Powered Down

Last night the power went out. I was sitting at the computer working on my upcoming post and just like that I was engulfed in darkness. I made my way to the kitchen and pulled out the flashlight. The wind was howling, almost as if to say “yes, I did that”. It was blowing and would continue with forty to fifty mile per hour gusts all night. The Power Company would not be coming out for sure. If we were lucky and the wind subsided, we might see them before we had to go multiple days without power.

I tried to get some sleep but the wind blew hard against the house. I knew the morning would be cold and complicated. Cold because the heat would be out and complicated because taking care of all of the animals when there is no electricity to run the well pump, meant rationing water. It also meant I was going to have to pay attention to how cold it was going to be and whether or not I was going to have a problem with the animals’ water in the barn.

When morning came my husband and I regrouped. I had already brought in wood for the wood stove so all that he had to do was light it while I went to the barn. With the fire going, water was heated for coffee. The outage was reported to the Power Company the night before so all that we could do was wait. So we waited for the water to heat and we waited for the Power Company.

After a hot cup of coffee and a cold cinnamon roll, I was ready to begin my day. There are some aspects of my normal routine that are a bit more complicated when we don’t have power. Truth be told, sometimes I like the quiet that comes from not having the literal and figurative noise that is present on a normal day. I worked on some things I would have continued to put off doing because of the distraction of the internet. I cleaned my desk off. Angie’s (Musings of a Mom) words from a few days ago were still being bandied about in my brain. Angie had written about seven tips for keeping one’s desk cleared and clean. I had been neglecting this task for weeks and her post brought the issue front and center. I hadn’t planned on cleaning my desk this week, but the power outage left little for me to do other than minor tasks that did not require electricity. I am happy to report that it is cleaned, dusted, and I can actually see the glass top because the cluttered paperwork has been dispatched.

After working on my desk and a few other little things, it was time to think about what we were going to do for lunch. Food prep always takes a lot longer when I have to cook on the wood stove. I would love to have a wood cook stove, but what we have is a 40 year old soapstone heat the family room, kind of stove. It’s a beautiful stove and it does get the job done, but we are definitely “slow cooking” when I have to use the stove top to prepare meals. Absolutely not a complaint. I kind of like it when the power goes out because I get to practice my skills of food preparation using alternative methods. Depending upon the time of year, it is either on the wood stove or over a fire pit or charcoal grill. No propane here. I like the challenge and do fairly well for the most part. Baking is a bit of an issue as the stove is not really large enough to get anything inside that would facilitate baking. If I want to bake, I need to do it outside on either the grill or in a fire pit.

I titled this post “Powered Down” because the power outage forced me to slow down and take a break. No noise from the television or the internet. I did not realize how much I needed a break until I stopped and took a moment to appreciate the lack of droning sound that is constant on any normal day. No heating units, no fans, no television, can openers, etc. Nothing to do but relax and enjoy the absence of the “droning”. In that moment, I became acutely aware of how much random noise is present in my life. I may have to give some thought to reducing some of that noise. It’s not loud noise, not like the radio or television is turned all of the way up, but that subtle droning in the background that you don’t normally “hear” until it stops.

What I did hear was the conversations with my husband, my dogs playing, and I could hear myself “think”. I greatly enjoyed this peace that came with the roaring of the wind. The power outage helped me recharge my batteries.

Thank you for stopping by the farm today.

 

14 thoughts on “Powered Down

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  1. I love that you were able to take a step back, deal with the challenges of the loss of power as best as possible and use the time wisely. I agree that a power outage doesn’t have to be a bad thing, and it can be just the break you didn’t know you needed. 🙂

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    1. Yes, didn’t know I needed. Instead of feeling exhausted at the end of the day, I actually felt very good. I am now looking to see what background noise can I eliminate as a regular practice. Thank you for commenting.

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  2. Your wood stove is beautiful.

    It’s funny how much I don’t think of things like the power going out. We operate on the generator and propane as a way of life and it’s become more normal. We do have a propane stove and fridge, so that keeps us from having to suffer too much.

    I remember the power outage days. It was neat to use oil lamps. Kind of nostalgic and romantic and cozy!

    I don’t mean in any way that we are completely sufficient, it’s just becoming more normal to operate with less power.

    I enjoyed reading about your day.
    Blessings,
    Laurie
    RHH

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We are working to get to where it would not be a problem, but with the constant changes and improvements in the solar options we have been waiting. Our goal is 24/7 solar power with battery back up. I would have the power lines removed if I had my druthers. My husband I think has a different idea. But we do have a common goal and that is to get to where we don’t even notice the power issue. Thanks for commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We are working on that too.
        My husband is like you. We did not even PUT power in because he didn’t want to see lines and because digging 4’ through rock to bury them wasn’t feasible.
        But I’m learning to like being off grid more and more.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I would love to be completely off grid. I know it would be more work and there would be adjustments to what is our normal power consumption but not having to rely on a power company would make me very happy. It is probably a long way off as the only thing we could do would be a significant solar system with battery back up. It’s my husband’s project, he’s a EE, so he is constantly reading up on the latest improvements to the panels, etc.

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  3. What a beautiful and insightful post.
    Looks like you’re prepared for these kind of incidents, good for you! Is your power back on in the meantime? I guess the fact that you were able to publish your post means yes.
    Will you still try and practice cooking and baking with your wood fire oven?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Very restful reading your post, Jennifer. I’ve been noticing the constant ‘droning’ alot lately. So many intrusive things in our lives. I love your woodstove. My partner talks about woodstoves alot and how we cannot trust and rely on the grid so much. Where we are we don’t have outages that much but you never know these days. He used to
    sell woodstoves for the Vermont Castings Company. We have an old Intreped he picked up and cleaned up in the backyard. It’s nice for cool summer and fall evenings. I think I would love to homestead but it must be a lot of work. I love what you are doing on the farm.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Interesting. My husband and I were talking about getting a second stove and we looked at Vermont Castings. Plans got put on hold for some reason. Vermont Castings has some very pretty stoves. Thank you. Sometimes it can be a lot of work; especially when it is time for harvesting stuff from the garden. I keep working to be more efficient and a better steward of the garden harvests. Before it was more of hobby, now I feel food production and preservation is becoming more of a lifestyle for us. I am constantly trying to learn new things that will help make the process easier. I did try several new canning recipes this year and so far, we have really liked each one.

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  5. It’s interesting to step back sometimes and realize how much noise we have in our life and how it’s nice to get away from it at times. Not that power outages are fun, but if it can help you get grounded, you seem to have made the best out of it. Sometimes I think back to childhood and wonder what it would have been like with everything kids have today; but then I realize how nice it was to actually know how to go outside and play and explore.

    Liked by 1 person

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