My Many Interests

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Observations from an Ice Storm

As I sat in my darkened living room thanks to a power outage brought on by the two days of ice, I had time to think about stuff. All kinds of stuff. And sleep, which really threw my time table out of whack.

It started Monday night with a short outage that lasted about four hours. Then it blinked at 5am, just enough to shut off my C-PAP and glue my mask to my face like an Alien facehugger. That'll get you coming up straight out of bed like nothing else!

Then it blinked again at 11am and finally gave up the ghost at 2pm and that lasted until just before midnight. We hunkered down in the living room with the thermostat dipping to only 67 degrees, but it was enough for us to curl up on the couch under several blankets and wait.

When it did come back on, we cooked a quick hot meal, in case it went out again, which it didn't do. Until . . . 

The next day at around 11am when I felt it was safe to get back on the computer. I hadn't been on the computer 10 minutes and power flickered four times before I could get it unplugged. What really freaked me out was that I laid down a large sum of money for this new computer just days ago and had planned on getting a UPS for it. I just didn't think that I would need it so quickly!

Today, as the temperatures rise (slightly), and the ice leaves the area, I feel better at powering it up and getting back to my projects. I'm still getting that UPS because winter isn't over and even spring brings torrential rains.

As for my observations, I thought about how during any typical ice storm sans power outages you can just kick back with hot cocoa and a book, but lack of electricity makes that impossible. No light to see by, no cooking unless you have gas.

This got me to thinking about the folks back in the before times and how they coped. Back then, there was no sitting around waiting for someone to fix your electricity. Life went on. You got as much done as you could during daylight hours. Most, if not all, had fireplaces which required wood. Hopefully, you chopped enough wood when the weather was good, but you probably still had to chop some now. Hopefully, your larder was stocked so that you had food. You probably had farm animals that needed tending, so you had to brave the outdoors for that. 

Basically, back in the day, you were busting your behind for survival. Nowadays, we sit around waiting for the linemen to fix the line. If we have electricity, we sit around and binge-watch Netflix. In my case, with the power out, I sat in my recliner, which wouldn't recline because it was electric, and napped. This in turn threw off my sleeping pattern and I was up until 5am one night after power came back on catching up on projects. And that led me to sleeping until late this afternoon, which isn't so bad since a lot of my work is online. Does not help when you could be up taking care of other things that you can only take care of during real world business hours.

I guess my observation is that those that came before us had to be so much more self-reliant and solve their own problems. Nowadays, we have to rely on the electric company and the linemen to fix our electricity when it's out. If the power is on, but the roads are too icy, we can still sit in comfort and watch our shows, read our books, and, if they are crazy enough, we can order a pizza and have it delivered.

Now, where is that delivery guy?