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power outage

October 14, 2009

If you follow my tweets, you may have noticed that I announced a power outage at our house last Wednesday.  Power outages here in the country are big news – they mean no electricity (obviously), as well as no water or heat!  As in, can only flush the toilet once after the power goes out.  And I remembered this important detail immediately after I used my one flush early on in the day.  Sigh.

When Jason woke up to no power (at 6am, when it was still dark), he changed by flashlight, took the dogs out, grabbed what he’d need to shower at work (thank goodness for work locker rooms, right?), and kissed me goodbye.  I laid comfortably in my warm bed.

A few minutes later, Jason came back in and reported that he needed some help.  I got up, threw on some dirty jeans and a sweatshirt, and came outside, where I saw this:

Yeah… we were not going to be able to move that.  Even if it was only one branch from a large tree, and not the entire tree, as I had originally thought.

So we hung out until the sun came up.

Since we didn’t have a chainsaw or a way to drive off our little compound, I had to go to the neighbor’s house for help.  Our neighbor came over with his chainsaw, but, unfortunately, it hadn’t been used for a while and didn’t work.

On to plan B: the neighbor offered to lend us his spare car, which was nicer than either of the cars we drive.  We were amazed by his generosity, said thank you about a million times, and hopped into the newish Highlander Hybrid and headed to Lowes to buy our very own chainsaw.

When we returned home, we began cutting and hauling wood, only to discover that the chainsaw that we bought was kind of a piece of crap.  As in, it would make two cuts and shut down.  Fortunately, another neighbor saw our tree struggle and came over with his chainsaw, which worked beautifully, and within an hour or so, they had the driveway cleared.

We learned a few things last week:

1. It’s really dark out here when there’s no electricity and the sun goes down.

2. It’s crucial to know where the flashlights/batteries/candles are.

3. We could use a few more flashlights/battery-powered lanterns. (Ahem, Santa?  Are you listening?)  I suppose a generator would come in handy, too…

4. Not being able to use the sink/flush the toilet for an entire day is yucky.  Must keep hand sanitizer on hand.

5. We are lucky to have the nicest, most generous neighbors!

6. We’re going to need a good chainsaw.  Anyone have suggestions on brands/models that reliably work?

By dinner time, I had hauled out every candle I could find in order to provide a little light.  The power finally came on around 10pm, and we celebrated by watching Toddlers in Tiaras (please tell me I’m not the only one addicted to this crap) and taking much-needed showers.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. GGG permalink
    October 14, 2009 1:09 pm

    Luckily you have lots of trees! It could have fallen anywhere but on the driveway! Your living room is beautiful by candle light!

  2. Jim permalink
    October 14, 2009 1:41 pm

    Santa has asked me to tell you he has taken note of your plight.

  3. October 14, 2009 3:19 pm

    lol, welcome to the country! Kerosene heaters, 5 gallon jugs of water (steal the Absopure bottles if you can) and antique oil lamps (with plenty of oil) are how we do it. Winter is slightly easier on the flushing aspect in that you can always melt snow if you’ve got a gas grill or stove or the kerosene heater.

  4. October 14, 2009 11:20 pm

    Wow – your property looks georgeous even with the tree down –
    -invest in a generator – they are awesome –
    and they let you flush, shower – and keep the food in your fridge nice & cold – we learned the hard way here in Florida –

  5. October 15, 2009 9:29 am

    Wow! Of all the places for the tree branch to fall it had to be your driveway. Thank goodness for amazing neighbors! 🙂 I have to agree with GGG that your living room looks beautiful by candle.

  6. October 15, 2009 10:21 am

    Talk to uncle Doug about chainsaws. You know he cannot pass a tree without cutting it down.

  7. uncle doug's wife permalink
    October 15, 2009 5:52 pm

    HA HA HA, exactly. Did you know that when we bought the cabin, the neighbors thought it had nothing to do with a lake and everything to do with having more available trees to trim?!!??
    PS. BTW, we own a stihl. Trees shudder when they hear that baby fire up.
    PPS. If you are near GGG’s house this weekend, come help take down the “swing tree”….sadly it has died.

    • October 15, 2009 6:50 pm

      oh no! not the swing tree! I’ll be running the photobooth Friday and Saturday, but will try to stop by anyways. You can meet the new puppy and uncle Doug can rough up Barley!

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