I loved the rhythm of the morning whilst the power was out.
I’d light the fire, feed my wonderful healthy cats and then I’d do out to the rain barrel and fill up a large pan (in which to boil water for the dishes) and a pail (to use during the day to flush the toilet.) And whilst the water heated, I’d make the bed.
When the water was ready, I’d have a sponge bath with some and use the rest to clean the dishes. I’d do the dishes and all these tasks in candlelight or by torch. Once the dishes were done, I’d vacuum my living room rug with a battery-operated vacuum for which I have four charged batteries so I can always keep the place clean.
Then I’d go back to bed for a nap to conserve candles and lamp oil, and I’d get up at eight or eight-thirty to take Sheba for a good long walk.
Sheba eats when we get home and I dry her legs. And then, with her exercised and fed and the cats sleeping off their food and a night of carousing, I get to read in daylight. And I eat sweets because I’m such a good boy.
Afternoons I’d play solitaire or house work. One day, I started burning the mountain of branches in the yard. I have an incinerator for that and its kind of fun because it’s nice and warm. But bloody Hell, bending over all afternoon made my back feel God awful in the evening.
I loved reading—even with one eye and a head bouncing like an overly solicitous Indian man. It was so lovely to read and pat Sheba who loved my not being at the computer all the time.
The worst was not having opera or choral music to listen to. I’m hooked on classical voices; it’s my pacemaker. And not having access to the home phone numbers of my friends so I couldn’t call them.
But I loved the time off grid very, very much; I’ve resolved to get rid of the generator. I ordered two more lanterns, two gallons of lamp oil, four boxes of candles and a battery-operated transistor radio from Amazon.
I’m thrilled to be able to bathe, that hot water comes out of the faucets, that I can flush the toilets and do laundry. I deeply love my fridge this afternoon. It’s wonderful to be reminded of the value of our conveniences.