Thursday, December 18, 2008

Changes in attitude

So it's all about attitude now. I cannot begin to describe the aura around those of us who are affected by the lack of power. New Hampshire, being typically used to weather crisis, is really pooling all we have to stay cheerful despite the prolonged estimates for power restoration. Today was no different. We had 4 inches of snow, the first storm of three to converge on us by the end of Sunday, all snow events. So of course, those of us without power, working from generators, are thinking oh boy, this is going to prolong any progress back to normal energy.

Last night our dearly beloved Onan propane generator started to sputter and spew, here and there. I was nervous as a cat on a hot tin roof, imagining the consequences of it's potential failure. The generator is 40 years old, we bought it from an older couple 10 years ago and it was still a solid machine. We have used it time and time again on the farm and it has always pulled us through. The house is wired to accommodate all of what we need with the generator but most important is water, for the animals and us, and heat for the house. After that lights and creature comforts are a treat.

This morning I decided to turn the generator off for the day, give it a rest. The temperatures were in the 30's.I was headed to Harrisville at noon to meet our dear friend Leslie who had to evacuate her home but we had to save as many houseplants as we could until she could return to her home. Leslie and Harrisville are dear to our hearts. We lived there from 1983-1995. This is the home we lived in, today. Returning today proved difficult, to see the devastation from the ice storm. And I was seeing the damage one week after the storm departed.

I got to Harrisville and saw a 10% sale sign at Harrisville Designs store. Made a stop there for a fiber fix although it was out of heat and lights. I bought some fiber and the new Spin-Off and met Leslie for lunch at the store.

Then we commenced to lugging her beloved plants (some 20) to my truck and her car. We found a warm and cozy destination in Dublin where they could live out this crazy interim.

This is the road from Harrisville to Dublin, Leslie is in front of me and I was looking at the roadsides thinking what a mess! Trees down on lines all the way. And Leslie was thinking, wow, this looks like a super highway compared to a week ago. It's what you get used to, I guess.

We hugged and said our goodbyes and I headed west for Westmoreland. While I was in Harrisville Jack and I, by telephone decided we'd better buy a new generator, in the event the Onan died. Jack bought the generator and made arrangements with Hamblett Electric to meet him at the farm this afternoon at 4 PM to set up the new generator.

I got a call from Jack on the way home that the Onan wouldn't start. It had died. 4 PM and a storm on the way. This is the stuff that makes you tough. You have to be one step ahead all the time. We need water for the animals, heat for the house. It becomes survival mode.

I got home at 4PM, Jack was ready with the new generator and dear Topher Hamblett arrived soon thereafter and commenced the set-up to the new generator. I started a fire, did the sheep chores and nestled the chickens in for the night. By 6PM we were back in business with hardly a blink, but oh my it was apt to be much different.

Living in a cold climate is a challenge and albeit beautiful but in a heartbeat everything can change. Tonight, Leslie is warm and safe, her houseplants are warm and safe and our farm is warm and safe. One day at at time, tonight is good.


  1. I loved what you said in a previous post - that for the animals, it is business as usual. You know, all this lack of power has got me thinking that we really are not prepared in the event there were to be some kind of disaster that devastated the power grid, and we all had to get used to living without power for a while. My challenge for this year is to become less dependent - not easy seeing as how I live in the city at the moment - but perhaps this is happening so that we all take stock and make sure we are a little more prepared? Praying that the power is back on for you very soon!!

  2. Thinking of you, and will continue to - hope you all weather this weekend ok.

  3. Anonymous8:51 AM

    .. we're all praying for all of you. those w/out power in NH were specifically mentioned in intentions at the Advent Reflection held @ St Mikes Wed. eve. on her way home to W Brat from the service my friend Patricia counted 40something utility trucks heading east on route 9! they can't get you all powered back up too soon. ~ m.

  4. Ditto what Pumpkinmama Erin said! It's snowing gang busters here!