Friday, December 26, 2008

The Great Ice Storm of 2008

Life, as I knew it, changed dramatically on December 11th during an outrageous ice storm here in Rindge, New Hampshire. All through the night we heard cracks like gunshot as limbs bent and snapped under the weight of the ice and snow. The lights flickered on and off several times before going out completely.
In all my 59 years I have never lived without electricity for more than a day or two. Even when I went camping, I stayed in places that had showers with hot water...and it was summertime.
This was something totally different.
We had no electricity for nine days and no phone for six days. Having no electricity meant having no heat, lights or running water.
Unfortunately we don't have a wood stove or fireplace, so we were reduced to using a kerosene heater to try to keep the house warm enough to prevent the pipes from freezing. We turned the heater off at night so we wouldn't accidentally die of carbon monoxide poisoning while we slept. When I'd wake up in the morning, the house would be 42 or 43 degrees Fahrenheit. Chilly to say the least! In the evenings, we'd run the heater, make coffee, soup, and hot chocolate over Sterno cans, and light candles everywhere. The warmest we got the house was 56 degrees.
Our neighbors have a generator and generously allowed all the neighbors to use an outdoor faucet at their house for water. Still, it meant hauling water in jugs and buckets at all hours of the day and night.
For a day or two, living life as though we were in the 19th Century was not only challenging; it was also a bit romantic. By day three; it got old.
Talking about being sent back in time doesn't really do the experience justice. I don't know if I'm capable of articulating what I lived it felt...
I'll try again later...

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