We had a ton of snow here on Monday night – could have been twelve inches, maybe more. It certainly looked like more when I looked out the kitchen door at 8:30 a.m. and realized that there was no way I was making it to Art Day. At that very instant the power went off, and I was immediately incredibly grateful for my wood stove.
I was sad to miss Art Day, a once-a-month get-together with other art-minded friends to work on projects, swap ideas, eat a potluck lunch and drink coffee and some wine. Oh, sure, I could have an Art Day at home, but it’s not the same. Never mind – I’ve learned the fine art of being snowbound, which is largely a matter of finding things to do by daylight and remembering to locate the candles before the sun goes down.
David set up the Coleman stove, so cooking was not a problem. Water was more of one – without power, the pump doesn’t work, so the water pressure drops very quickly. Fortunately, we had a ton of snow and a wood stove, so melting drinking water was not a problem. Flushing water came from the 350-gallon koi pond in bucketsful.
This was a reminder to me of the kind of world I’m writing about in the Swan Harp trilogy; one where running water means you run for it, where heat is local to the fireplace and light to the windows or candles. We don’t even think about how very convenient our world is, and how different the removal of a little thing like easily-available water, or light, makes it.
Getting water to the chickens was more work, and David had to dig out the generator and fire it up to reinflate the roof of the sunroom. Once that was done, however, and the Coleman stove set up, we went on to have a relaxed sort of a day, with tea and regular meals and reading and talking. Oh, all right, I called Hydro to find out when the power was going to be on, and listened to the messages of “We expect to have power restored by 11:30 a.m.” and then “2:30 p.m.” and then “4:30 p.m.” It finally came back on about 5:30, and we returned to the twenty-first century and watched a DVD before bedtime.
As I said, I was sad about missing Art Day, but it was good for me to reconnect with the world according to some of my characters. I rather enjoyed the solitude and quiet, the feeling that there wasn’t much I could do about the situation, except make the best of it.
In a world where control of every little thing seems to be the watchword, a snow day is a good lesson in letting go of control, going with the flow, doing what you can and letting the rest be. I’m glad of the reminder.
Once a year, however, will do, thank you.