Seven years have passed since we had the ice storm of 2008 that put us in the dark for 12 straight days. That was a horrible experience for all of us, especially my mother. That was the year I started writing and blogging. I hadn’t started working on that first book I published. I believe the book I was beginning to work on at that time was Aaron & Keja. I was blogging it one chapter at a time on MySpace. How times have changed, and so have I.
The first morning when we went outside to see all the damage, we couldn’t believe our eyes. The trees had turned to glass. Any sudden sound would bring not only tree limbs but also whole trees crashing down. You had to be very careful around areas shadowed by trees until the ice melted away. All it took was one tree to let out a loud crack and other trees would answer back with their own cracking.
I hope we never have to go through another ice storm or a snow storm where it knocks out the power for a couple of weeks, even though we’re better prepared for it now. We weren’t back then. All we had then was the two fireplaces and they don’t make them for heating a house like in the old days. That was the first thing we addressed that coming year by buying a wood stove. Which we were so glad we had gotten when the power went out last year for three days. Three days was more than enough for us to endure. At least, that time we were warm and snug inside.
During the ice storm, when we went without the woodstove, we huddled in the living room wrapped in blankets, sitting by candle light and trying to hear any little bit we could pick up on a battery powered radio. We did have access to a battery-powered TV. But the battery ran out fast so we kept the viewing time to a minimum as we waited to learn when our power was going to be restored. In the meantime, my husband cooked our food on the gas grill for the most part. Eating foods that came from a can or that could be cooked on the grill. The local shelter that was opened did help provide a couple of hot meals too. We could have stayed at the shelter, but my mother refused to go. I think she was afraid to leave her cat behind. Maybe she felt guilty about leaving him to fend for himself in the cold.
I wanted to remind her that he was a cat and that he had fur, but she appeared to be too stressed by the lack of electricity. Her whole world had been turned upside down. It may have been different for her had my dad been still alive. He died in ’99 and she was still in a sort of funk from his death. Years have passed since then, but I think she still gets in a kind of funk when the holidays come around. Probably because he died two weeks into the new year.
During out power outage, I was out of work for three days. Thank God I had vacation time I could fall back on. Especially since the Christmas Holidays was right around the corner. It was bad enough I had to heat water in a kettle to wash up. I hate going for more than two days without showering. Washing out of a pot of hot water was like taking a step back in time. I was so glad when I learned that the shelter began offering hot showers to those who would like them. So people were a bit more fortunate than we were. They had family living in the area who had power and were able to stay with them.
The generators started up the first night. We heard them all around our neighborhood. We not only didn’t have a wood stove, but we also didn’t have a generator either. Now we have both.
At least, I have hobbies I was able to fall back on while the power was out. What better time to pick up that afghan one is crocheting. It was an excellent excuse to cover up to get warm. Once again I have an afghan to work on should the power go out. I also have a quilt too. I’m set this time with plenty of projects.