Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Joy of Electricity!

It is amazing what we take for grated huh?

We got our power back at about 9 last night. We lost it Sunday at about 2 am.  
It was cute...people stepped out of their houses, in the dark, and started clapping and person set off a few fire crackers..then as the blocks got power down from us (most within about 5 or ten minutes) they would start clapping and cheering and setting off fire was GREAT to hear the quiet when they FINALLY stopped the generators...but I MISS that sky, it was like camping without all the lights to dim the stars!
My sister was off from work on Sunday (she has every other weekend off!  And this one happened when the storm came through) , and my oldest was off too, of course, (even though he was in NJ at the time, and Monday he wasn't supposed to go to work because of the accident..) Small blessings.  So everyone was safe... My youngest son and I worked around the property in the day on Sunday evening after the storm passed and Monday, and read until it was too dark, and played cards by oil lamp light and pillar candles (set on big wide plates!)...Just like camping...I have 4 working oil lamps and it just so happens I just found lamp oil in July and bought it... I set them up on the slate top coffee was like a camp fire...We cooked, and heated water, outside on the charcoal bbq.
After my son came home (an adventure in itself getting from NJ to Long Island), on Monday afternoon, and he helped his friend move to another area, we all relaxed later that night, and took care of business on Tuesday.

The local paper talks about how annoyed people are, that it took so long to get power back...(people have such short memories!) but they did it the right way....hospitals and fire departments, etc, got it first....then they concentrated on sections they could complete, then traffic lights (our main road here was closed off to left turns, because there were no lights) at main intersections, and as far as annoyed people...I didn't see ONE annoyed person.  Not in our area anyway  
Everyone was patient ....we figured it was going to be a lot longer then it was...and people just did clean up, and helped each other where they was pretty pleasant ...and once some started getting power back, in other areas, they shared with the ones who didn't have it yet.
I mean it was a mere inconvenience, in that we are SO spoiled, and used to what we are used to....(I mean lets face internet??   And cells wouldn't put calls through because so many circuits were jammed, they kept saying to text instead, and even texts barely went through) but I heard no one was like a camp ground.
Everyone just did what they had to do...of course if anyone had propane appliances they were fine....stoves AND showers! (ONLY one who complained in the least was the one next door....I asked him if his wife was ok because she has so many health problems and he said she was away, he said... "she was having the time of her life and he got stuck cleaning this all up".   And how he was so bored that he was going to bed so early he was waking up at "unglodly hours"....Haha!!  Hey!  Isn't that how life USED to be??
Yet really there wasn't all that much to clean up, and the last time we lost power (the east coast blackout in 2003) and hurricane Gloria, in 1985, both times we lost power for over a week.....And then we lost about 15 tall (80+') Oaks.  Our neighbor had to run loops around the Island, to find ice for her insulin and get her meds...(because EVERYONE was blacked out-remember?  Whole East coast to Ohio I think it was) it was BETTER she was away!!  (I think he'll figure that out) 
But that's all the annoyance I heard....and that's just him.... and it wasn't really annoyance, just inconvenience..
We have 3 huge bees nest in the ground we already tried once to get rid of them, and now we need more spray...we can't really rake in that area....the neighbor got stung and he said he wasn't even that close to them....I said they are mad they can't get back in...
As I said, my oldest was away at the time of the hurricane (NJ) and got back Monday, and rented a car yesterday (it was the first day he could get out to do it.) of his friends called him (I should say finally got through) to see if he (we) needed anything because we had no cars, or power, and he drove him to hospital to settled all the insurance paper work, and then to rent a car...nice of him...they really are cute kids...

We had no real trees down, just a lot of little branch ends and that's all cleaned up now.  
The wind did a number on my garden...but my well driven tomato stakes are upright!  (if not the plants which show signs of late blight)  And of all the garden plants, or flowers, the garlic chive flowers are standing straight up..they did right through the hurricane and they are covered with bees loving this last burst of blossoms we get every year around this time.  I did take some pictures, but the camera ran out of power and there was no way to recharge it..  So because I didn't have a car, I couldn't get out and about to take any damage pics of other areas, it was cleaned up so fast.... oh well...I was also hoping to be able to drive around and collect wood, but without the cars I couldn't do that so I am hoping there are some tree places that want to get rid of all the wood they DO have.  It was kind of like a forced vacation!

Now we can get back to normal, except for the food in freezers and refrigerators we lost, and has to be replaced, and now I need a car.....that was our only losses.  Small drop in the bucket of what could have been.  Does that push my laptop back farther on down the list?  I sure hope not because it would have been nice to have a laptop!!  But it IS going to probably clean me out between a roof and a car!   (Haha!  And if It takes much longer I might as well just LEAVE the snow pictures up on the header because it'll be that time again!)
And all in all, it was BECAUSE of the urgings of the Governors, Mayors, and area politicians, that made so many people run out and prepared...So news reports can say they over reacted but had they NOT have made their urgings, and it had been worse, they would have complained about that too, not to mention IF they hadn't been so adamant in their urgings, maybe more lives would have been lost.  Gloria had 90 mile an hour winds.  This one (Irene) was downgraded before it hit, and the winds were a "mere" 60-70 mph.  It could have been much, much worse..this is ONLY the start of hurricane season here.

Such is life.... we dig our way out again and again....and we build back up.
Oh one more thought.  I know how sensitive my Lass was, and although she had been through a few tropical storms, I am sure this storm would have caused her some problems, so whats that they say?  Everything happens for a reason... I still miss her and often through the storm looked out at her stall to "check on her"..before I remembered...

Sorry this is so VERY long....hopefully I can work towards getting pictures again!
See you later,


  1. Wow, that was a long time to be without power! Sounds like you made the best of it...

  2. Hi there!! Glad you're back among the em"powered"!!! I can do without all but the hot shower.... that is always pure bliss after the power has been out for a while.

  3. We use our camping equipment as well during power outages. If we're out of power too long, we're out of water as well. We have town water, but it has to be pumped up hill to our neighborhood. During the winter months, we keep 5 gallon water storage containers full for emergencies as that's when we're likely to loose power. During one bad storm, we were without power for over a week. We were cozy and comfortable as we heat our home with a wood stove. It has a flat top which is handy to heat water or even simmer a stew if needed. Take care. P.

  4. Yes! The shower is the most missed!! Three days of no electric is like a very very short camping trip. The key is to be prepared as if you are going camping! (with Gloria in '85 it was much longer..of course back then I had my husband to help out and do a lot of running..the worst this time was losing the car!)
    They said to fill your tub, and every pot and pan you have.(sinks too) I was running out of pots to cook in! We never did need any, but some areas in NJ are still boiling their after, so better safe then sorry. I would rather have some handy water to use just in case. My sister has a distiller. I think I am going to invest in one.most important was water for the animals..I had 2 rain barrels and they were both fill in the storm, for the chickens..we had bottled for us, and a full Brita for the cats.
    And guess what! There is another possible hurricane on the way

  5. Pat, good idea to have the 5 gallon containers just in case! I don't worry about winter too, we also have a wood stove..wouldn't be without one! Ours has a flat top too (I wanted it for the same reason) (in fact I think we need a new or refurbished stove! Ours has a cracked catalytic converter ...which we never really used...)