Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hurricanes in Ohio?

Sunday started out a little breezy, sunny, warm - perfect weather for doing laundry and hanging it out on the line.

About 4pm the wind started to blow, and blow, and blow. Coming through the midwest the remnants of Ike met a cold front and the result was a crazy storm where there was no rain, just wind. Lots of it. Fast. For hours and hours.

And the power flickered, stayed on for a few minutes, and then went out. I watched as the shingles blew off the house across the street and branches came down everywhere. You know how they say that tornadoes sound like a train bearing down? I can now confirm that particular sonic characteristic. They say that wind gusts in the area were up to 75 mph.

Now some of the trees are cleaned up (including the large maple tree down the road that was turned into the shape of a blooming onion). Most of the power lines that were lying in the street are now back up on the lines, even if they are not yet live.

We've been without power at our house since Sunday afternoon. It's now Wednesday afternoon. At least we have running water (unlike many houses in the area that have wells and don't even now have water). We have a hot water heater than runs on gas, so we can enjoy a hot shower in the morning. That's good. Bill's school has power and internet, hence my ability to post.

We found a home for most of the freezer contents but the fridge is a lost cause. Today's task is to venture in and throw things away.

They say that power may not be restored until Sunday. That would be a full seven days without power. It seems doable, right? I mean, if I can charge my laptop at someone else's house or off the car battery then all's good. It's strange. I can't explain the low level stress of not being able to cook or plan on what to eat. The garden is full, but it seems impossible to do anything other than to try a macrobiotic raw thing. Then there's the weird-ness of it being 8:30pm and just feeling like the best thing to do is go to bed and get up early to work as soon as it gets light.

I don't use that much electricity in the course of a day, but I do need it now and then. We're just not set up to work any other way. We need more technology that enables energy independence, even on a household level! And it's going to require a serious shift in how we live. Even after three days I can tell you that much.

Camping is all fun when there's not work that needs to be done, deadlines that have blown by (pun intended), and nothing is they way it is supposed to be. I'd love to sit around and play cards and do charades by candlelight. But I want to get my work done and each day that goes by and I'm not able to work, or that I have to spend money to buy food while simultaneously throwing food away, things just get more frustrating. Life is strangely on hold but also strangely filled with immediate panic and anxiety.

Luckily the roof is fine.

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