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Friday, January 3, 2014

The Awakening

Looking out over our pond

In the early hours of the morning of December 6, 2013, I was lying in bed listening to the eerie sounds of of a silent house. I could hear the soft breathing of my younger 2 children as they slept on palates at the foot of our bed and the not-so-soft snoring of my hard-working husband beside me. No refrigerator motors whirred, no clothes tumbled in the dryer, no bedside clock alarms jolted us out of deep sleep. The house was completely dark -- our power was out, and would be for 5 days.

On Friday, Syd braved the roads and drove the 28 miles into work. At home, we lit candles, cooked on our gas stovetop, and I threatened the kids within an inch of their lives if they dared to open a refrigerator or freezer. Ice-laden branches snapped off the trees, unable to withstand the weight of the ice accumulating on them. Trees split, fences were broken. My boys spent the first part of the day playing, but their afternoon was filled with trimming and removing brush, repairing fences, and helping neighbors. 

Four o'clock and there were no signs our power would be restored. I spoke with Syd about having the boys hook up our generator to the appliances. Sheepishly, he told me he had not repaired the generator -- BUT he would take care of it as soon as he got home. No worries -- my guy can fix anything. When I went to bed that evening, he was working on it. When I woke at 4 a.m., he was in bed. 

In that moment, I realized there was no generator -- no power running to the two refrigerators and four deep freezers that held hundreds, or more likely thousands, of dollars worth of food. It had been 24 hours. We were still safe. But, for how much longer? In 2001, we were without power for 10 days. Honestly, the situation with downed power lines seemed worse this time. between the damage and our remote location, we could be easily be without power for that long.

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