The Lights Went Out

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Our second winter storm mostly fizzled around here. Woke up to a cold rain which the weather apps kept saying would turn to freezing rain and then to snow. We were able to get out Saturday morning to grab a few items that we forgot yesterday. Two non-planners are not the best at needing to stock up for a home bound weekend.

The promised cold snap did come and the rain changed slightly to sleet and then, finally, around 3 PM to all snow. We were clearly on the light side of what they said we were going to get although I know my old homestead got seven inches of snow so the storm certainly did some things.

So, I’m getting ready for a night in and kind of loving the thought of it and suddenly the power goes out. It flickered back on a few times but went right back out each time. At this point, the last light of day is going and we are left in the dark with the temperatures dropping.

Fortunately, the phones were charged so we had the ability to get on the website of our power company to find out just what the heck was going on. Somehow, they already had the outage noted and were quoting a repair time of 3 hours to get the lights and heat back on.

It is amazing how quiet it gets when nothing is humming inside. We are sitting in our living room which has lots of windows and a view to the woods outside and you could really hear the wind whipping through the trees. In the last light of day, they were swaying in a sort of ominous way. Many years ago, in a spring storm, we had the top of a tree break off and get deposited on the roof over our garage so maybe I’m just a little more paranoid about swaying trees these days.

The warm house that feels safe suddenly no longer seemed that way. Instead, it was just a thin and very vulnerable barrier to the cold winter outside. One gust of wind in the wrong direction and all illusions of safety and security would be destroyed. Then, the house would becomes more like a trap since the garage doors depend on electricity and they are a little hard to get up without it.

Of course, I had at least one Facebook friend point out that they have a generator and a wood stove just for these circumstances. Yes, I wish I was that prepared but, alas, we aren’t. Spoiled by the convenience of knowing that the furnace will always kick on and that the lights will work when you flip the switch.

I did think about how life would have been so much different back in the past. I mean people have lived in my area for many years and long before electricity became common. It certainly got cold back then as well. Maybe they were all made of sterner stuff back then.

The good news is that the power company under promised and over delivered and the lights were back on far sooner than they claimed.

I was also concerned when we went to bed that I was going to have to shovel the driveway this morning in the cold. We do have people who we’ve hired to clear the driveway. Yes, I could do it myself (and have done so) but the idea of having to shovel a long driveway in single digit weather is enough to justify the cost of having it cleared by people with better equipment. Anyway, I was afraid that we hadn’t received enough snow for them to come out (I’ve given them an amount that triggers the crew). But this morning, I got up and the driveway was clear. I have no idea when they showed up but I do certainly appreciate them being out in the cold and dark so I could get down my driveway this morning.

Oh, and despite the fact that we are in the freezer section, the sun is out. Finding the good even in the middle of winter.

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