Our power went off 46 hours ago. Yes, I am counting. It went off at lunchtime before my clinic on Thursday. I was ten minutes too late to heat up lunch leftovers in the microwave. Usually power comes back on by nighttime, but this time it wasn’t. We have two solar panels powering a couple light bulbs and enough battery backup to power a computer and our internet, so we were doing OK the first night. By Friday morning we started moving cheese into the freezer. We don’t have any fridge power backup, so we systematically go through our food, eat what we can, and toss the rest. This time, the casualties were the frozen bananas, mangos, and strawberries which I was hoping to use for smoothies in warmer weather. I think our mozzarella cheese was going moldy before the power outage. I treated myself to a $8 stovetop kettle and guzzled tea like usual. We went out to a very nice $20 dinner – our compromise for not investing in an expensive generator or fridge backup system. And without a fridge we had to eat our leftovers quickly – they become breakfast the next day. I spent time outside and limited use of my computer, keeping everything on power saving mode. Greg called the power company a half dozen times, the issues are often not known, and surprisingly the company does respond well. When he finally got through, they said they are working on the issue.
By the second morning, Saturday, we knew we had to step up our efforts. It was time to buy a bag of ice and eat everything left in our fridge that we could. I made a soup with all sorts of veggie pieces, and we had grilled cheese with more of our cheddar than we should. Later, Greg heated a frozen quiche using a couple of pots and boiling water. We don’t know if we will get power again before the end of the holiday weekend, so we can’t buy much food. But that also means we might be able to go out to lunch on Sunday. I’m sure our water heater is getting cool, so I’m trying to decide whether to wash my hair sooner or later. At least we still have water. It’s hard not knowing if or when the power will come back, not knowing how long our backup battery will last. Last night I accidentally turned on lights in three rooms at once, and the battery started beeping. So we are close to our limit, I can tell.
It makes me feel a bit out of control, it is hard for me to plan my day. We are trying to make the best of it, like camping in our own home. I don’t like it when the stress makes me snappy. I don’t like seeing food go bad. But our worms were starving because we don’t give them good food scraps, and I needed less screen time anyway. So we have plans for the next few days. If power stays out more than 4 days, and that might be a record for us in our 6 years here, we are already thinking of inviting ourselves over to a friend’s house. We know that the blackout is limited to our area, so across town our friends might have warm water and a place to charge our phone. Always an adventure here, but never quite the adventure we expect. I wish I could say that I was always looking on the bright side, thinking of how fortunate we are instead of our lack or the uncertainty. But this does bring out some of the worst in me, a realization that I get stressed when I cannot plan or control. Our poor Bear dog can sense it, he goes in the garden, digs a hole, and tries to hide in it. It’s a wakeup call for me. Time to take things one step at a time. Time to read some books, get some exercise, and maybe take a cold shower.
In the end, our power was out 60 hours. Praise God, our backup batteries didn’t die and we were able to keep the lights on and the internet going throughout. We had to empty most of the perishables out of our fridge, and buy a bag of ice so we could keep our most important fridge foods cold. The ice didn’t melt before the power came back, and now our fridge is much more tidy than before. We still get power outages about 10-12 hours a day, but half the time we barely notice. We are truly blessed.