Saturday, January 06, 2018

Stay Warm

Lassie on heater, probably spring 2011

Doesn't she look grumpy? And she is looking down. I think someone might have been there to dispute the possession of the heater with her.  She is glaring "Don't you push me off!"

This is probably the kittens' first year, spring or early summer 2011. She doesn't have her adult color green eyes yet. And that year they were kept in the bathroom with a heater, separate from Rex. That was the year that they were all on my lap in the chair, and we were enjoying a fire in the woodstove - on June 2nd!

We had a dry December this year - bad news in case we go back to drought conditions without fully recovering from the last one. We haven't had snow yet here, but back east they are having feet of snow in a winter cyclone, and record low temperatures.

I recently asked myself, "what do you do when the power goes off?"

And the answers I immediately came up with:

What do I do when the power goes out?
I get a fire started in the wood stove, (and if it happened today I’d be cursing myself while I cleared away the clutter in front of the stove) and be sure to cook dinner over the stove before dark. And go bring in more firewood before dark. Before it rains. Or snows.
Or dye some fabric, or take a bath, or wash the dishes with the last warm water in the water heater.
Or put extra blankets on the bed, and curl up in the dark and call my mother, whose phone number was the one I knew in the dark.

Seriously. There are lots of things to do to take advantage of/survive the situation. Those with a live-in lover have another option. Why they have lots of births 9 months later in cities.

Those answers are in reverse order, most recent to oldest, of things I have actually done over the years. It depends a little on what time of year, and time of day it is. But the latest wisdom I learned several years ago, when my power was out for more than 3 days.

[That is common enough here that it is necessary to have another source of heat and cooking, and lights, handy for when it happens. The bus driver, a few blocks away, had his power out for 2 separate weeks that year.]

That time, after a couple of days I had used most of the wood I had inside, and was wading through a foot of snow carrying firewood. And the lights I had were not bright enough to see what I was doing if I had to cook dinner after dark.

I learned to bake bread the summer I turned 16, at the cabin in Northern Idaho. In a woodstove. And the little woodstove heaters don't channel heat to the top the way a cookstove does. Much harder to cook over.

The next time the power went out that year, it came on only a few hours later. But by that time I had started a fire, and heated some leftover soup, and was having dinner.

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