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.