Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Tiny Taste Of The Pioneer Spirit

Early in February, my neighbors and I were without power for about 24 hours. Not having any back up heating alternatives, the temperature in my home dropped to 53 degrees before the power came back on in the wee hours of the next morning. It was a bit inconvenient, but all in all, it wasn't that bad. I thought of it as a little indoor winter adventure. At the end of my long chilly day, I penned a message in my journal to my late husband, Buck, the love of my life. You are invited to listen in.
Hi Bofren! I’ve really been missing you a lot lately and although we can’t talk directly, I thought it might make me feel better to pretend. I think  this is fitting and consistent with my new year commitment to not focus on the past, because today, I feel the need to share my present in some symbolic way. 

It’s been an interesting day of reflection. I woke at 6AM and noticed that there was no dim glow from the alarm clock. Of course, that meant the power was out so I just pulled the covers up and went back to sleep.

It is well into nightfall now and the power has yet to be restored. We had an ice storm last night and that often spells trouble for our utility workers. I dressed in lots of layers, long-johns and wool socks, so I was comfy enough throughout the day.

I’m very thankful that it is an option to manually light the stove-top burners on the propane kitchen stove. Otherwise, I would have had to dig out the Coleman camp stove. I drank lots of hot liquids thanks to the supply of water I keep on hand for the houseplants. I also made a large pot of soup, so I spent a lot of time, literally hugging the stove. That went a long way toward keeping me warm as I hovered over my soup. It became my makeshift radiant heater that helped keep me warm inside and out.

I know you would have handled things differently, if you were here, being the wonderful provider that you were. I'm sure the new generator would be out of the box and gassed up by now, and I can picture all the burners ablaze on the top of the stove (much to my dismay).

As I enjoy the candlelight and lamp light from the kerosene lantern, it makes me think of the Amish community nearby and the realization that this is part of their lifestyle everyday! They really are an amazingly resourceful group of people! It has been a bit bothersome not to have running water or to not be able to see well, but, a day like today makes me realize how very spoiled I really am. If my life included a houseful of people, I’m sure I would have a different opinion about my circumstances, but, my life makes it easier to make the best of it.

Yes, it is a bit troublesome but, short term, there is something special about the uniqueness of not having all the modern conveniences. I enjoy the candlelight and the quiet. I appreciate being forced into fewer options and a slower pace. I’ll read and I’m writing now, using my book light that I got for Christmas and I’ll go to bed early; something I never, ever do!

The power company promises the electric will be restored soon and then it will be back to life as usual. But, for now, I’m comfy and cozy, nestled in one of our zipped up sleeping bags and savoring these moments, missing and thinking about you and wondering what is going on in your reality.


  1. Love the post Renee. It is so good that it brought out the pioneer spirit in you. You have a wonderful attitude anyway which takes a person just miles and miles. And...such a blessing that it all got restored quickly. The longest we have been without power was last winter when 3 giant trees went Kaboom around our house. No power for 4 days....not gonna lie, got a bit whiny..I felt horrible that one of our ginormous oaks had felt the need to introduce itself to our neighbor's roof...but luckily they just kissed! Oy-Vey...lots of white out there right now, but we may yet see some sun today....great job! T

  2. As always, thank you for your love, kindness and encouragement! FOUR DAYS is a long time to go without electricity! Surely, some whining would escape from my lips too. Sounds like that was quite a close call with your neighbors roof. I have a very dear friend, who had a log cabin in the woods. One of her trees decided to violate her roof in a very unfriendly way. We were all thankful that no one got hurt. Large limbs puncturing a home is not a welcome sight! Hope you get to see the sun today. It really makes a difference doesn't it. ~R~