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Posts Tagged ‘power outage’

I am not going to say that I am grateful for electricity, okay?

Oh, who am I kidding? I’ll say it. I’m grateful for electricity.

I am more grateful for a heated house and hot water and light in the darkness, which is to say that for the 3 days and 4 nights we just spent without electricity, I would liked to have had a better ability to create a source of heat and light that is not dependent on power lines. We did use a camping stove for heating up soup and noodles and water a few times. That was nice.

But I would like to have a gas stove, a wood-burning fireplace, and more surfaces in my house that could be safely used with candlelight. My house is small-ish (to me who grew up in much larger houses) and cluttered-ish. I would have liked to read or do my crossword puzzles by candlelight in my bedroom on those nights without electricity, but there isn’t a safe place to put a candle–too much clutter or too many fabric-y things all over the place.

I am grateful for HEAT and LIGHT and FIRE which is to say, from within.

You may not believe it, but I, twinklysparkles, was getting very pissy and whiny after just ONE NIGHT without heat. It was cold, I tell you. By Monday night, I was too cold to sleep and I had a super-shitty night. But on Tuesday evening, I went to my regular yoga class. My teacher, too, had been without heat at her house. She taught a very heat-producing class. Like strip-off-your clothes yoga workout. Not hot yoga, just bringing up the inner heat, the heat you can create by moving your own muscles, breath, chi, prana.

I came home ready to conquer. Full of fire. Remembering who I am and remembering that before external power, I have the spark of life inside.

Hubby heated water on the camping stove. I did a whole dang load of dishes. (Have I ever told you about my champion dish-stacking skills? I am the best dish-stacker I have ever met. My drying rack is a thing of beauty. Balanced, poised, sensible. I love stacking clean dishes almost as much as making sure the dishes are clean).

Warm toilet seats. Oh my God.

Warm floors.

Warm bed.

You know, in the winter, those 3 things aren’t terribly warm all the time anyway, but 48-ish degrees was going too far.

What I learned: I would be able to adjust if we had no electricity. I would figure it out. I would need help, yes, but I would not die or fester or crumble or disintegrate. We all would figure it out. We would have another way of heating, of lighting. We would have root cellars and canned foods and jerky. Yes. We have not lived with electricity for much of human history; we would get it together.

I actually liked the pace while we had no electricity. Slower. Boring and depressing, but I liked the slow. I liked the candlelight. I liked having a little pot of hot water from the camping stove that I could put a wash cloth to and wash in the candle-lit bathroom, so cold to be uncovered, but my body craving the heat. Steam. I like steam.

I really missed my vacuum cleaner (I think it has made Thankful Thursday before). My German-made SEBO. It is the best vacuum cleaner I have ever owned. Love my SEBO.

Love my kids. Love my Hubby. Love my mom.

I love shopping. I love when we are out of food and can’t cook but can go eat somewhere else.

Love my blender with which I can make my own coffee blended (I know you know that, but I really missed it).

Love my granola (ran out and couldn’t bake more)

Thankful for friends who open up their homes to us when we have no heat, electric, shower.

Thankful that I have an old-fashioned land-line (not cordless) that never went out so I could stay connected.

Love my internet. Love my blog.

Love my car. Love having a car. Love being able to drive when I need to.

Love being able to help my mom.

Silk long johns–bottoms, tops, undershirts, especially if they are pink or black

non-itchy, but warm, socks

polarfleece

Oh I hate this post, but it being Thankful Thursday, I’m not supposed to say that. Just this one time, I’m going to allow it. Then it will be forgotten and I won’t remember the cold and the lack and the dependence and it will happen again and no one will remember and it will be okay and I’ll let you know, just once in over 10 months, that I don’t like my writing sometimes. So deep and rich for me to practice not hating my writing. So deep and rich to not hate anything at all, really.

It’s hot, it’s cool, it’s the bomb, this practice of not hating. I recommend it. I am learning to love it, but it may be the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Is it simple acceptance, then, not hating? Is it detachment? Is it love?

Start of new poem, or fragment of new poem, not sure which:

Fragment

The dead cornstalks flutter like prayers

Why try to measure my immeasurable love?

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Electricity was restored to our house last night at 1 am. Such relief I feel, oy! Can I get an “AMEN?”

Going commando update:

I realize that my attempt at fitting things into the category of going commando was fraught with false turns. It began to sound more like a Thankful Thursday than a post about underwear and nakedness. But it reminded me of a great story my mother tells from her childhood.

My mother grew up in Germany during the war. Her father had some relative–an aunt, a grandmother, a sister–I don’t really know and have never gotten the detail right on this–who had a farm away from the little Medieval town where my mother lived with her parents. They would send my mother to get fattened up because they had no food during the war. Rationing and what not.

My mother was particularly impressed with the woman at the farm. This woman, my mother says, was the hardest-working person she has ever met or seen. My mother has a memory of the woman working in the fields and lifting her skirt, squatting to pee and going back to her work. Lifting her skirt, no pulling down of any undergarments, squatting, peeing, and moving on. Almost like the women who work in the fields, squat to birth a baby, wrap it up, and keep working, the rhythm uninterrupted. How do they cut the cord? Where does the placenta go? Probably just hack it with a scythe and let it fall to fertilize the soil. Totally commando. Wow.

Two Peasant Women in the Peat Fields, Vincent Van Gogh, 1883

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Sitting at my friend’s house–beautiful, full of windows–looking out onto the snow-covered conservation land behind the house, the railroad tracks. We’re going into our 3rd evening without electricity, but they’ve got full power here (hence my ability to post). Some people have wood stoves, some have propane fireplaces, some have natural gas to cook on. We’ve got none of it, but Hubby pulled out the camping stove and we’ve got 3 small propane canisters. The stores are sold out for now. We’ve still got phone service because my land line is not cordless. No internet. We’ve got water, which is nice. Some friends haven’t got water. It could be until the end of the week until we have electricity. The temp went down to about 20 last night and the house is still chilly. There’s a line down under some huge pine branches at the edge of our property. Can’t communicate with my 78-year old mom who’s only 8 miles away because her phone lines are down and she doesn’t have a mobile. She wouldn’t be able to charge it eventually anyway.

It’s not terrifying to be without power, but annoying, depressing and this adult’s idea of scary enough on Halloween. The town has postponed trick-or-treating until next Sunday, thus dashing children’s hopes of candy, but also leaving parents more time to help out with costume details.

The first I’d ever heard Nina Simone was in the opening credits of the movie “Shallow Grave” (at least I think it’s in the opening credits. I have a vivid memory of it). I’d heard of her, but didn’t know a thing. I thought it was a man singing due to her deep voice. I mean, deep, people, not just her vocal range, but the quality of the emotion.

I’ve been falling in love with her ever since. Shallow Grave is not a horror flick, but it is a GREAT thriller and an extremely well-made movie. Highly recommended and could work well for Halloween night (not for kids). Directed by Danny Boyle, it predates Trainspotting, The Beach, and 28 Days Later (Slumdog, too, but let’s not go there).

Anyway, here she is, singing the Halloween-appropriate I Put A Spell On You by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins (sung by the man himself in Jim Jarmusch’s “Stranger Than Paradise”):

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