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*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Messed Up

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Things are seriously twisted. It should not look like this in the first week of May:








Yes, it is absolutely beautiful. But, this isn’t the time for it! There are some farmers who won’t be getting their crops in the field in time this year. It is just too wet around here. It was already wet. Now that has been compounded. It is even soggier, and getting later in the year.

I don’t mean to seem ungrateful. It was desperately dry last fall, and all this moisture will be good toward making up for that. It is a bit sad that it comes with a cost, though. The weight of all that snow really did a number on the tree branches. Standing out in the middle of the storm with all other sounds muffled by the snow, the snapping and popping of limbs giving way stood out like the report of rifles at a gun range.

On Wednesday evening, as I drove home from work, the weather reports on the radio indicated there was a chance for large accumulations of snow in a narrow band from the southwest to the northeast across their listening area. That narrow band ended up over our place. When I woke up in the middle of the night, I could see it was already a significant amount. By Thursday morning, it was over-the-top ridiculous.

I had gotten up a bit earlier than usual, trying to contemplate whether or not to attempt the drive to work. The electricity kept kicking out, and then coming back on again. We knew it was a signal that lines were being affected. Finally, around 5:30 a.m., it went dark and stayed dark. Losing electricity means we have no power to pump water from our well, no lights or electricity for our appliances, and no fan for our furnace.

We plotted to use our battery-powered devices sparingly. I just happened to have my phone on when a call came from our geothermal furnace company. He said that he had completed the quote for that backup generator we had inquired about, and wanted to send it to me. I expect he feels quite confident in our willingness to accept the value of his offer, as we read it by flashlight, huddled next to the fireplace.


Trees falling and branches breaking under the heavy load.

It is funny how, on one hand, we like to exclaim how perilous our situation was, yet at the same time, could adapt to it like it was a pretty posh camping expedition. Overnight, the fireplace helped hold the house temperature in a comfortable range. We collected water that was dripping off the roof, to pour into the toilet tank for flushing. We went to bed when it got dark. It wasn’t that hard to cope.

The difficulty that we struggled with, was not knowing how long we might be in this predicament. By leaving our refrigerator and freezers closed, we could last a moderate duration of an outage. It turned out to be about 28 hours until our power was restored in this incident. Once we get our generator installed, we won’t have that concern.

One other problem I suffered was, getting a sunburn, through the clouds, on my unprotected face. When I am out clearing snow like this in January, the sun is never high enough to be a problem. It just didn’t occur to me at the time, that it was a much higher month-of-May sun up there over the snow clouds.

My whole sense of normal is completely messed up.

Written by johnwhays

May 4, 2013 at 7:00 am

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