Friday, December 19, 2008

Silence Is Golden

The silence of the electricity flowing to our house from the grid is a beautiful thing and very refreshing after the comforting, yet relentless noise of the generator. It’s so much easier not to have to think as hard about what electrical items we want to use and when. But I can’t quite shake the feeling we were somehow “cheating” by using the generator. Having been nearly a week without power, I’m absolutely certain we made the right decision to buy the generator. But much of the creativity and problem solving was lost.

For example, several years ago we did not heed the warnings in advance of a summer thunderstorm. As a consequence, our tub was empty when the power cut out. But the heavens were still pouring sheets of rain down upon us. All that rainwater was going to waste. I looked out at the gutter downspout from the barn. It spills out beyond a stone wall which serves as a retaining wall for the driveway to the barn. I thought about it a bit and then I got a rope and a bucket. I tied one end of the rope to the handle on the bucket and the other end to the handle of one of the barn doors. I placed the bucket under the downspout and swiftly collected a bucket of water. By now I had a somewhat bemused and amused Chuck caught up in my scheme. I hauled up the full bucket and dumped the water into a larger container, which Chuck gallantly ferried up to the bathtub on the second floor. It was a really good solution to a vexing problem. With a working generator at the ready, I have no reason to do that again! Heck, I’m not even sure when or if we need to fill the tub in preparation for a storm. Yes, I am lucky to have such a nice problem, but I still need to wrap my mind around the tectonic shift in reality!

Anyhoo, about a foot of snow was forecast for our area today. The temperature stayed quite cold and so the snow was very fluffy and drifted easily under light to moderate winds. Chuck thinks we actually received closer to just eight or nine inches. But that was a sufficient quantity to allow him to rev up the new snowblower and take it for a test drive. I’m wearing sunglasses, indoors, at night, right now, because Chuck is grinning from ear to ear and it’s blinding me! That is one happy snowblowing man!


dancingmorganmouse said...

I’m intrigued, if I’m reading this right – you need electricity to make your plumbing work?

Pink Granite said...

Hi DMM -
You're correct. We don't have access to town water or sewer. Instead, we have a well and a septic system. The drilled well operates on an electric pump. No electricity means no water flows in the pipes and that includes flushing the toilet!

We live in a fairly rural area which, for some reason, is susceptible to power outages. That's why when certain types of serious storms are forecast we try to get laundry, cooking and our showers all out of the way. Then we fill the tub so we'll have water available to pour into the tank to flush the toilet with.

We moved here 15 years ago. This has been normal and routine for us ever since. Most outages are of just several hours or a day's duration. The first summer after we moved here we had an outage of two or three days. Until now, that was the longest one.

Now that we have the generator, as long as we have sufficient gasoline for it and it is in good working order, we can live surprisingly normally, even during an extended power outage. So while we are enormously grateful and very happy to have the generator, it really has changed our lives!
- Lee