It’s 11:45 and I’m beat because I woke up this morning and there was no power, a huge branch on my deck and many more in the yard. I went to the ice cube tray with a flashlight and saw that all the cubes were still frosted so the power hadn’t been out long when I woke up.
At 4:15 am Man Scout Chris was at the ready: Pets fed. Check! Car keys. Check! Extension cords. Check — all five of them!
I backed the car into the yard and used its lights to flood the shed so I could get the generator into position and see the dials. I turned the switch and it wouldn’t start. I found the manual and read it, remembering nothing of what Darrell told me. And I got it started.
It took me a while to understand how the choke worked. Then I hooked up the extension cords and plugged in the fridge. It didn’t work. I went back to the generator and the manual but found no solution. I checked every manually moveable switch and pushed all the “reset” buttons but nothing made the fridge go on.
One moveable part is the breaker switch. It was turned on as it should be but sometimes if you turn a breaker off and on again the circuit kicks in so I tried that. I returned to the fridge and Yahoo! My food was safe.
Next I got my computer working. I’d no connection to the web or email but at least I had access to my documents and music! I could write emails but not send them and I could write text to post on my blog later and listen to my favourite music to help keep me calm.
I went into the Village as early as I could for more gas to keep my generator going. And I got more extension cords so I could keep my studio warm and the paper doesn’t warp. And I hooked up my water pump so the toilets and taps work.
I’ve got heat, I can cook on the barbeque and I can read now because I have electric lights (reading my candlelight sucks for my tired old eyes), I have water pressure so I can get water and flush my toilets, plus I can watch DVDs on TV.
I propped one garage door open to shield the house from the noise of the generator and closed the drapes by my desk and it was pretty quiet. If I invest in more extension cords, I can move the generator to a little weird building I have behind my woodshed and it will be very quiet again in the house.
I was happy to be in such improved circumstances compared to during the last black out. Using the generator makes me self-reliant. I’m now a better manager of Pinecone Park.
In Cubs when I was a child we earned badges to signify mastery of various skills. We’d sew them on our arms. A future project is designing badges for stages of adaptation to this lifestyle: Water Wise, Garbage Guru, Generator Genius, Artist, Bird Brain and Wood Wrangler are the ones I’ve awarded myself so far.
I earned my Generator Genius badge today and my puppet theatre/play project may be about a little boy earning his Gabriola these life skills badges.
I started washing the floor in the studio. That was my homework from Darrell. Then, at 11:30 the lights came on and I knew the power as back. I was thrilled, but then I had to undo all I’d just done and put the generator and cords away.
That’s why now, at almost noon, I’m pooped. But it’s clear, warm and sunny now. It’s gorgeous so I’ll have a bite, take Sheba for a walk, make a pie and while it’s baking I’ll have a hot tub. I thought I’d be stuck inside on a dark rainy day. Instead it’s an inspiring day.