Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Wind Began To Switch...

We had a bit of a storm Monday night. It was predicted, and the weather people said it wouldn't be as bad as the one they had in southwestern France in January. And it wasn't. But still. They said it would be a very windy storm, with hurricane force winds as far inland as where we live. Scary.

Ken and I took our precautions. We checked around outdoors to be sure that everything that could blow around was secured. Car in the garage, check. Garbage can in the garage, check. Tarps weighted down with logs, check. In the evening, we closed every shutter on the house and garden shed. By the time bedtime came, the wind had kicked up, but it wasn't really scary. Yet.

But by midnight, the gale was blowing. Ken was sleeping soundly, but I was nervous and couldn't sleep. I kept having visions of our roof tiles blowing off, or one of our trees blowing over. The bedroom window kept moving violently in its frame as if it might blow out, striking me on the head and sending me off to Munchkin Land. I had visions of me and Callie running from the wicked witch of the West.

At about half past midnight, the power failed. It flickered a few times, and finally went out. I got up and went down to the utility room to check the circuit breakers (they were ok), turned off the modem to guard against power surges, and went back to bed. I should have unplugged the fridge and freezer, too, but it was the middle of the night and I wasn't thinking all that clearly.

I was scared and nervous. I felt my heart pounding and thought that I'd get no sleep at all. Callie was moving around the house, trying to find a peaceful place to sleep. I tried to calm myself down by thinking good thoughts. "I could wile away the hours, conferring with the flowers, consulting with the rain..." That didn't work well at all.

I finally put a pillow over my head to deafen the wind noise and eventually fell asleep. We all woke up close to eight o'clock in the morning, with the wind still howling, but less so. Or at least it seemed less when we opened the shutters and let in the morning light.

Everything is scarier in the dark.

So we got up. Since the power was out, we had no heat. Our heater works on fuel oil, but it needs electricity to fire up and pump the hot water through the radiators. I took Callie outside to do her thing and proceeded to chop some wood to build a fire in the wood stove. It wasn't raining any more. I looked at the roof; no tiles missing. Ken made a pot of tea. We have a gas stove, so lighting it with a match was easy to heat water. And we waited.

We had talked about the coming storm on Monday afternoon and realized that we had some leftovers in the fridge that could be heated up on the stove for lunch, so we didn't have to worry about cooking if the power went out. And we had batteries for the radio to listen to the news and other programs if we needed to. And we needed to. Not that the news gave us any, well, news. Just a lot of chat and music. Oh well.

The power stayed off until six pm on Tuesday evening. Not a catastrophe, by any means. No poison poppies, no flying monkeys. We were dry, warm, and we ate a good lunch. We even decided to make a batch of crêpes for dessert in the mid afternoon. But it sure was nice to have electricity again when it came back on. Just in time for nightfall. Oh Internet! Oh E-mail! Oh TV!

We're such wimps. But, even without electricity, there's no place like home.


  1. Sounds pretty scary!!!!Howling winds and no electricity, not a good combination...I would of been very frightened.

    But you did have woodburning stove for heat, battery radio, and food. I do have central heating, but I also have a coal fire, just have to learn how to light one!! :-) I could toast crumpets on it, in candle light. :-)

    Lets hope you don't have much more of those sort of days.

  2. I have to giggle because if that had been us, it would've been me sleeping right through and Andrew up all night.

  3. I am perverse that I love a good storm.
    I know there are many people who do not; and I have never been in a really terrible storm either.

    Other than the heat, having all the electricity off sounds rather quaint.
    Lots of nice things to do by candlelight !

  4. glad y'all r ok.....i always imagine the daughter calls it negative....i call it being realistic....just planning for every possible without power gets kinda boring after a couple of hrs & I'm always glad to have the heat again in winter....I worry about losing all the valuable food in freezer...but i know it cal last at least 24 hrs if u don't open door

  5. I've been through a few hurricanes -- back when I was growing up on the North Carolina coast -- so maybe that's why I was able to sleep through our recent tempête. The wind was really howling, though, when I woke up at about 5 a.m.

    Not having electricity gets old really fast, let me tell you. Especially not having the computer and the Internet.

  6. I love your Wizard of Oz theme. Still one of my all-time favorite movies. It made your post that much more entertaining. Of course, I'm glad that you're OK and, remember, there's no place like home (with electricity)!

  7. I know exactly how you feel!! I am from Houston (read hurricane city) and own a wooden house that was build in 1932 and is on peer and beam (not a foundation). When the wind blows the whole little house moves.
    Many a time I have thought that if my house does in fact blow away, please let it land on someone who deserves it. ;-)

  8. anne, we actually boiled a pot of water on the wood stove just to see if we could.

    evol, maybe it's all those horror movies you watch. You've become immune!

    urspo, I like storms, too, but when they get a bit too violent, it scares me.

    melinda, our freezer is supposed to be good for 36 hours. In 2005 we were away and the power was out for three days. Everything in the freezer survived!

    ginny, we're out of the woods, we're out of the dark, we're out of the night!

    susan, that must make you real nervous when the wind blows!


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