Sunday, February 01, 2009

This little light of mine.

My constant companion almost since the darkness began: a little silver flashlight acquired in a previous life. It gives off an exceptionally white and bright beam of light, fits easily into a pocket, and is never far away. With the light in one pocket and cell phone in the other, I feel at least minimally armed to deal with the continuing lack of power.

On the bright side, more family members are back in the light; the rural town of Bardwell is completely up and running (my Grandmother lives there). [Update: My son, Chase, has power! Yay!]

My big news? I now have a generator. Praise be. I acquired it right here in Thunderdome, at Home Depot where the blessed shipment arrived in a semi driven by An Angel of The Lord guided by that big black spot on the horizon that used to be Western Kentucky.

I am learning way more than I ever wanted to know about living off the grid. Up to now, I wouldn’t have known what a generator was if one bit me in the ass, now I can pull the ripcord and start one and have a fairly good idea of the wattage requirements of most of my electric appliances and lights. I have a 4,000 watt capacity (the motor is a Subaru design just like my trusty steed) which means, I can basically run all the necessities —a list drastically reduced from what it would have been, say, a week ago. TV, for instance, has long since ceased being a must-have. Basically? What I need is what is plugged in right now: two space heaters, a lamp, this here laptop (sans internet access, ouch) and…well. That’s it. I felt just like a mountain woman filling up my five gallon gas can at the BP Station earlier today. Not to mention all my newly acquired knowledge in regard to the foraging for and use of kerosene. Later, I’ll shoot us a squirrel for dinner.

While the generator was procured as stated earlier here in Thunderdome, the space heaters required yet another out of town run. I didn’t have to drive as far before getting lucky this time. I located a Walmart at the Carbondale exit off I-57 that had just three heaters left of which I bought two. I also couldn’t resist an electric griddle on sale for a mere $17.
In other news, Mom’s dog, Dudley, a dachshund, had a bout of something that seemed somewhat like the flu yesterday and last night. He gave us a bit of a scare being lethargic and feeling warm and feverish throughout the day, but improved with aspirin as the night wore on. This morning, he seems back to his usual self, thank goodness. Of all the dogs, he was the most distressed over the days we spent in the cold.

Yesterday, while I was out on the hunt for C-Batteries (it took me 2 days to find them, but we have a radio now), I’m told Isabelle was out frolicking in the yard, jumping about and chasing her tail when, on top of the hill just up the street appeared a fierce looking German Shepherd normally penned and barking ferociously a few houses down. As the story goes, the Shepherd was surveying the territory as if it were his own and had begun sauntering toward the house when spotted by Isabelle. My Mother, having never seen Isabelle’s aggressive side (and really sort of doubted its existence knowing her only as a mild-mannered fun-loving treat hound) was surprised when it sprang to the fore when faced with the dangerous looking Shepherd. Her frolicking forgotten, Isabelle immediately went into a crouch baring her teeth menacingly and growling, then shot toward the Shepherd who, startled, turned tail and ran like a girl, glancing over its shoulder in terror several times as Isabelle began gaining on the fleeing dog. Isabelle is no long distance runner, but she is a surprisingly fleet sprinter for her size and heft, and can giddy-up like nobody’s business for about three blocks (usually requiring a nap immediately afterward). The two dogs disappeared over the hill and I’m told Isabelle was soon sauntering back alone with a Suck on THAT, Mr. German Shepherd look on her face. She was duly rewarded with treats and we have seen no sign of the questionable dog since.

It’s good to have a little extra protection in Thunderdome.

Speaking of which, this morning, two kindly firemen knocked on our door; they were checking the neighborhood for anyone that might be in medical distress. I said I was fine, but that our dead were out back where we’d plunged them in a snow drift for safekeeping before the thaw and could they please retrieve the corpses as they were starting to smell now that it had warmed up? Okay, so I didn’t say that. But the storm was Tuesday. This is Sunday. I’m thinking in six days those with serious medical issues have resolved them one way or, ahem, the other by now.


Nikki D. May said...

Re: the firemen - how about the fact that if you weren't home they left a note on your door on blue painters tape with blue writing, and when you finally deciphered the letters and numbers and called, as requested, to say you were okay - you couldn't get anyone to answer!

Suzanne said...

Nikki: A brilliant strategy.