Power outage Part 3

Tuesday seemed to come quickly, but from the moment I got out of bed it seemed like the day dragged on endlessly. As usual we needed wood first thing in the morning. As I rummaged through my clothes hamper I realized that I was running low on dry clothes. I had wet clothes spread all around the stairway banister, and as I touched some of them to see if they’d dried at all unfortunately they were still soaking wet. I wasn’t surprised the temperature in the house was in the 40’s downstairs but upstairs it was twenty degrees colder. As I put on another pair of dirty clothes I caught a glimpse of my breath. For the past couple of days as I cut wood, I wondered if this is how things were for pioneers, and wondered how they survived those harsh winters. Sometimes I have a tendency to forget how lucky I am to have it so easy; with electricity, heat, a car, money, and food. After living in Wales I’ve learned to be grateful because things can be worse, and I’ve experience most of what can be worse this past year.

Things weren’t all bad during the power outage, I’ve always loved the snow as well as the woods, it always reminds me of camping up in Redfeather Colorado every summer when I was a child. I miss it, I miss the mountains. Being out in the woods cutting up trees was a great reminder of home.

Today while up there cutting and piling up wood I ran into a few issues I was beginning to run low on narrow trees to cut, so I had to find branches and that proved to be difficult. When I did find branches that were within reach it was difficult cut them because I didn’t have the right leverage, making them hard to cut through. Towards the end of the day the wood was getting harder and harder to cut through, finally after freeing the cutters from a piece of wood I’d had enough. I threw the cutters to the ground and began to stomp and kick snow on them. As I ranted and raved I didn’t notice somebody walking by that was coming back from the cemetery. The next thing I heard was the sound of a man clearing his throat. I stopped kicking snow onto the tree branch cutters and turned around to find the man staring at me from the road. We looked at each other for a moment and then I picked the cutters back up and continued to cut the piece of wood. The man continued to stare as he walked by and I almost stopped cutting through the piece of wood to yell at him to mind his own business, but I thought better of it as I began to slowly calm down.

That night Lisa came home with our friend Nathalie, she was Heike’s teenage daughter. She entered the house and was in immediate shock by the coldness. “God damn it’s colder in the house than it is outside.” My sister laughs. “Well that’s what happens when you’ve had no power since Saturday night.” Nathalie was still in shock, “Well I don’t know how you guys have managed. I would be springing for a motel.” “We would’ve if we had the money.” I said, wishing that we could’ve done so. Mom put the fire out in the parlor before we left for Auburn. While we sat in the car mom and I basked in the warmth of the heated car, it was magnificent.

Mom took a shower first because she had been covered in soot. I watched TV with my sister and Heike; while Nathalie heated up some dinner for us. It was only Chicken patty sandwiches, but they were delicious. Once it was my turn for the shower I had to remind myself not to take too long in the shower. I would simply be in there long enough to wash and get clean, no dawdling. While in the shower as the hot water hit my body for the first time in days, all I wanted to do was stay in there until the hot water ran out, although I knew I couldn’t and I had to keep reminding myself not to dawdle. As I put my clothes back on I felt like a brand new woman. Granted I’ve always felt that way after a shower, but this time there was meaning behind this shower, I felt complete recharged and relaxed. Once we got home and I went up to bed I fell asleep instantly. It’s amazing how quickly one can fall sleep once they’ve had a proper shower and a good meal in their belly.

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