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www.anniesgoathill.com

We have had our share of electric outages, but who hasn’t?

The most current outage happened before a storm came through, three evenings ago.

We were watching television, relaxing, and noticed that a fan had shut off by itself.  No lights or clocks were blinking.  Minutes later the power went out and it did not return for 36 hours.

We waited until the following morning to drag out the generator.  In the meantime, my cell phone went dead because I could not find the charger for my truck, and I could not remember if I had bought one for my newest phone.  You believe me, right? I thought so.

So, thanks to our ever-trusting generator, 12 hours later we had one fan, a refrigerator, a hot plate, and a television.  And I had enough power to charge up my phone and my laptop.  We had heavy-duty extension cords running through the windows, across the floors.

It was crude and rude, and then I said, “We are camping out!”

I could not believe how quiet the first night was, before we decided we had to beat the 95 degree heat with a fan.  We experienced complete darkness, and not a sound.  Not a bird, not an insect.  It was amazing.  Nearly awesome.  We tend to forget how loud the hum of a refrigerator is, or even a motor on a laptop.

Late Saturday evening, we were startled by a honk in front of our house.  Our neighbor was driving door to door, Paul Revere style – less the horse, announcing that he just got off the phone with the water company.  We were not going to have county water much longer.  Apparently the pump stations had lost power too.

So, it was 95 degrees, we had no power, and we were soon not going to have water.

I filled my large soaking tub with water, thinking I could at least dip water out for a few days if necessary for general bathing and other purposes.  I filled all of the water containers (empty water jugs, troughs and buckets for the goats).  I kept thinking, “If everyone is doing this, we will soon drain what is left.”  But, then I thought, “First come, first serve.”  Was that bad? Perhaps.

The animals were my concern.  How were we going to keep them from dehydration in the oppressive heat? Could they survive for the predicted 3-5 days without a drop of water? I decided then to take it day by day, moment by moment.  I figured we were not the only farmer facing the water issue, and we would somehow co-op if conditions became dire.

I learned later that evening that a large generator was being wired into the water plant, and the water, which was already down to a trickle, would be restored by morning.  What a blessing!

The following morning we had full water pressure.  But it was still muggy, and the power company was reporting an additional 3-5 days of outages.  Bleh!

Lo and behold, the bedroom clock began flashing.  I said to my husband, “We have power!” His words, “I don’t believe it, turn on the light.”  Funny, huh? Yes, we had power.

As I began reclaiming the house…which was accomplished by turning on the central air conditioning (getting the humidity out), shutting the windows, rolling up the heavy extension cords, guess what I found? My cell phone charger, in plain view.  Right where I left it.

What did I learn? Be prepared.  Know where your phone charger is, and keep it fully charged, especially when you know storms are approaching.  Know where your shoes are, better yet, put them on.  Have candles on hand, or some type of lantern.  Keep your generator in an accessible area (if you own one).  Remember batteries for your flash light, or even for a radio if you have one.  I am not sure who has battery operated radios these days.  I could be wrong on that count!  I get all of my news from the computer, not from the dramatics on television.

We lost very little milk during the outage.  Our kitchen freezer was full and never thawed out at all.  The freezer in Annie’s Red Barn studio was not so full.  All of the milk stored in it had to be discarded.  I knew to not open the freezers until power had been restored, and it worked for the most part.  Tips:  the more full the freezer, the less thawing occurs, and refrain from opening the door as much as possible.

We are still battling with some issues, like poor cell phone signal, and a very poor internet signal, along with missed email here and there.  But we are working our way back into full business at hand!

What else did I learn? Camping out, that term helped my spirits.  Taking it moment by moment, know there is always a solution.  Keep the faith.

Thank goodness for good health, and thank goodness for our safety.  What more could a person need? Some were not so fortunate.

I went a bit over with my word count here…yawn.  Are you still with me?

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