Power's website reported Friday that they had 128,000 customers out of
power, 81,508 of whom were in Virginia. Estimated restoration
time for Scott County is supposed to be Monday night, but we know we're
on the tail end of the list and figure we'll be lucky if we're plugged
back into the grid by Wednesday.
While sobering, knowing
the power will be out for an extended period is much less scary now
than it was three years ago. Then, heat consisted of blasting the
exterior wood furnace and hoping a bit of warm air would trickle in
through the ductwork without a fan. Cooking
was a complicated, outdoors affair, involving shoveling coals out
the wood stove (which had an insulative sleeve around it, so we
couldn't cook on top), then refreshing the coals several times to get
things cooked through. We didn't really have enough blankets to
keep warm at night, and it was awfully dark with just a couple of
little flashlights to read by.
Fast forward ahead, and
while we're not as well prepared as we would like, everything is at
least 75% easier. We have two little wood stoves that keep our
living area toasty, it's easy to cook on the burner, and our light
situation is an order of magnitude better. In fact, I feel very
lucky because I suspect most of our neighbors are experiencing a lot
more deprivation than we are.
What's the same is that
we're running the generator
an hour or so per evening to top off the
fridge and freezer, to refill our drinking water reservoir, and to get
online. The cats are terrified of the roar, and I'm not terribly
keen either (which is why I'm actually writing this in the quiet
earlier in the day, to be uploaded to the internet when the generator
keeps thought to a minimum). Mostly, though, we miss having
low-power treats during the course of the day, like internet-on-demand
and laptop-charging. Clearly, that's where we need to focus our
post-outage efforts, before the experience recedes from our memories
and we forget how useful it is to be prepared.
Our chicken waterer is the POOP-free alternative
to traditional filthy waterers.
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