Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A little too rural

We lost power last Thursday, just before midnight. New England was hit with an epic ice storm, and we were right in the middle of it. Our area made national news. Or so I heard. We didn't get news for five days because there was no television, no Internet, no radio, and not even the newspaper was delivered. We hauled water from the brook so we could flush our toilets and wash dishes. We cut down trees to get wood to burn in our fireplace. It was as if we'd been plopped back in time to the Middle Ages. Every action had to be thought out so that we conserved heat, matches, water, food. Our living room became the central hall of our medieval fortress, where wood smoke continually drifted through the air. Pillows, blankets, candles, flashlights, batteries, bottled water, and the dog were all piled into what is normally an ample space. We wore hats to bed. Each day I'd wake up and take a look at the thermometer inside the house. The first day I woke up to a living room at 56F. The second day it was 50F. The third morning it was at 42F. On Monday with still no sign of the power crews in our area, the girls had to get a hotel room so they could get their homework done. When I visited them that night, the parking lot of the hotel was crowded with the bucket trucks of tree service crews. Burly men in Carhartts and toting six packs of beer waited in line to get rooms. The next day we cleared out the freezers and put all the thawed food out onto the deck. Later in the afternoon I looked out the window and saw four CVPS guys across the street drop a hemlock into our neighbor's lawn. A few minutes later our power came back on. The crew chief drove up to our house to make sure "those electrons made it over here". He'd been putting in 16 hour days and looked pretty weary. I thanked him for all the hard work, and he left to tackle the next project. Now it was time to clean up.

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