We’ve been without power for sixty hours now. But, there’s no water in our basement. The stream, normally a mere trickle in August…
did not overflow its banks, which would have flooded our gardens. The gutters and roof shingles are still in their usual places. We have no downed trees or limbs. We are happy! Thankfully, Irene was down to tropical storm strength by the time she made it this far into Connecticut. The newspaper says we probably experienced 30 mpg winds with 50 mph wind gusts.
We spent Saturday battening down our hatches, so to speak, and felt we’d prepared for hurricane Irene in every way that we possibly could, with the exception of filling containers with water. You see, we “knew” that Irene wouldn’t be here until mid-morning on Sunday, at the very earliest.
So you can imagine my surprise when Sunday morning, while still in bed, DH asleep, mentally prioritizing my to-do list, I heard the subtle click-click of the clock radio telling me the power had just gone off. It was only 7:30!!
I tapped DH’s shoulder and quickly began dressing. We filled several pails and Rubbermaid storage bins (after removing the stash of finished ripples) with rainwater that poured from our house’s downspouts. It’s fine for flushing. The water heater and water pump’s storage tank will give us water for drinking and cooking.
At first it was windy, but warm. My garden hat kept the rain off my glasses and, although I was quickly becoming drenched, I was fairly comfortable. By the time we had filled all of our containers, the rain had increased to torrents and gusts of wind were sending leaves and twigs sailing through the air around us!
Soaked to the skin and beginning to chill we headed indoors to wait out the rest of the storm.
I must say, we’re handling the lack of electric light relatively well! Tent camping has given us lots of experience. As always, I miss the microwave and blow-drier very much. We have a gas range which is very helpful, although I must remember that, without an electric spark to ignite the gas, I need to have a match lit before turning on a burner’s knob!
We moved furniture in the living room to place DH’s armchair in front of a window and I found my own well-lit spot on the foot of our bed. After sunset we moved around the house wearing headlamps and I was happy to discover that I can comfortably crochet by the light of four candles!
There are so many things we do out of habit. How many times did we each flick a light switch before we finally remembered there was no power? How many times have I opened the refrigerator, now amply iced and being used as a giant cooler, forgetting I need to bring a light to see what’s in there? I hung a plastic cup over the end of each faucet as a visual reminder to be conservative with the use of our limited drinking water.
Part of town has already regained its power. We hope we’re next, before we get used to this!
P.S. I wrote this post with the help of a UPS (Universal Power Source) that DH was able to borrow from work yesterday. It’s an emergency back-up battery for electronic equipment. It’s not as good as it may sound; it comes with an incessant beep, reminiscent of the back-up warning on construction equipment! Beep!… Beep!… Beep!…Beep!
Also FYI: Warned that we could be without power for a few days, I wrote the preceding blog posts, Yarn for a Summer Sweater and Ripple #35, before Irene visited and scheduled them to appear as usual.