When the power goes out because of a bad thunder-storm for a few hours you could handle it; I mean what are a few hours. But how would you handle five days without power in late autumn? You might just rent a motel room somewhere where there was power. But what if you couldn’t afford to stay somewhere? You could stay with a friend. But what if that weren’t an option as well what would you do?
In October 2011 my family and I were faced with that same question after a major snowstorm had just knocked out power throughout most of central Mass. We didn’t have the money to stay anywhere, nor could we stay with friends, so we had to tough it out.
We were living in Wales Mass at the time and if you’ve ever been to Wales, or traveled through Wales you would know that Wales is a tiny little town.
The house we were living in at the time got its water from a well so that meant that if the power were to go out you didn’t have any water at all, and one of the biggest mistakes that we made during that snowstorm was not fill our bathtub with water before the power went out.
The power went out around 7:30 on Saturday evening so we gathered all of our candles, flash lights, blankets, and all of the lighter we could find. (We only had one and it didn’t have much lighter fluid in it.) For the night we just laid in our beds with layers of blankets on top of us hoping that the power would be back on by morning.
We woke up on Sunday morning with the power still off, so we lit our gas stove and began to melt snow to use the water for tea and coffee. As we sat down at the table with our beverages we realized that we could see our breath; which was bad because we lived in an old house, so we needed to keep the pipes from freezing. Luckily we had a wood burning stove the only problem was that we had no wood.
We came up with an idea we could use the wood in our little woodland area in our back yard. In case you’re wondering the house came with fourteen acres of land and with that land we had this woodland area.
After breakfast my sister and I went outside and walked over to the wooded area and began to look for wood. We were able to find a few good dry pieces and some kindling to start the fire, but unfortunately our wood burning stove was a pain in the ass to lite and to also keep going. We tried everything that we could possibly think of to keep it going, but nothing would work, so my sister decided to try branches from one of the evergreen trees, and surprisingly it worked the fire kept going for the rest of the day until early Monday morning.
On Monday morning my sister had to work, but however before she could go to work she needed to shower lucky for her the town of Auburn regained power Sunday in the early afternoon, so one of our really good friends let her use her shower before she went work. As for my mother and I we needed to get the fire going again for the wood burning stove, and I also needed to gather some more wood to last us the rest of the day and night so I went looking for wood. This time I wasn’t nearly as fortunate as I was on Sunday there weren’t a lot of dry pieces of wood left. So I came up with a new idea we had this little tree branch cutter that could cut small tree branches, so I tried using that and it worked. But because they were only tree branches I was out there all day cutting up wood for the fire.
On Tuesday my sister left early again to use our friends shower before work while I slept in. Then when I woke up I didn’t want to get out of bed for three reasons; it was freezing in the house, my arms and legs hurt from cutting wood, and the power was still out.
But I got up anyway melted some more snow for breakfast, looked for some dry clothes to put on, and then went outside to cut some more wood. While my mother tried to keep the fire going inside. On Tuesday I was extremely slow, tired, cranky, and sore. In fact my arms were so sore that I began trying to cut wood with the tree branch cutter by using my legs as support. By late afternoon I was cursing up a storm as I was trying to cut wood; which attracted the attention of somebody as they were walking by, and didn’t notice until he cleared his throat. At that point I wanted to say to him… “What haven’t you ever seen someone trying to cut wood with a tree branch cutter before?” As the sun began to set I took my last load of the day inside and then collapsed on the couch. Shortly after I had come inside my sister came home and said… “Is the power back on?” At that point my mother said… “No Lisa we’re just sitting in the dark because we enjoy it.”
That night all three of us went over to our friend’s house in Auburn so that mom and I could take showers. We stayed over there for a while and ate dinner with them, then afterwards went back home and went to sleep.
By Wednesday morning we were still without power, but at the point we didn’t care at least we were clean. However we were getting tired of constantly melting snow. That day mom and I traded off she went to cut wood while I kept the fire going. By 4pm the power had finally come back on and we were happy. When my sister came home that night she was so happy that she accidentally locked her keys in the car. After 2 hours of trying to unlock the car we had to call road side assistance by 11pm we had our car unlocked and our keys back.
So that was it; that was our big adventure so I’ll leave you with a few tips. Fill the bathtub with water before the power goes out, make sure to have a good wood supply, make sure to have a working lighter, make sure that you have a chainsaw, and never use evergreen branches to keep your fire going otherwise it’ll stink up the whole house.
Alright thanks for checking out my blog and have a good weekend. 🙂