Thursday, December 13, 2007

in the dark

The ice storm hit Sunday afternoon and by that evening our electicity was out, along with about 20,000 other homes. By Monday the reports were coming in that 200,000 here in town were without electricity and the last report I read said their was a total of 600,000 homes without power statewide.

The news reports indicated this was the worst we've had in Oklahoma, as far as power outage. I know I've never experienced anything like it. We've had power out for a few hours, but never over night and definitely not three days in a row. Some of it was due to problems with transformers, but the main problem was tree limbs falling on the power lines from the weight of the ice.

Some were fortunate and at least had gas to heat their homes. But our house is total electric, so we were left with only the fireplace to keep us warm. (Luckily, RL had just got wood last Saturday.) No electric and no hot water. We used the wood burning stove to cook our meals (the few we ate at home) and to heat water for our baths.

When we couldn't take sitting in the house any longer, and because we needed electricity to charge the cell phones and the laptop, we went to the mall, restaurants, and coffee shops. Yesterday we spent 30 minutes to an hour driving around looking for a place (1) with electricity, (2) that wasn't so crowded there was no where to sit, and (3) had outlets near the tables so we could plug in. It sounds crazy, but it seems everyone was doing the same.

Our electricity finally came back on yesterday afternoon and I couldn't have been happier! We would've been ok a few more days if we had to, but I'm sure glad we didn't.

7 comments:

Desmond Jones said...

Glad you're OK. Isn't it amazing how much our lives depend on cheap, readily available electricity?

We had a freak storm a few years back, and lost power for two days. We did a pretty good job of making an 'adventure' of it, but by the time the second night fell, it was definitely gettin' old. . .

First two purchases we made after that - two Coleman lamps (a dark house at 6PM can be awfully dreary), and a kerosene heater. . . We also discovered that it is a good thing to have an old-fashioned 'cord phone' stashed away, since it doesn't need 110V to work. . .

On the upside, the list of Things You Can Do In the Cold and Dark includes showers (we have a gas water heater) and Going to Bed Early (and whatever you might find yourselves doing there. . .)

FTN said...

Geez, that sucks. What a long time to go without power. Seems like the house would be FREEZING cold after a day or so, even with the fireplace.

And glad to see Desmond found a way to work sex into the discussion.

Desmond Jones said...

The Log and the Speck, FTN. . . The Log and the Speck. . .

Or, maybe something about the Pot and the Kettle. . . sheesh. . .

;)

Besides, I was just referring, however obliquely, to the fact that Molly and I love to read by flashlight. . .

Sailor said...

We've had to deal with no power for days, a couple times over the years. Luckily, it's easy for me to light where we need, with coleman lanterns.

The bad part, is that we require electricity for the well pump; so unlike those that have municipal supply under pressure, we're out of luck for even a toilet flush, much less a bath- so you're lucky there!

The Silent Male said...

Just like Desmond, I went through a no power situation a few years ago. No gas heat (electric water heater too). Also no fireplace, so we used really constructive ways to try and warm up the house. I don't want to do that again.

XI Summit said...

Glad to hear all is OK. I wondered about you when the news hit.

We have some experience with power outages but are fortunate to have a woodstove and a couple power converters to tide us over. It's no picnic but there are many ways to make it more comfortable.

Desmond Jones said...

You know, this whole scenario reminds me of a conversation I had with my dad a while back. He was telling me how he remembered when Rural Electrification came to my grandpa's farm. That is, until Dad was in his teens, they didn't have electricity. Water was pumped by hand from a well in the back yard; cooking was on a wood stove; kerosene lamps provided light after dark; etc, etc.

And a few years ago, my older sons and I went on a winter 'men's retreat' in the backwoods of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The retreat center was far enough out in the woods that it didn't have electricity, either. Same thing - kerosene lamps, wood stoves, etc. It all just brought us into closer touch with the 'natural' rhythms of the earth and the universe. Life really changes when the sun goes down, without electric power. . .