and waited until morning.  In theory, all I was supposed to have to do was open the overhead garage door, turn on the generator, and adjust my circuit breaker box to have the circuits I needed on.  So along about 8AM I headed out to my garage only to find out that I couldn’t get the door to move–I pulled the little red handle but it didn’t release the catch.  This meant, of course, that I couldn’t turn on the generator.  My dear friend Kathy called to check on me, and when she heard my plight, she said that Loyd would be right over.  And Loyd and two of his workers did manage to get the door up, but then the generator wouldn’t start up!  Meanwhile, my home was getting colder and colder!  Loyd, bless his heart, got me a new spark plug and got the generator up and running.  By this time my home was down to 50 degrees in my bedroom and 54 in the living room and my teeth were chattering and I was shaking all over. I quickly got a couple space heaters going, made myself a hot cup of tea, and sorted things as well as I could.  I’m certainly hoping, since I live in an all electric house, that the power outage won’t be as severe as it was my first winter when I was without power for 4 days.  At that point I had a wood-burning stove, even if it was faulty, but now I don’t.  And I can’t leave as I have 5 pets to care for in the first place, and in the second place there really isn’t anywhere else to go since the entire island is without power.  It has made me realize another way in which I (and obviously I’m not alone in this) am very vulnerable, and that without power, especially on the coldest days so far of this year (a low of 16 last night and it is to be colder tonight), life is very precarious.  However, at the moment, my living room has gotten “up” to 59 degrees and my bedroom has gotten to 52 degrees, and I’ve had hot tea and a hot amaranth/cinnamon/raisins breakfast, and I’m watching Ballykissangel on my computer on Netflix streaming, so things are looking better.  And I’m hoping that when the new utility pole finally arrives later on today by ferry (the wonders of living on an island) that its installation will result in power, although I’m told there is another spot with major wires down, so I’m not holding my breath.  It looks as if I shall have another “snow day” tomorrow as well, since the roads are extremely icy, the temperatures are staying below freezing, and we are to get more snow before Thanksgiving.  Life is wondrous and special and at the moment, rather cold!

9 responses

  1. Whoa, you really had your own Donner Party-like adventure there! Why is it that 50º outside feels pleasant, but 50º inside feels hypothermic?! I've often wondered this! I'm glad you were able to get help with your garage doors and get your generator going! We have a generator but have never used it, I wonder if it would work if we tried?! Diverse heat sources are a good idea! Maybe you can have a new little wood stove installed as part of your remodelling? It remains bitterly cold here too (it was supposed to get up to 28º today, but it never got above 7º!), with a winter weather advisory through tomorrow night for several inches of snow, wind chills of -20º to -30º, and a high tomorrow of 4º. (Poor BW – he's in for a very long day at work tomorrow!) I hope our power stays on, not just for warmth but because I have cooking and baking to do for our T-Giving get-together!I hope your power comes back on and you (and everyone else on your island) can stay snug in a warm house! Amazing you'll be having a white Thanksgiving there! It'll be gorgeous, I hope you'll be comfy enough to enjoy it!

  2. I hope you get the power back soon and/or your house temps stay on the rise. Makes you wonder how people managed before any of the modern conveniences…I watched a documentary about the middle ages in Europe, which put forth that the peasants slept much of the winter, because there was no work in the frozen fields and it was the only way to stay warm! I love Ballykissangel!

  3. My power is back!!! After 32 hours without it seems like a miracle! My home is now heating and the 59 degrees it has reached now after not quite an hour feels almost (almost, I said) toasty. I am now going to work on finding a better alternate heat source because this is a rural area and our power does go out and I am an old lady, and my generator wasn't powerful enough for heat (although I was better off with it than without). Thanks for your comments and I agree I have no idea on many levels how people survived before modern conveniences, but I do think it is harder to have something you are used to removed than never to have had it at all.I'm now into Season 4 of Ballykissangel and it is wonderful!!

  4. And Laloofah, I remember having to deal with temperatures like yours and that is one major reason why I moved! Believe me, I'm definitely looking into alternative heat sources as I sure don't want to go through this again. We still have islanders without power and they may not get it until Friday, but I suspect I am one of the few all electric homes and that will change! I'm definitely too old for this! Stay warm and safe!

  5. I'm so glad you're power's back on, Daphne, and that you'll be able to spend a MUCH more comfortable night (with peace of mind added to your physical comfort!)I don't blame you for not wanting to deal with that kind (or our kind) of cold again. The cold is only cozy if you've got a warm place to snuggle into! I have a feeling life in cold climates was pretty miserable in the old days for many people, but that some people had probably figured out clever ways to cope. I've heard and read that the Native Americans stayed pretty snug in their teepees, and the Mongols look pretty cozy in their yurts, but maybe they're just a lot tougher than I am! 🙂 I like to be warm, being cold-soaked like that is so terribly draining.Good luck with your search for an alternative heat source for your house! I think that's an important idea. Even if you don't have to use it much, when you'll need it you'll really need it! Enjoy your comforting warmth! I'm relieved for you!

  6. P.S. Okay you two, Ballykissangel is now in my "Watch Instantly" queue! 🙂

  7. Thanks, Laurie! It means a lot to me to have your thoughts, sympathy, and concern. I don't know a lot of folks, probably because I'm such an introvert, but I'm really enjoying our contact–I'm calling you my new friend in Wyoming! Hope that is ok. And I hope you enjoy Ballykissangel! I'm now starting season 4, and season 5 is also available for instant streaming. I then put season 6 at the top of my regular queue as it isn't available for instant viewing. Hope you enjoy it as much as Rose and I do!

  8. Hi Daphne! Awww, that's so sweet! Of COURSE you can call me your new friend in Wyoming! Until at some point you can drop "new" and/or I live elsewhere. 🙂 I'm enjoying our contact too, and am glad our communication helped keep you company during your power outage. That would feel very isolating! (Even we introverts generally prefer our isolation to be on OUR terms! lol) Thank goodness for the internet (and for your friends Kathy and Loyd!)I started to watch the first episode of the first season of Ballykissangel but only got about 10 or 15 minutes into it before BW got home. The scenery is beautiful! It's reminding me a little of the BBC series "All Creatures Great and Small," only with a young parish priest instead of a young country vet! I'm sure I'll enjoy it!And you enjoy your Thanksgiving! I have a pumpkin pie in the oven I'd better go check on!

  9. Thanks, Laloofah, and you are so on target that if being alone is your choice, then for us introverts it is a very good thing, but if it is forced on you with no choice then it is an entirely different thing. And Ballykissangel is I think a lot like All Creatures Great and Small, also a fantastic series both in the BBC version and in the original books! As you'll find out, we do have a vet (female, no less) in this series and animals to show up, although they are not as much of a focus. And last night I was in a 4th series episode where there is a baby named Ashling and since that is what I picked for my middle name (because of its meaning of dream or vision and because it is Irish and I am of Irish heritage and working on following my dreams), and since I don't know of anyone by that name, I thought it really cool! I do know that it is a common girl's name in Ireland, but not around here. I'm sure your pumpkin pie was fantastic!

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