Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Clouds and Wind Without Rain

On Sunday it seemed rather breezy out. I tucked the tarp under the stroller extra-carefully, and an hour later it blew past the window. (Fortunately only to the back yard.) DOB looked on the internet and discovered a few people in our local area were without power.

Poor souls, we thought, and went on our merry way.

Then our power went out. Apparently we got struck, rather unexpectedly, by the tail end of Ike. By Sunday evening, ninety percent of the people in our county were without power.

Clearly I have lived in the city too long. When I was a child, I was conditioned to start running gallons of water the instant the wind picked up. This time, it didn't even occur to me to get some easily-consumed food out of the refrigerator.

Of course water is not as much of a concern when you're on city water instead of a well with electric pump. And with a gas water heater, we even had hot water. So no getting out of doing the dishes (alas!) but we still had showers (hooray!). On the other hand, the prolonged power outages of my childhood were associated with winter storms, usually ice storms, and keeping food cool was of little concern, whereas it was our primary problem this time. (And since we had a wood stove, cooking it was no problem either, but that also is a difficulty now).

It's a good thing I hadn't yet made up my mind to get rid of the fondue pot. It makes a decent bean soup, and we had an awesome sausage-cheese dip for supper. Some friends came by with a portable generator to run our refrigerator and freezer for half an hour, so I was able to pull a little food out of the fridge to cook for supper.

Temperatures were down in the low seventies, so there really weren't any other difficulties. Children can roll in the mud just as happily with the power out. I did miss watching a movie or reading through the babies' late evening non-stop feeding time. My admiration increases for mothers of twins who lived before electricity.

At four-thirty this morning I heard the house fan begin to purr again and peeked out the window to see that the street light was back on.

Now today's job is deciding which of the contents of the refrigerator and freezer are beyond repair and which need to be eaten promptly. I think the chest freezer survived fairly well--the meat was all down at the bottom and it was quite full--but I have an uneasy feeling about the ice cream in the freezer upstairs. Considering the damage on all sides, and worse things further south, I should not feel too bad about losing a couple half-gallons of ice cream.

But when one of them was Breyers' Triple Chocolate, it's still hard.

No comments: