Beau January 15th, 2007
A day spent in the grip of the ice, without utility electric power. After posting yesterday and gathering wood for the stove, the electric went out again. Not short-lived this time, and a day later we still have no utility power. The electric company is working overtime… Last night we put a pot roast and soup in the crock pot, set it on the Buck wood stove (this thing is awesome!) and three hours later had a hearty meal. Stocked the wood stove through the night and we slept comfortably… and quietly waiting for the power to come back on.
This morning with the electric still out, we took care of the animals and I set about starting the generator to have some essentials and get the refrigerator and freezer back on. More importantly, the well-pump is electric so we need the water… Sure, we could have carted 200 pounds of food outside in various containers… but why bother when we have a generator! Alas, it ran for 20 minutes then “cough, sputter…pssssss…” to a dead stop. The weather started out warm at 30 degrees F (12C), but then begain dropping fast. So after draining fuel, cleaning lines and pull-starting about a hundred times with no success- I jumped in the truck to get some new spark plugs and starting fluid. Surely it will work I thought- I run it every month… why not now?! Well… isn’t that usually when something doesn’t work? When you need it most?! Yes, it’s 15 years old… but a good Honda runs forever! So back again with the temperature falling below 20 degrees F (8C), I put the new plugs in, cleaned the fuel and with a few good pulls…. success!
So this evening has been enjoyable… a few lights on, the fan on the wood stove putting out heat like crazy, a nice chicken vegetable stew by my wife and most of all… flushing toilets! It’s the small things in life… and the youngun even watched a little TV after running out of imaginative games to play. I even completed some distance education exams with the satellite internet up and running. I have to really recommend the Honda EB5000 generator… been running solid over 8 hours today, and hasn’t been used but a few times in many years- but has been very reliable since 1991 when my folks originally purchased it. I probably should have gone over it more thoroughly this fall- but it ran nicely then (I’ll look closer next year!), and now with new plugs it runs like a dream.
Amazing how “connected” one feels when we can see and communicate with the world-at-large… and how quiet it is when we cannot. Isn’t the quietness essential though? Being able to reflect and remember our place in the world? Perhaps that is why I love it here at Fox Haven- it allows me the opportunity to gather in the whole of life, to step outside and feel the pace of nature beyond that which we assume as so essential. Even with the ice storm, this is a place where one feels part of that whole. The scenery is amazingly beautiful… yet heart-wrenching too with broken limbs and trees everywhere. Enough for now- I hope you are staying warm… here’s a few pictures from today…
All puffed up to stay warm… Quite a crest he has!
Have you ever seen “bent icicles”? This branch fell over with the weight as they continued freezing.
A “thorny” perch of ice for this Cardinal!
Buck Model 81 Wood Stove (insert)… heats like crazy!